"blank stillness would for hours reign unbroken on this prairie. 'it is the bed of a dried up sea,' said the companionless sailor - no geologist - to himself, musing at the twilight upon the fixed undulations of that immense alluvial expanse bounded only by the horizon, and missing there the stir that, to alert eyes and ears, animates at all times the apparent solitudes of the deep. but a scene quite at variance with one's antecedents may yet prove suggestive of them. hooped round by a level rim, the prairie was to john marr a reminder of ocean...... john marr's shipmates could not all have departed life, yet as subjects of meditations they were like phantoms of the dead. as the growing sense of his environment threw him more and more upon retrospective musings, these phantoms... became spiritual companions, losing something of their first indistinctness and putting on at last a dim semblance of mute life; and they were lit by that aureola circling over any object of the affections in the past, for reunion with which an imaginative heart passionately yearns.
herman melville, from john marr
Labels: alluvial expanse, hooped, when melvilled characters share names with gutar players in the smiths