Mardi ; and, A Voyage Thither, by Herman Melville

Chapter 14

Taji Receives Tidings And Omens

Slowly sailing on, we were overtaken by a shallop; whose inmates grappling to the side of Media’s, said they came from Borabolla.

Dismal tidings! — My faithful follower’s death.

Absent over night, that morning early, he had been discovered lifeless in the woods, three arrows in his heart. And the three pale strangers were nowhere to be found. But a fleet canoe was missing from the beach.

Slain for me! my soul sobbed out. Nor yet appeased Aleema’s manes; nor yet seemed sated the avengers’ malice; who, doubtless, were on my track.

But I turned; and instantly the three canoes had been reversed; and full soon, Jarl’s dead hand in mine, had not Media interposed.

“To death, your presence will not bring life back.”

“And we must on,” said Babbalanja. “We seek the living, not the dead.”

Thus they overruled me; and Borabolla’s messengers departed.

Soon evening came, and in its shades, three shadows — Hautia’s heralds.

Their shallop glided near.

A leaf tri-foiled was first presented; then another, arrow-shaped.

Said Yoomy, “Still I swiftly follow, behind revenge.”

Then were showered faded, pallid daffodils.

Said Yoomy, “Thy hopes are blighted all.”

“Not dead, but living with the life of life. Sirens! I heed ye not.”

They would have showered more flowers; but crowding sail we left them.

Much converse followed. Then, beneath the canopy all sought repose. And ere long slouched sleep drew nigh, tending dreams innumerable; silent dotting all the downs a shepherd with his flock.

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Last updated Monday, March 17, 2014 at 17:11