The Solitude And Awesomeness Of A Stormy Night At Sea
Along This Rough And Rugged Coast Is Heightened By The Wild
Tempests Which Brood Over The Waters, Strewing The Shore With
Wrecks At All Seasons Of The Year.
The news of the frequent loss
of husbands or sons, the roar of the waves, and the atmospheric
Which in such situations present so many strange
illusions to the eye, must have been calculated to work upon the
terrors of those who remained at home; and melancholy fancies
must have flitted across their memories as they watched at
midnight, listening to the melancholy moaning of wind and wave.
No wonder phantoms and death warnings were familiar to the
ancient Celtic fishermen, for those terrible disasters that were
constantly occurring could not help but increase the gloom which
acts so strongly upon those who are accustomed to contemplate
the sea under all its aspects.
"In the long winter nights, when the fishermen's wives whose
husbands are out at sea are scared from their uneasy sleep by
the rising of the tempest, they listen breathlessly for certain
sounds to which they attach a fatal meaning. If they hear a low,
monotonous noise of waters falling drop by drop at the foot of
their bed, and discover that it has been caused by unnatural
means and that the floor is dry, it is the unerring token of
shipwreck. The sea has made them widows! This fearful
superstition, I believe, is confined to the isle of Artz, where
a still more striking phenomenon is said to take place.
Sometimes, in the twilight, they say, large white women may be
seen moving slowly from the neighboring islands over the sea,
and seating themselves upon its borders.
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