You should be here, Nature has need of you.
She has been laid waste. Smothered by the smog,
the flowers are mute, and the birds are few
in a sky slowing like a dying clock.
All hopes of Proteus rising from the sea
have sunk; he is entombed in the waste
we dump. Triton’s notes struggle to be free,
his famous horns are choked, his eyes are dazed,
and Neptune lies helpless as beached as a whale,
while insatiate man moves in for the kill.
Poetry and piety have begun to fail,
As Nature’s mighty heart is lying still.
O see the widening in the sky,
God is labouring to utter his last cry.
Wordsworth: the English nature-poet William Wordsworth (1770-1850)
Proteus: Greek mythology, a sea-god that used shells as wind instruments
Neptune: the Roman god of the sea
Insatiate: never satisfied