Immrama

Voyages from I to Thou.

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Location: Skellig Michel, Ireland

Friday, December 17, 2004

Secrets of the Sea

There are three waters of the sea now around the world, The first of them is a seven-shaped sea under the belly of the world, and against that sea hell is roaring and raising up a shout in die valley. The second is a sea green and bright round about the earth on every side; ebbing and flood it has and casting up of fruits. The third sea is a sea aflame, nine winds are let out of the heavens to call it from its sleep; three score and ten and four hundred songs its eaves sing, and it awakened; a noise of thunder comes roaring out of its wave-voice; flooding and ever flooding it is from the beginning of the world, and with all that it is never full but of a Sunday. In its sleep it is till the thunders of the winds are awakened by the coming of God's Sunday from heaven, and by the music of the angels. Along with those there are many kinds of seas around the earth on every side; a red sea having many precious stones, bright as Flood, well coloured, golden, between the lands of Egypt and the lands of India. A sea bright, many-sanded, of the colour of snow, in the north around the islands of Sabarn. So great is the strength of its waves that they break and scatter to the height of the clouds. Then a sea waveless, black as a beetle; no ship reaching it has escaped from it again but one boat only by the lightness of its going and the strength of its sails; shoals of beasts there are lying in that sea. A sea there is in the ocean to the south of the island of Ebian. At the first of the summer it rises in flood till it ebbs at the coming of winter; half the year it is in flood it is, and half the year always ebbing. Its beasts and its monsters mourn at the time of its ebbing and they fall into sadness and sleep. They awake and welcome its flooding, and the wells and the streams of the world increase; going and coming again they are through its valleys.

-- Lady Gregory, A Book of Saints and Wonders, 1906

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