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SCENE 3.2:

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[1]
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[2]
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.[3]
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.
APOLLO:
Farewell.
[1]

"many-peopled" [B]; "many peopled" [1820].

[2]

"light-laden" [B]; "light laden" [1820].

[3]

"i' the" [B, edition 1839]; "on the" [1820].