At Last We
Distinguished The Lighthouse On The Distant Horizon.
nothing but a tiny fiery point diving in the phosphorescent waves.
The tired travellers greeted it warmly.
The rejoicing was general.
What a glorious daybreak followed this dark night! The sea no
longer tossed our ship. Under the skilled guidance of the pilot,
who had just arrived, and whose bronze form was so sharply defined
against the pale sky, our steamer, breathing heavily with its
broken machinery, slipped over the quiet, transparent waters of
the Indian Ocean straight to the harbour. We were only four miles
from Bombay, and, to us, who had trembled with cold only a few
weeks ago in the Bay of Biscay, which has been so glorified by
many poets and so heartily cursed by all sailors, our surroundings
simply seemed a magical dream.
After the tropical nights of the Red Sea and the scorching hot
days that had tortured us since Aden, we, people of the distant
North, now experienced something strange and unwonted, as if the
very fresh soft air had cast its spell over us. There was not a
cloud in the sky, thickly strewn with dying stars. Even the moonlight,
which till then had covered the sky with its silvery garb, was
gradually vanishing; and the brighter grew the rosiness of dawn
over the small island that lay before us in the East, the paler
in the West grew the scattered rays of the moon that sprinkled with
bright flakes of light the dark wake our ship left behind her, as
if the glory of the West was bidding good-bye to us, while the
light of the East welcomed the newcomers from far-off lands.
Brighter and bluer grew the sky, swiftly absorbing the remaining
pale stars one after the other, and we felt something touching
in the sweet dignity with which the Queen of Night resigned her
rights to the powerful usurper.
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