Back Lafcadio Hearn

Lafcadio Hearn

1850–1904
Lafcadio Hearn c. 1882. (Public domain via Wikimedia Commons)

Major works:
Chita: A Memory of Last Island • In Ghostly JapanKwaidan • “The Soul of the Great Bell”

Excerpt from

Chita

Lafcadio Hearn

Day breaks through the flying wrack, over the infinite heaving of the sea, over the low land made vast with desolation. It is a spectral dawn: a wan light, like the light of a dying sun.
The wind has waned and veered; the flood sinks slowly back to its abysses—abandoning its plunder,—scattering its piteous waifs over bar and dune, over shoal and marsh, among the silences of the mango-swamps, over the long low reaches of sand-grasses and drowned weeds, for more than a hundred miles. From the shell-reefs of Pointe-au-Fer to the shallows of Pelto Bay the dead lie mingled with the high heaped drift;—from their cypress groves the vultures rise to dispute a share of the feast with the shrieking frigate-birds and squeaking gulls. And as the tremendous tide withdraws its plunging waters, all the pirates of air follow the great white-gleaming retreat: a storm of billowing wings and screaming throats.

Read a passage from Chita by Lafcadio Hearn
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