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Selestor's Men of Atlantis, by Clara Iza von Ravn, [1937], at

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The destruction of Atlantis. Activities of the inhabitants on the morning the island sank into the ocean.

I thus explain the destruction of Atlantis—land of the beautiful, land of gold, of knowledge, of science, art, music; all that man beneath God perfecteth added to God's own work.

Aye, beauty of form as well, for died at birth the child who bore not the imprint of the higher model in perfect form, lacking naught that would please the eye of man, or god, they taught, for the people of that lost land worshipped as did we of Egypt.

But to the theme again I turn.

No curse weighted the atmosphere nor brought harmful conditions upon the land as hath been asserted. The unfixed condition of worlds at that early age caused the vast upheaval which destroyed the fairest spot the sun has shone upon in its rounds of aeons.

Law did not then as now exist, perfected through the patient ellipse of centuries, aye, aeons, that brought to one great focus the lines which denote a perfect balance of globes, descending at a certain ratio as they meet at one fixed point, to continue their round to other point, assigned through law which hath adjusted the motion of the moving bodies designated as Moon, Stars, Earth.

The law was not perfected which adjusts gravity and points to danger signals, known in nature by those so-called senseless objects and by them avoided.

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Not by the higher Intelligence are they guided, but by the intelligence of Law which all, so named, inanimate things possess.

We who create not globes cannot explain the inner working of this law, which regulates the revolvement and growth of bodies whose vastness strikes with awe the minds of men.

But we gather from effect what may be termed the "silent" mechanism of those wonders of the Divine and gathering a particle from one direct our attention to still others and, through patient study, the whole plan is borne upon the mind—that reflex of the higher Mind which needeth no toil to perfect that which hath grown from His own growth and is part of His Magnitude.

Thou shalt yet see with mortal eyes a spot of that vast Atlantis whose fairness lies beneath the waters.

So plainly marked shall be the spot on which once stood a temple dedicated to Ra, yet not so called by those wise scholars of the sunk land, that thou shalt not mistake the fragment which through the swing of the centuries and the sweep of the cycles hath defied Time and the roll of Eternity.

I bear in mind the day when first I peered with soul-eyes into the mysteries of that land from which came mine own fathers and their fathers for generations. The records tell not the date of their abandonment of that early home which has known devastation.

I first beheld the figure of a maiden clad in sacrificial robes kneeling at an altar, her face distorted by the death agony, the hands uplifted to the impotent god who scowled upon her body, reft of soul; and then mine eyes turned to the higher plane. The soul was there, all heedless of the form that knelt beneath the waves.

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And thus I saw them—maid and wife and child—the form—but useless cask which spilled the golden wine that means the breath of God.


The force of will is strong within, but elements do war, and speech from me to thee is difficult; yet thus I tell, as plainly as the powers permit, the history taught me by the lips of him, the ancestor of ten thousand years agone who marked the day of doom to that, his land.

Thou yet shalt see with eyes of flesh, and mind shall drink the wonders on the stone—the carven symbol of a mighty race.

Yea, day had dawned. Not by the Moon's pale ray or starlight's flutter went the land to rest beneath the water, but like wheel of blood the solar orb rose fully.

Just a span it seemed above the water when he who looked from highest point to mark the planet's course as he had been appointed, saw the light and muttered in his beard—a century grown: "God's doom is on us! But one God is there, though others swear that Ab-Dallah, Soam, Phenox, Ram and Ses have equal power with Him, but I say nay, for I have sought in Nature all the tongue that teacheth wisdom. But one God is there!

"And I forebode the doom that doth befall, for hither cometh on the 'wings of Ram' the water's mighty sledge of Death," and folding calmly to his breast the cross—prophetic symbol of his age and mind—he knelt and sought to pray.

Low down where city's walls were wave-kissed—for the ships to sail from, drift to, for the pleasure boat's advantage—rose the sound of noisy traffic.

Slave marts showed their wares—the young, the

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beautiful, the strong in war a prize, and greed and lust stood by agape and gold beladened.

And there the withered miser's trembling hand held close the casket where the gems were hid which he had destined for his monarch's eye, if so the monarch's Minister of State, but spake the word to weigh the grains of gold and barter for the jewels, water clear or green as spray in Springtime.

Great pearls had he hid in the casket lined with fleece, the finest from the shrub and tinted fair with henna. Pearls whose weight alone bore well the scales which held the hollow globe of jet, or snow or primrose dawn, whose worth meant ships, or palaces or the slave who would outweigh their weight a thousandfold.

Wares of gold and silver, stuffs from Tyre and Gom were spread on what the merchant knew would best display the gleam of golden thread and floss made by that insect horror in its shape doth show to timid ones.

Fair fruits lay basking in the fiery light the golden globe more golden for its ray; pomegranates took to them still a deeper blood, and blossoms turned from snow to rose, and showed red masses where the lilies blossomed pale.

Corn merchants spread their wares in porcelain tubs, or baskets woven of the golden reed or linen basquets.

Heaps of well-riped grain, crushed pulse or lentils, other grains had they, but those I know not as they stand enstamped in this, thy tongue, which is not all, mine own.

The unclad vendors of the ocean's gifts went crying through the arches of the place where flesh was bartered for the well-loved grains that lie with check of earth.

Their trays of brass, or yet of costlier stuff,

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heaped high with shells of broad and comely shape, or wriggling fins and scales agleam with hues that borrowed yet another color from the sun still rising—rising soon to look upon a scene of wild confusion, storm and death!

Strong men walked upright bearing "bricks" or stone to build, or yet rebuild, the costly piles that marked the beauty of the cities strewn like gems throughout the land whose day was set, though not complete its doom

The children—heart-beats of a nation—danced to task, or lesson or their play beneath the spreading palms or rose tree's fragrant shade, or vines hung purple with the globes of life-blood for the weak. The mothers to their tasks of rearing broods, or carefully preparing stuff to cover forms of symmetry. The priest lay in his temple, dead with wine, or knelt, as is the way of priest, before a gem-lit shrine to catch the eye of the kneeling, shrinking throng who caught a hint of doom.

Within the palaces the slaves bowed low as those advanced who held the power to quell, and costly "silk" and fleecy "lace" swept soft over paves of marble, and the fountains played soft measures; from the drops of water came a tinkling song as every drop did hold a certain tone, and all commingling made a rhythm sweet to ear.

For one had builded by the power of mind, an instrument which kings alone might buy, so costly was it; wove of gems and cords of that rare metal which I cannot name, for ye would never know its import or significance.

Yet, all entwined, made instrument which rivalled in its tone the song of birds, of thrushes in the woods, of lark at morn or bulbul when her mate doth hover nigh.

Thus all seemed peace and joy, with beauties’

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glow to give it emphasis, and made the morn to seem the opening to events of life. In the vast chambers where the men of mind had gathered, big with knowledge gleaned and rich in scrolls upborn by pampered slaves, the dignity of State was duly emphasized by the appearance of the ruling lord.

And as the music died that every morn bespake that duty followed melody of sound, a herald, old and trusted, trembling came: "My lords," he whispered, but the stillness reigned supreme and every ear had caught.

“My master of the Tower—one hundred years—a sign hath read in that vast wheel of blood, and bids ye seek the shrine of such a god as each doth trust, but thus he bade me speak:

“There is but One, and He today is wroth and crushes with His breath.

“It comes upon the water. Look ye well! A trembling of the waves, that dance and gleam, show but the quiver of the serpent form before it striketh. Look ye well, O lords!

“The stars last night shone with a baleful light, like eyes of lions caged and thirsting strong for blood; and in the mountains, pointing spear-wise, high, a muttered voice was speaking to the soul of him, so formed of fiber and of flesh are we that one doth tremble when the elements are wroth in unison with God.

“Look well, O lords, and cease to talk of good to land or to estate, for all shall pass as the mist of morn rolls upward, drunk by Sun—the essence of that Life which holdeth all.”

He ceased, and sank the hearts of them who never quailed in battle, or when death in milder form had faced them, but his voice was pregnant with the doom which he foretold, and each stood with heart throbbing dully, as the sea swells after storm when

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quiet seems to reign, but Death hath faced the world and still it thrills with that dread presence which ye name as finish to all deeds.

"Our dear ones!" Ah, that taint of self which all the world doth poison! Not his neighbor's grief, but grief of self he dare not face.

"My loved ones! At their peaceful sports they stray or duties for my pleasure and I stand! An atom on the wind is not more weak to aid!"

But one who doubted ever, cried aloud: "Smite him! He lieth! Old and hoar hath he grown lying! Smite the hind who crieth Death on this fair morn when all speaks life. We die not on this day! I swear it by the soul of Him who liveth—Him who holdeth—Him who Both appoint be what His name!"

But as he spake a wail of sorrow rose. A wail so loud it pierced the marble walls and caused them, strong as were the halls of Fate, to quiver at the mad, vibrating sound.

And as it ceased in measure all arose, with faces rivaling the marble walls and sought the court which led into the street, and where in wild confusion swept the throngs on through the darkling streets, for the sun, which shone as blood, had hid its face in clouds of deadly vapour, dense and black, and damp and steaming with a substance foul to breathe as floats the breath of "hell."

And flashes fierce as fiery serpents spun across the sky which but an hour before was like a dome of turquoise turned with beryl.

Close-clinging, clasping, crying each for each, some waited awe-struck, some did seek to pray, and others cursed and moaned and fell upon their fellows with the sword, and "Life for life" cried madly. "Now mine hour hath come, what matter how ye die!"

Thus mad and sane they mingled. Weak and

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strong. The pure, the vile, the greybeard and the child; while in the shelter of the house of wealth, or lowly cot, where when the day had dawned, was hope for yet another life to bless, lay mother's wailing in the hour of birth and adding wails of fear to wails of agony.

Then, like a monster spurning earth and seeking sky, there rose from out the bosom of the deep a something which no man had given name.

Uprearing as the wild steed flies the ground when blast of danger smiteth on his ear, then with the voice of thunder multiplied it burst the bonds of shape and nature's law of law restraint and fell upon the land.

A wall of water as the mountain tall! Black, shrieking beings! Shapes from depths of sea, and wrecks that long had mouldered in their graves of ocean slime, and rocks from depths where rocks long buried lay; and all swept on unheeded and the cities fair that kissed the borders of a smiling sea went down.

Yet higher, where the pointed mountain sides smiled green and fruitful, some had lingered still with horror on their faces, for where the land had blossomed like the rose, and fane and palace, mart and builded wall, and forests vast had stood, when the sun went down was but a swirl of foam, of writhing, hungry waves that seeming mounted upwards, upwards fast ascending to the eye.

Yet those few pictured "When the water fell," the death-struck valleys, ruined walls and towers and forests, lacking naught save leaves of green. Alas, the dream that had no end! their hope bore no fruition.

The quivering mountain sank—an inch, the measure of a man's broad palm—a fathom! Then

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a quiver and a roar marked moment when the land that mocked the sun went down!

Atlantis, thou hast sunk, but shall arise, a slimy thing of Ocean, still to bear much beauty, offering riches to the world which hath not known thy fate.