Cuentos Clásicos del Norte, Primera Serie

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 127

manera que no pudimos ver el mar hasta que se ofreció de un
golpe a nuestros ojos desde el ápice. En tanto que el viejo hablaba,
advertía yo un fuerte ruido que iba en aumento, semejante al estruendo
de un enorme rebaño de búfalos en alguna pradera americana; notando al
mismo tiempo que el movimiento que los marinos denominan el _escarceo_
del océano, convertíase rápidamente a nuestra vista en una corriente que
se dirigía al este. Ante mis propios ojos adquiría esta corriente
monstruosa velocidad. Cada minuto aumentaba su rapidez, su impetuosa
precipitación. En cinco minutos el océano entero hasta Vurrgh hallábase
poseído de furia desenfrenada e indomable; pero sobre todo entre Móskoe
y la costa dominaba el tumulto mayor. Allí el vasto lecho de las aguas
hendíase y se rasgaba en mil canales divergentes, estallaba
repentinamente en convulsión frenética, hinchándose, hirviendo,
silbando, girando en vórtices gigantescos e innumerables y
precipitándose en remolinos hacia el este con rapidez que jamás asume el
agua, excepto en caídas torrenciales.

En algunos minutos presentóse un cambio radical en la escena. La
superficie general se niveló algo más, desaparecieron los remolinos uno
a uno, mientras se marcaban rayas prodigiosas de espuma donde nada se
veía un momento antes. Estas rayas al fin, extendiéndose a gran
distancia, entraron a su vez en el movimiento giratorio de los remolinos
desaparecidos y formaron la base de un vórtice mucho más vasto.
Súbitamente, muy de súbito, todo aquello tomó vida definitiva y distinta
en un circuito de más de una milla de diámetro. El extremo del remolino
se marcaba por una ancha faja de brillante espuma; pero ni una sola
partícula se deslizaba entre las fauces del terrorífico cañón: cuyo
interior, hasta donde la mirada podía sondear, era un muro de agua,
liso, negro y brillante, inclinándose sobre el horizonte en un ángulo de
cuarenta y cinco grados más o menos, girando vertiginosamente en redondo
con movimiento ondulatorio y circular, y lanzando a los aires una voz
pavorosa mitad alarido mitad bramido, tal, que ni la potente catarata
del Niágara levanta jamás al cielo en su agonía.

La montaña temblaba hasta su base, y la roca se bamboleaba. Me arrojé de
cara contra el suelo sujetándome de las escasas hierbas, en el exceso de
mi agitación nerviosa.

"Esto," dije al cabo al anciano, "esto _no puede_ ser otra cosa que el
gran remolino del Maelström."

"Así le llaman a veces," respondió él. "Nosotros los noruegos le
llamamos Móskoe-ström, por la isla que está a mitad de su camino."

Los relatos ordinarios respecto de este vórtice no me habían preparado a
lo que presenciaba. El de Jonás Ramus, quizá

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IV.
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