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The Raven (poetry),
Edgar Poe, 174
THE RISING TIDE.
HOPE and Cross remained some time quite absorbed in examining the form of the rock and the creatures within it. Hope was in the act of breaking off some small bits to carry
home with him, when Cross suddenly gave a loud shout, calling out : “The Lord have mercy on us! I forgot the tide, and here it comes !'
Hope turned towards the sea, and saw a stream of water running at a rapid pace, and covering the sandy creek, where the eels had been found. Not aware of the danger, he said quite quietly: "Oh, so it does; I suppose we had better be off !'
If we can,' said Cross. By crossing the rock, we may yet be in time.' He looked rather pale as he spoke; and Hope, seeing his alarm, hastened to follow him. For the moment, Cross ceased speaking; he scrambled up the rocks, and began walking as rapidly as he could across them, towards the nearest shore; but the pace was necessarily slow, for the roughness in some parts, and the slipperiness in others, obliged them to pick their steps. The numberless crevices, which had been a source of amusement an hour before, now served still further to retard their progress, for they were forced to make many a detour to get past them. At last they reached the highest point, and could see before them.
* Thank God !' said Cross, 'the land is not yet covered ! But we must run for it.'
The sand was, in fact, still visible; but small lines of blue water could be seen marking and breaking the surface.
They hastened on, Hope looking at these lines, which seemed rapidly to increase in breadth ; but he was soon obliged to keep his eyes on the ground, for, in looking up, he had placed his foot on a bunch of weed, slipped, fell, and got a severe shake, besides cutting his hands.
In three minutes more, however, they were at the edge of the sand ; but when they reached it, they saw that the sand was now in stripes, the water in sheets.
• We shall do yet,' said Cross, 'for here is a girl before us.' He began to run rapidly, and Hope followed. They proceeded thus for about two hundred yards, when they saw the little girl, who turned out to be the same from whom Hope had bought the crabs, coming hastily towards them. She reached them before they had advanced many more paces; and as she ran she called out something, which they could not at first understand, for she was so much out of breath.
When she was close to them, they could distinguish that she said: “The wave! the wave! it is coming! Turn ! turn ! and run, or we are lost !'
They did turn; and they saw, far out to sea, a large wave rolling towards the shore.
Blown as they were, they yet increased their speed as they retraced their steps towards the rocks they had just left.
The little girl passed them, and led the way; the two friends strained every nerve to keep pace with her, for, as