Page:A Mainsail Haul - Masefield - 1913.djvu/21

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9
PORT OF MANY SHIPS

PORT OF MANY SHIPS

"Down in the sea, very far down, under five miles of water, somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico, there is a sea cave, all roofed with coral. There is a brightness in the cave, although it is so far below the sea. And in the light there the great sea-snake is coiled in immense blue coils, with a crown of gold upon his horned head. He sits there very patiently from year to year, making the water tremulous with the threshing of his gills. And about him at all times swim the goggle-eyed dumb creatures of the sea. He is the king of all the fishes, and he waits there until the judgement day, when the waters shall pass away for ever and the dim kingdom disappear. At times the coils of his body wreathe themselves, and then the waters above him rage. One folding of his coil will cover a sea with shipwreck; and so it must be until the