Seite:Marsh Hallig 1856.djvu/126

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126
THE HALLIG.

  The poor girl, overcome by drowsiness, nodded oc-
casionally ; and then Godber's heart beat stronger with
the fear that she might fall. When she again opened
her eyes, he was constantly expecting that she would
see him, and rush toward him as on the first day, with
the cry, "Godber, Godber, are you here again ?"
  But was not this the first day ? It seemed to him as
if he had only been in a heavy dream, and had now
just arrived on the hallig.
  Maria took the light, turned it carefully toward
her mother's bed, and listened to her breathing. So
passed away hours ; but for Godber they were minutes.
Morning had begun to dawn ; but it was still midnight
for him. The freshness which precedes the rising of
the sun chilled him. But he did not perceive it ; it
only directed his mind from Maria to the occasion of
her night-watchings. Ah ! thought he, her mother is
ill, and thou, thou alone art the guilty cause. Thou
bringest the mother to the grave, and the daughter-
he could not finish it — will follow her. Within, at her
feet, must he consecrate these hours of repentance, on
her bosom awake again to new life.
  He had his hand already on the door latch. The
cock crowed for the morning in the loft just by him.
He shrunk within himself like a surprised criminal
"Peter, the betrayer," he muttered low to himself,
withdrew his hand hastily from the door, and looked
wildly round. The stars had disappeared, and a gray
fog concealed the first red of the morning. Godber's
heaving chest drew in deep, hasty draughts of the chill,
heavy air. He felt again all the chains with which he
was bound, and dashed rapidly away. Breathless he