THE MOUTH OF A GREAT RIVER IN THE ISLAND ATLANTIS.
OCEAN IS DISCOVERED RECLINING NEAR THE SHORE;
APOLLO STANDS BESIDE HIM.
OCEAN: He fell, thou sayest, beneath his conqueror's frown?
APOLLO: Ay, when the strife was ended which made dim The orb I rule, and shook the solid stars, The terrors of his eye illumined heaven With sanguine light, through the thick ragged skirts Of the victorious darkness, as he fell: Like the last glare of day's red agony, Which, from a rent among the fiery clouds, Burns far along the tempest-wrinkled deep.
OCEAN: He sunk to the abyss? To the dark void?
APOLLO: An eagle so caught in some bursting cloud On Caucasus, his thunder-baffled wings Entangled in the whirlwind, and his eyes Which gazed on the undazzling sun, now blinded By the white lightning, while the ponderous hail Beats on his struggling form, which sinks at length Prone, and the aereal ice clings over it.
OCEAN: Henceforth the fields of heaven-reflecting sea Which are my realm, will heave, unstained with blood, Beneath the uplifting winds, like plains of corn Swayed by the summer air; my streams will flow Round many-peopled continents, and round Fortunate isles; and from their glassy thrones Blue Proteus and his humid nymphs shall mark The shadow of fair ships, as mortals see The floating bark of the light-laden moon With that white star, its sightless pilot's crest, Borne down the rapid sunset's ebbing sea; Tracking their path no more by blood and groans, And desolation, and the mingled voice Of slavery and command; but by the light Of wave-reflected flowers, and floating odours, And music soft, and mild, free, gentle voices, And sweetest music, such as spirits love.
APOLLO: And I shall gaze not on the deeds which make My mind obscure with sorrow, as eclipse Darkens the sphere I guide; but list, I hear The small, clear, silver lute of the young Spirit That sits i' the morning star.
OCEAN: Thou must away; Thy steeds will pause at even, till when farewell: The loud deep calls me home even now to feed it With azure calm out of the emerald urns Which stand for ever full beside my throne. Behold the Nereids under the green sea, Their wavering limbs borne on the wind-like stream, Their white arms lifted o'er their streaming hair With garlands pied and starry sea-flower crowns, Hastening to grace their mighty sister's joy. [A SOUND OF WAVES IS HEARD.] It is the unpastured sea hungering for calm. Peace, monster; I come now. Farewell.