John Farrier's Comments

"Bekla, city of myth and conjecture, hidden in time as Tiahuanaco in the Andes fastness, as Petra in the hills of Edom, as Atlantis beneath the waves! Bekla of enigma and secrets, more deeply enfolded in its religious mystery that Eleusis of the reaped corn, than the stone giants of the Pacific or the Keriat lands of Prester John. Its gray, broken walls--across whose parapets only the clouds come marching, in those hollows the wind sounds and ceases like the trumpeter of Krakow or Memnon's statue on the sands--the stars reflected in its waters, the flowers scenting its gardens, are become like words heard in a dream that cannot be recalled. Its very history lies buried, unresolved--coins, beads and gaming boards, street below street, shards below shards, hearth beneath hearth, ash under ash. The earth has been dug away from Troy and Mycenae, the jungle cut from about Zimbabwe; and caged in maps and clocks are the terrible leagues about Urumchi and Ulan Bator. But who shall disperse the moon-dim darkness that covers Bekla, or draw it up to view from depths more lonely and remote than those where basogigas and ethusa swim in black silence? Only sometimes through tales may it be guessed at, those tokens riddling as the carved woods from the Americas floating centuries ago to the shores of Portugal and Spain; or in dreams, perhaps, it may be glimpsed—from the decks of that unchanging navy of gods and images that sails by night, carrying its passengers still in no bottoms else than those which bore, in their little time, Pilate’s wife, Joseph of Canaan and the wise Penelope of Ithaca with her twenty geese. Bekla the incomparable, the lily of the plain, the garden of sculptured and dancing stone, appears from the mist and dusk, faint as the tracks of Shardik himself in forests long consumed.”
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