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ward. Her dusk and shadowy form seemed to rise up from the ocean, so suddenly did it open to view, as the driving mist was scattered for a moment. She lay right athwart the Active's bows, and almost under her fore-foot - as it seemed while she pitched into the
gh of an enormous sea — and the Active rode on the ridge of the succeeding wave, which curled above the chasm, as if to overwhelm the vessel beneath.
“Starboard your helm, quarter-master! hard a-starboard!” cried the commander of the Active, in a tone of startling energy.
These orders were promptly obeyed, but it was too late for them to avail. The wheel, in the hands of four stout and experienced seamen, was forced swiftly round, and the effect of the rudder was assisted by a pull of the starboard braces; but in such a gale, and under bare poles, the helm exerted but little power over the driving and ponderous mass. She had headed off hardly a point from her course when she was taken up by a prodigious surge, and borne onward with fearful velocity. The catastrophe was now inevitable. In an instant the two ships fell together, their massive timbers crashing with the fatal force of the concussion. A wild shriek ascended from the deck of the stranger, and woman's shrill voice mingled with the sound.
All was now confusion and uproar on board both vessels. The Active had struck the stranger broad on the bows, while the bowsprit of the latter, rushing in between the fore-mast and the starboard fore-rigging of the Active, had snapped her chains and stays, and torn up the bolts and chain-plates, as if they had been thread and wire. Staggering back from the shock,
she was carried to some distance by a refluent wave, which suddenly subsiding, she gave such a heavy lurch to port that the foremast ----now, wholly unsupported on the starboard side - snapped short off, like a withered twig, and fell with a loud plash into the
In the meanwhile another furious billow lifted the vessel on its crest, and the two ships closed again, like gladiators, faint and stunned, but still compelled to do battle. The bows of the stranger this time drove heavily against the bends of the Active just abaft her main-rigging, and her bowsprit darted quivering in over the bulwarks, as if it were the arrowy tongue of some huge sea monster. At this instant a wild sound of agony, between a shriek and a groan, was heard in that direction, and those who turned to ascertain its cause saw, as the vessels again separated, a human body, swinging and writhing at the stranger's bowsprit head.
The vessel heaved up into the moonlight, and showed the face of poor Vangs, the quarter-master, his back apparently crushed and broken, but his arms clasped round the spar, to which he appeared to cling with convulsive tenacity. The bowsprit had caught him on its end as it ran in over the Active's side, and driving against the mizzen-mast, deprived the poor wretch of all power to rescue himself from the dreadful situation. While a hundred eyes were fastened in a gaze of horror on the impaled seaman, thus dangling over the boiling ocean, the strange ship again reeled forward, as if to renew the terrible encounter. But her motion was now slow and laboring.
She was evidently settling by the head; she paused in mid career, gave a heavy drunken lurch to starboard, till her topmasts whipped against the rigging of her antagonist, then rising slowly on the ridge of the next wave, she plunged head foremost, and disappeared forever. One shriek of horror and despair rose through the storm - one wild delirious shriek! The waters swept over the drowning wretches, and hushed their gurgling cry. Then all was still!-all but the rush and whirl of waves as they were sucked into the vortex, and the voice of the storm which bowled its wild dirge above the spot.
The sun of the morning,
Unclouded and bright,
With lustre and light,
New bliss may impart;
And softness of heart
Then soothing reflections
Arise on the mind,
Of friends who were kind-
And yet could decay,
Time withered away;
The soft cloud of whiteness,
The stars beaming through,
The deep sky of blue,
Through vales that are still,
Sigh lone o'er the hill,
On the 30th of May the people of Puna observed the appearance of smoke and fire in the interior, a mountainous and desolate region of that district. Thinking that the fire might be the burning of some jungle, they took little notice of it until the next day, Sabbath, when the meetings in the different villages were thrown into confusion by sudden and grand exhibitions of fire, on a scale so large and fearful as to leave them no room to doubt the cause of the phenomenon. The fire augmented during the day and night, but it did not seem to flow off rapidly in any direction.
All were in consternation, as it was expected that the molten flood would pour itself down from its height of four thousand feet, to the coast, and no one knew to what point it would flow, or what devastation would attend its fiery course. On Monday, June 1st, the stream began to flow off in a northeasterly direction, and on the following Wednesday, at evening, the burning river reached the sea, having averaged about half a mile an hour in its progress. The rapidity of the flow was very unequal, being modified by the inequalities of the surface, over which the stream passed. Sometimes it is supposed to have moved five miles an hour, and at other times, owing to obstructions, making no apparent progress, except in filling up deep valleys, and in swelling over or breaking away hills and precipices.