Seite:Marsh Hallig 1856.djvu/280

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280
THE HALLIG.

for a moment Maria and Godber, a united pair, were
borne upon the highest crest of the far stretching bil-
low, as if they would so ascend to heaven together —
then sank into the deep waters below from which they
were to rise no more. While watching this unfortu-
nate couple, the witnesses of their fate had for a few
moments forgotten their own peril, but now their
thoughts reverted to themselves with feelings natural
to those who have seen others suffer the death to which
they are condemned, and know that their own doom
follows next. Fear of death was no longer the ruling
idea, although at every renewed trembling of their poor
retreat, the dreadful anticipation of their last moment
thrilled through soul and body. But in the brief inter-
vals between the shocks, the certain expectation of
destruction became almost a hope, even a longing, for
speedy release from these horrors, by immediate death.
The fate of Godber and Maria had again fixed the
thoughts of the neighbors upon their child, who, they
could not doubt, was now, like them, the lifeless play-
thing of the waves, and their grief broke out anew in
lamentations. Just then some dark object floated to-
ward the, opening. It was a stack of hay which had
been held together by the loaded straw-plaiting that
covered it, but now, striking against a floating beam, it
was overturned and fell in pieces. The upper portion
of it was thrown under the roof covering those who
were lying on the boards, with wet hay. And lo ! the
child who had long since been given up for lost lies at
its mother's feet, living and uninjured. O ! who can
conceive the joy of the parents. They covered the boy
with a thousand kisses, with a grateful thanksgiving