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Sunday, 7 August 2011

Veins of Liquid Fire


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http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f6/Arenallong.jpg

Lava flows, Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica: photo by Matthew Landry, 17 July 2008




There stood a Hill not far whose griesly top
Belch'd fire and rowling smoak; the rest entire
Shon with a glossie scurff, undoubted sign
That in his womb was hid metallic Ore,

The work of Sulphur. Thither wing'd with speed
A numerous Brigad hasten'd. As when Bands

Of Pioners with Spade and Pickax arm'd
Forerun the Royal Camp, to trench a Field,

Or cast a Rampart. Mammon led them on,
Mammon, the least erected Spirit that fell

From heav'n, for ev'n in heav'n his looks and thoughts
Were always downward bent, admiring more
The riches of Heav'ns pavement, trod'n Gold,
Then aught divine or holy else enjoy'd

In vision
beatific: by him first
Men also, and by his suggestion taught,

Ransack'd the Center, and with impious hands
Rifl'd the bowels of thir mother Earth

For Treasures better hid. Soon had his crew
Op'nd into the Hill a spacious wound
And dig'd out ribs of Gold. Let none admire
That riches grow in Hell; that soyle may best
Deserve the precious bane. And here let those

Who boast in mortal things, and wond'ring tell
Of Babel,
and the works of Memphian Kings
Learn how thir greatest Monuments of Fame,

And Strength and Art are easily out-done
By Spirits reprobate, and in an hour
What in an age they with incessant toyle
And hands innumerable scarce perform.

Nigh on the Plain in many cells prepar'd,

That underneath had veins of liquid fire
Sluc'd from the Lake, a second multitude

With wondrous Art found out the massie Ore,
Severing each kind, and scum'd the Bullion dross:

A third as soon had form'd within the ground
A various mould, and from the boyling cells
By strange conveyance fill'd each hollow nook,

As in an Organ from one blast of wind
To many a row of Pipes the sound-board breaths.


John Milton: Paradise Lost, 1674, I, 670-709





http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/89/P%C4%81hoehoe_and_Aa_flows_at_Hawaii.jpg

Pahoehoe and ʻAʻā lava flows, side-by-side, seen from helicopter, Big Island of Hawaii: photo by Mila Zinkova, 4 September 2007



Nickel Tailings #34, Sudbury, Ontario: photo by Edward Burtynsky, 1996 (via Edward Burtynsky Photographic Works)


File:Hawaii lava flow 1.JPG

Pahoehoe lava flow, Big Island of Hawaii: photo by Mila Zinkova, 2007



Nickel Tailings #31, Sudbury, Ontario: photo by Edward Burtynsky, 1996 (via Edward Burtynsky Photographic Works)


File:Lava flow at hawaii.JPG

Pahoehoe lava flow, Big Island of Hawaii: photo by Mila Zinkova, 2007



Nickel Tailings #36, Sudbury, Ontario: photo by Edward Burtynsky, 1996 (via Edward Burtynsky Photographic Works)

File:Pāhoehoe Lava flow.JPG

Pahoehoe lava flow, Big Island of Hawaii: photo by Mila Zinkova, 2007



Nickel Tailings #35, Sudbury, Ontario: photo by Edward Burtynsky, 1996 (via Edward Burtynsky Photographic Works)

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/89/Ropy_pahoehoe.jpg

Close view of ropy texture forming on the surface of a
pahoehoe flow at Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii: photo by Tari Noelani Mattox, 11 June 1995 (U. S. Geological Survey)



Nickel Tailings #30, Sudbury, Ontario: photo by Edward Burtynsky, 1996 (via Edward Burtynsky Photographic Works)

2 comments:

STEPHEN RATCLIFFE said...

Tom,

Milton looking back, but also forward (what great prescience -- "Mammon led them on, Mammon"). . . .

8.8

grey whiteness of fog against invisible
ridge, sparrow perched on edge of fence
in foreground, wave sounding in channel

one thing here, consequence
of memory that can be

aimed at, circles it, shape
in one that sometimes

grey white of fog reflected in channel,
cormorant flapping across toward point

TC said...

Indeed, Steve, as the nervous markets plunge...

...and then there was
the lava flow from Kilauea on Friday.