Informational Site NetworkInformational Site Network
Privacy
 


Lake Of The Dismal Swamp






Category: LIGHTS AND SHADOWS OF THE SOUTH

Source: Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land

Drummond's Pond, or the Lake of the Dismal Swamp, is a dark and lonely
tarn that lies in the centre of this noted Virginia morass. It is, in a
century-old tradition, the Styx of two unhappy ghosts that await the end
of time to pass its confines and enjoy the sunshine of serener worlds. A
young woman of a family that had settled near this marsh died of a fever
caused by its malarial exhalations, and was buried near the swamp. The
young man to whom she was betrothed felt her loss so keenly that for days
he neither ate nor slept, and at last broke down in mind and body. He
recovered a measure of physical health, after a time, but his reason was
hopelessly lost.

It was his hallucination that the girl was not dead, but had been exiled
to the lonely reaches of this watery wilderness. He was heard to mutter,
I'll find her, and when Death comes I'll hide her in the hollow of a
cypress until he passes on. Evading restraint, he plunged into the fen,
and for some days he wandered there, eating berries, sleeping on tussocks
of grass, with water-snakes crawling over him and poisonous plants
shedding their baneful dew on his flesh. He came to the lake at last. A
will-o'the-wisp played along the surface. 'Tis she! he cried. I see
her, standing in the light. Hastily fashioning a raft of cypress boughs
he floated it and pushed toward the centre of the pond, but the eagerness
of his efforts and the rising of a wind dismembered the frail platform,
and he fell into the black water to rise no more. But often, in the
night, is seen the wraith of a canoe, with a fire-fly lamp burning on its
prow, restlessly urged to and fro by two figures that seem to be vainly
searching for an exit from the place, and that are believed to be those
of the maiden and her lover.





Next: The Barge Of Defeat

Previous: Spooks Of The Hiawassee



Add to del.icio.us Add to Reddit Add to Digg Add to Del.icio.us Add to Google Add to Twitter Add to Stumble Upon
Add to Informational Site Network
Report
Privacy
SHAREADD TO EBOOK


Viewed 1376