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58

THE HALLIG.

noise of his step to awaken his betrothed from a dream
of hope, and call her to the door which, to his joy, still
remained shut. When he had passed, he felt as if
a weight had fallen from his heart, without considering
how little was gained by so short a respite. Again the
wreck occupied his whole attention, and in a few
minutes he was on the beach. But he strained his eyes
in vain ; he could discover no human form. He waded
out as far as possible, and sent his ringing halloo over
the waters. There was no reply. Silent and motion-
less lay the now shapeless hulk before him, which, so
lately full of life and activity, was, with wide-spread
pinions, plowing the waves. After repeated attempts
to call forth a reply, Godber was obliged to yield to the
conviction that his comrades had perished ; and the
thought forced itself upon him, that it would have
been better for him to have been buried with them
in the sea, than to survive, conscious of a double
faithlessness, first toward the ship whose helm had been
intrusted to him, and which, like every true sailor,
he loved as a bride, and secondly, toward the betrothed
of his earliest youth. He gazed long and fixedly, with
a troubled mind, until by reflecting on the events of
the past night, Idalia's image rose before him, and
drew to itself every thought and every emotion. An
indescribable longing to see her again took possession
of him. He reproached himself for not having waited
to receive her morning salutation, and hastily retraced
his steps.
  He was thoughtlessly passing near the house of
Maria — suddenly the door opened, and she came out
with her water-pail. Her first look fell upon Godber.