Seite:Marsh Hallig 1856.djvu/31

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of the other. With despairing certainty of death, the
husband embraces the wife, the mother the child. The
boards beneath their feet are raised by the swelling
flood, the water gushes through every seam, the roof is
shattered by the dashing waves. A solitary moonbeam
pierces through the rent clouds, falls in upon this
scene of distress, and lighting it up by its pale trem-
bling rays, shows all its terrors, and mirrors to each
the horror-stricken face of the other. There cracks a
beam ! — a shriek of terror ! yet another moment of
torturing suspense — still another ! the floor settles
away, and the mountain wave breaks in, and the last
death-cry dies away amid the storm. The triumph-
ant waves toss to and fro the bodies of the dead and
the fragments of their dwelling.
  Still the inhabitant of the hallig loves his home —
loves it above every thing, and he who has just es-
caped from the flood always builds again upon the very
spot where he has so lately lost his all, and where
he may so soon again lose his life as well.
  We are surprised at the son of the African desert
who pitches his tent in the fiery heat of a vertical
sun, in the midst of a boundless burning sand-plain.
He has however a wide kingdom over which he courses
in every direction on his swift steed. He has, too, his
oases, those islands of the sand sea, where under the
shadow of the palm-tree, he hears the gushing of the
fountain, chants lays in praise of the desert, or listens
to the marvelous tales of the experienced caravan
leader. But the home that he loves is not without
variety, his life not without change. He does not
drag on a constant uniform existence ; he still finds