Art of Preserving Health, The - Part 2

The billows rose; down sank the land;
The sea closed in like lead;
The waves like leopards tumbled on
Far above my head.

Slow closed the mesh, slow waxed my flesh,
Darkly I came to birth;
I rose; the sky was white as snow,
As ashes black the earth:

The ashes of millennial fires
Extinguished utterly!
In towering blocks the twisted rocks
Stuck up above the sea.

Blithely I swam, a moving thing,
On the vast and moveless mere;
And headless things swam in blind swift rings
Around. I did not fear

Till, when I grasped the flame-scarred rock,
A chill sea-creature caught
My bonéd hand with boneless hand—
Through all a day I fought.

I struck it prone; I walked alone
In alien horizons:
The low-browed voiceless animals
Were my companions.

Asleep, a huge forgotten brood
Lay round like tree-stumps old:
The dragons. From their eyelids fell,
Soft-rayed, the rustling gold.
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