Friday, September 17, 2010

The Destruction

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From Friedrich von Schiller's Die Räuber (1781):
FRANZ: Suddenly a fearful thunderclap struck my slumbering ear, shuddering I leapt up, and behold, I thought I saw the whole horizon stand ablaze with fiery flames, and mountains and cities and forests melted like wax in a furnace, and a howling whirlwind swept away the sea and the earth and the sky — and a voice rang out as of a brazen trumpet: Earth, give up thy dead, give up thy dead, O sea! and the bare ground was in labour, and began to cast up skulls and ribs and jaws and all manner of bones that joined together and made bodies of men, and they gathered in a great stream, more than the eye could see, a living torrent!

Illustration is John Martin (1789-1854), The Destruction of Herculaneum and Pompeii.

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