O Progeny of Heav'n, Empyreal Thrones, With reason hath deep silence and demurr Seis'd us, though undismaid: long is the way And hard, that out of Hell leads up to Light; Our prison strong, this huge convex of Fire, Outrageous to devour, immures us round Ninefold, and gates of burning Adamant Barr'd over us prohibit all egress.
Beyond this flood a frozen Continent Lies dark and wilde, beat with perpetual storms Of Whirlwind and dire Hail, which on firm land Thaws not, but gathers heap, and ruin seems Of ancient pile; all else deep snow and ice, A gulf profound as that SERBONIAN Bog Betwixt DAMIATA and mount CASIUS old, Where Armies whole have sunk: the parching Air Burns frore, and cold performs th' effect of Fire.
Mean while the Adversary of God and Man, SATAN with thoughts inflam'd of highest design, Puts on swift wings, and toward the Gates of Hell Explores his solitary flight; som times He scours the right hand coast, som times the left, Now shaves with level wing the Deep, then soares Up to the fiery concave touring high.
Mean while Warr arose, And fields were fought in Heav'n; wherein remaind (For what could else) to our Almighty Foe Cleer Victory, to our part loss and rout Through all the Empyrean: down they fell Driv'n headlong from the Pitch of Heaven, down Into this Deep, and in the general fall I also; at which time this powerful Key Into my hand was giv'n, with charge to keep These Gates for ever shut, which none can pass Without my op'ning.
Before thir eyes in sudden view appear The secrets of the hoarie deep, a dark Illimitable Ocean without bound, Without dimension, where length, breadth, and highth, And time and place are lost; where eldest Night And CHAOS, Ancestors of Nature, hold Eternal ANARCHIE, amidst the noise Of endless warrs and by confusion stand.
I saw and heard, for such a numerous host Fled not in silence through the frighted deep With ruin upon ruin, rout on rout, Confusion worse confounded; and Heav'n Gates Pourd out by millions her victorious Bands Pursuing.
At Vanikoro, the lagoon-channel is remarkably deep, scarcely any alluvial soil has accumulated at the foot of the lofty included mountains, and remarkably few islets have been formed by the heaping of fragments and sand on the wall-like barrier reef; these facts, and some analogous ones, led me to believe that this island must lately have subsided and the reef grown upwards: here again earthquakes are frequent and very severe.
In the Maldiva archipelago there are distinct atolls so related to each other in position, and separated by channels either unfathomable or very deep (the channel between Ross and Ari atolls is 150 fathoms, and that between the north and south Nillandoo atolls is 200 fathoms in depth), that it is impossible to look at a map of them without believing that they were once more intimately related.
You may see from a boat, in calm weather, near the sandy eastern shore, where the water is eight or ten feet deep, and also in some other parts of the pond, some circular heaps half a dozen feet in diameter by a foot in height, consisting of small stones less than a hen's egg in size, where all around is bare sand.
I have in my mind's eye the western, indented with deep bays, the bolder northern, and the beautifully scalloped southern shore, where successive capes overlap each other and suggest unexplored coves between.