Journey To The Centre Of The Earth

Rick Wakeman

THE JOURNEY / RECOLLECTION

The Journey

By horse, by rail, by land, by sea, our journey starts
Two men incensed by one man's journey from the past
In Iceland, where the mountain stood with pride
They set off with their guide
To reach the mountain side

Roped as one for safety through the long descent
Into the crater of volcanic rock they went
Look up from our telescopic lens,
One star for us to share,
We continue on our prayer.

Crystals of opaque quartz, studded limpid tears,
Forming magic chandeliers, lighting blistered galleries.

Narration 1

Admiring shades of lava which imperceptibly passed from reddish
brown to bright yellow, their way lit by crystals appearing as
lighted globes, they continued through the lava gallery, which
gently sloped until they reached the inter section of two roads.
Without hesitation Professor Lidenbrook chose the eastern tunnel.
And the journey continued through a succession of arches, appearing
before them as if they were the aisles of a gothic cathedral; the
walls were enhanced with impressions of Rock weeds and mosses from
the Silurian epoch.

Narration 2

The Eastern route they had taken had come to a dead end. With three
days'walk back to the fork to find Arne Saknussemm's original
route, they found their water rations were limited to one day.
Knowing their only change of finding water was on that route, they
set off for the fork and there finally they fell almost lifeless on
the third day. After sleep, they continued down the other tunnel in
their quest for water, and whilst searching on his own, Hans, the
guide, heard the sound of water thundering behind a granite wall,
and, with a pick axe, attacked the wall so as to allow a stream of
boiling water to enter and cool in their tunnel. Not only had they
found life in the water but they had also found a flowing guide to
the Centre of the Earth. They called the stream the Hansbach.

Narration 3

Replenished with the water the journey continued with haste, but
somehow they find themselves separated. Professor Lidenbrook's
nephew Axel found himself alone. His mind was seized with
unparalleled fear and he saw memories of home flashing before him.
His fiancee Grauben, his house and friends in Hamburg. He saw
hallucinations of all the incidents of the journey. And, unworthy
as he felt, he knelt in fervent prayer and then, in panic, he ran
blindly through a tunnel only to reach a dead end, where he fell
panting for breath. In the darkness he cried... voices...
voices... voices... He heard voices. He heard his uncle's voice.
Due to the shape of the gallery and the conducting power of the
rocks, his uncle's voice was uncannily travelling around the
walls. By means of their chronometers they discovered they were
four miles apart, so Axel set about the task of rejoining the
Professor and their guide.



Recollection

Memories of a life on earth go flashing past,
Of home of Grauben, friends of whom he's seen his last
Contemplating what his life's been worth,
While trapped beneath the earth,
An embryo at birth

Pain and fear destroy the beauty I have seen,
Of caverns, where no other man has ever been
Silurian epoch hosts me as my grave,
My final blow I wave,
A life too late to save

Crystals of opaque quartz, studded limpid tears,
Forming magic chandeliers, lighting blistered galleries.

Narration 4

Suddenly the ground disappeared from beneath his feet. He fell down
a vertical shaft, his head hitting a sharp rock. He lost
consciousness. On opening his eyes, he found himself with the
Professor and the guide, and, looking around him, he saw an ocean
stretching as faras the eye could see, a giant forest of
mushrooms, a line of huge cliffs, and strange clouds hung
overhead, as he lay on a deeply indented shore of golden sand
strewn with shells. For a moment, he thought he was back on the
surface of the earth, but he soon realised that they had reached a
world within a world.



THE BATTLE / THE FOREST

Narration 5

Having made a raft from wood taken from the giant mushroom forest,
with rigging consisting of a mast made of two staves lashed
together, a yard made of a third, and a sail borrowed from their
stock of rugs, they set sail from the harbour - Port Grauben,
named after Axel's fiancee. With a north-westerly wind propelling
them along at about three miles an hour, silvery beams of light,
reflected here and there by drops of spray, produced luminous
points in the eddy created by the raft. Soon all land was lost to
view. Five days out to sea, they witnessed a terrifying battle
between two sea monsters. One having the snout of a porpoise, the
head of a lizard, and teeth of a crocodile - an Ichthyosaurus. And
the other, the mortal enemy of the first, a serpent with a
turtle's shell, the Plesiosaurus.


The Battle

Five days out on an infinite sea, they prayed for calm on an ocean free,
But the surface of the water ws indicating some disturbance.

The raft was hurled by an unseen source, two hundred feet, with
frightening force
And a dark mass rising showed to be a giant porpoise

Rising out of the angry sea, towered the creatures' enemy,
And so the two sea monsters closed for battle

Crocodile teeth, lizard's head, bloodshot eye, stained ocean red
Moving close to their raft's side, the two men prayed as one and cried
"Save me, save me, save me, save me"

The serpents' fight went on for hours, two monsters soaring up like towers
And driving down to the depths in a single motion

Suddenly, the serpent's head, shot out of the water bathed in red
And the serpentine form lay lifeless on the ocean

Crocodile teeth, lizard's head, bloodshot eye stained ocean read
Battle won, a victor's pride, the three men thanked the Lord and cried
"Praise God, praise God, praise God, praise God."

Narration 6

Cumulus clouds formed heavily in the south, like huge wool packs
heaped up in picturesque disorder. Under the influence of the
breezes they merged together, growing darker, forming a single
menacing mass. The raft lay motionless on the sluggish waveless
sea and in silence they waited for the storm.


Narration 7

For four days the storm had raged as they clung to the mast of
their raft for safety. Finally, with their raft wrecked after
being bashed against the reefs, they lay sheltered from the
pouring rain beneath a few overhanging rocks where they ate and
slept. The next day all trace of the storm had disappeared and
what remained of their stock seemed intact. Checking the compass
brought only heartbreak as it showed that a chance of wind during
the storm had returned them to just a few miles north of Port
Grauben. So, deciding to try and find the original route they
advanced with difficulty over granite fragments mingled with
flint, quartz, and alluvial deposits, eventually reaching a plain
covered with bones. like a huge cemetery. A mile further on, they
reached the edge of a huge forest made up of vegetation of the
Tertiary period. Tall palms were linked by a network of
inextricable creepers, a carpet of moss covering the ground and
the leaves were colourless, everything having a brownish hue.
Exploring the forest they discovered a heard of gigantic animals,
Mastadons, which were being marshalled by a primitive human being,
a Proteus. He stood over twelve foot high and brandished an
enormous bough, a crook worthy of this antediluvian shepherd.


The Forest

Journey on through ages gone, to the centre of the earth
Past rocks of quartz and granite, which gave mother nature birth

Burial ground of ancient man, his life no more is seen,
A journey through his time unknown, I wonder where he's been

Wonder where he's been, wonder where he's been, wonder where he's been

The shore now gone behind the hills, a forest in our sight,
Rocks and distant mountains, bathed in waves of blinding light

Forests from far gone time, no living man has seen,
A private prehistoric world, for you and I a dream

Brownish hue dicates my eye, no colour hides their fear,
Flowers faded, dull and cold, now bleached by atmosphere

Creatures twisting under trees, huge monsters soaked with rage
Hidden deep below our earth, a frightening, bygone age

Their shepherd came, now long extinct, a huge primeval man
The three men filled with disbelief, just turned as one and ran.
Narration 8

Dumb with astonishment and amazement which bordered on
stupefaction, they fled the forest. Instinctively, they made
towards the Lidenbrook Sea. Discovering a rusty dagger on the
beach, and the carved initials of the explorer before them on a
slab of granite, they realised that thay were once again treading
the route of Arne Saknussemm. Following a short sea journey around
a cape, they came ashore where a dark tunnel plunged deep into
rock. Venturing down, their progress was halted by a piece of rock
blocking their way. After deciding to blow their way through, and
setting the charge, they put out to sea for safety. With the
explosion, the rocks before them opened like a curtain, and a
bottomless pit appeared in the shore. The explosion had caused an
earthquake, the abyss had opened up, and the sea was pouring into
it. Down and down they plunged into the huge gallery, but on
regaining their senses found their raft rising at tremendous
speed. Trapped in the shaft of an active volcano they rose through
the ages of man to be finally expelled out on a mountain-side
riddled with tiny lava streams. Their journey was completed and
they found themselves 3000 miles from their original starting
point in Iceland. They had entered by one volcano and they had
come out by another. With the blue mountains of Calabria in the
east they walked away from the mountain that had returned them.
The frightening Mount Etna.

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