The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 3

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 75

more steadily than before, and--I
cannot speak calmly of this event--our hearts leaped up wildly within
us, and we poured out our whole souls in shouts and thanksgiving to
God for the complete, unexpected, and glorious deliverance that was so
palpably at hand. Of a sudden, and all at once, there came wafted over
the ocean from the strange vessel (which was now close upon us) a
smell, a stench, such as the whole world has no name for--no conception
of--hellish--utterly suffocating--insufferable, inconceivable. I gasped
for breath, and turning to my companions, perceived that they were paler
than marble. But we had now no time left for question or surmise--the
brig was within fifty feet of us, and it seemed to be her intention to
run under our counter, that we might board her without putting out a
boat. We rushed aft, when, suddenly, a wide yaw threw her off full five
or six points from the course she had been running, and, as she passed
under our stern at the distance of about twenty feet, we had a full view
of her decks. Shall I ever forget the triple horror of that spectacle?
Twenty-five or thirty human bodies, among whom were several females, lay
scattered about between the counter and the galley in the last and most
loathsome state of putrefaction. We plainly saw that not a soul lived in
that fated vessel! Yet we could not help shouting to the dead for help!
Yes, long and loudly did we beg, in the agony of the moment, that those
silent and disgusting images would stay for us, would not abandon us to
become like them, would receive us among their goodly company! We were
raving with horror and despair--thoroughly mad through the anguish of
our grievous disappointment.

As our first loud yell of terror broke forth, it was replied to by
something, from near the bowsprit of the stranger, so closely resembling
the scream of a human voice that the nicest ear might have been startled
and deceived. At this instant another sudden yaw brought the region of
the forecastle for a moment into view, and we beheld at once the origin
of the sound. We saw the tall stout figure still leaning on the bulwark,
and still nodding his head to and fro, but his face was now turned from
us so that we could not behold it. His arms were extended over the rail,
and the palms of his hands fell outward. His knees were lodged upon
a stout rope, tightly stretched, and reaching from the heel of the
bowsprit to a

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with The Masque of the Red Death

Page 0
This was an extensive and magnificent structure, the creation of the prince's own eccentric yet august taste.
Page 1
But in this chamber only, the colour of the windows failed to correspond with the decorations.
Page 2
The tastes of the duke were peculiar.
Page 3
But these other apartments were densely crowded, and in them beat feverishly the heart of life.
Page 4
It was in the blue room where stood the prince, with a group of pale courtiers by his side.
Page 5