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At the beginning of autumn, the shelley says, the the west wind awakened the Mediterranean Sea—lulled by the sound of the clear streams flowing into it—from summer slumber near an island formed from pumice (hard lava). The island is in a bay at Baiae, a city in western Italy about ten miles west of Naples. While sleeping at this locale, the Mediterranean saw old palaces and towers that had collapsed into the sea during an earthquake and became overgrown with moss and flowers. To create a path for the west wind, the powers of the mighty Atlantic Ocean divide themselves and flow through chasms. Deep beneath the ocean surface, flowers and foliage, upon hearing the west wind, quake in fear and despoil themselves. Once more, the shelly asks the west wind to continue to listen to what he has to say.