Dagon

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DAGON
By H. P. Lovecraft
Went by Cascadia

 

Ic am writing þiss wiþ a heafy weiht on my mind, for by toniht ic scall be no more. Penniless, and at þe end of my stock of þe lib hwic alone, makes life þolenly, ic can bear þe tintrey no longer; and scall þrow myself from þiss hihe eyedoor into þe filþy street beneaþ. Þink not from my þewdom to poppy tears þat ic am a woakling or abroþen. Hwen þu hast read þese cwickly written leafs þu maist faþom, þauh nefer fully, hwy it is þat ic must haf foryetfulness or deaþ.

It was in one of þe openest and emptiest deals of þe broad Eastern Sea þat þe errandscip of hwic ic was master fell to þe Garman seareafer. Þe great wye was þen riht at its beginning, and þe Huns seamen had not fully sunk to hir later hoad; so þat ure scip was made harfee, hwiles we of her team were handelled wiþ all þe fairness and keeping owed us as hafts at sea. So soft, indeed, were þe hafters, þat fife days after we were fanged ic atwinded alone in a small boat wiþ food and water for a good lengþ of time.

Hwen ic fund myself adrift and free, ic had but littel cnowlecg of my umbstandness. Nefer a fit wayfarer, ic cud only faþom mirkily by þe sun and stars þat ic was sumhwat suþe of þe efener. Of þe breadþ ic cnew noþing, and no iland or score was in siht. Þe weaþer kept fair, and for untaled days ic drifted listlessly beneaþ þe searing sun; biding iþer for sum scip to cum, or to be þrown on þe scores of sum lifenly land. But niþer scip nor land atewed, and ic began to sorrow in my loneliness on þe heafing endlessness of unbroken hewn.

Þe wend befell hwiles ic slept. Its small marks ic scall nefer cnow; for my slumber, þauh moodsick and swefened, was unbroken. Hwen at last ic awoke, it was to find myself half suckt into a slimy span of hellisc black wose hwic strauht abute me in ilksum wafes as far as ic cud see, and in hwic my boat lay grunded at sum farl.

Þauh man miht well faþom þat my first feeling wud be of wunder at so great and unforeseen a wend, ic was in sooþ more breed þan amased; for þere was in þe lift and in þe rotting loam an efil feeling hwic cilled me to þe bone. Þe land was addel wiþ þe bodies of brosening fisc, and of oþer less reccenly þings hwic ic saw rising from þe fule mud of þe unending emnet. Maybe ic scud not hope to tee in but words þe untellenly dreadfulness þat can dwell in trew stillness and weast endlessness. Þere was noþing wiþin hearing, and noþing in siht but for a wide reac of black slime; yet þe fullness of þe stillness and þe ilkness of þe land onsat me wiþ a latsum fear.

Þe sun was blasing dune from a heafen hwic looked to me almost black in its cludeless reeþness; as þauh glassing þe rafen marsc beneaþ my feet. As ic crept into þe stranded boat ic came to see þat only one þouht cud rec. Þruhe sum nefer before seen firy upheafing, a deal of þe seafloor must haf been þrown to þe top, unheeling lands hwic for untaled þusands on þusands of years had lain hidden under unfaþomenly watery depþs. So great was þe span of þe new land hwic had risen beneaþ me, þat ic cud not hear þe softest lude of þe heafing sea, strec mine ears as ic miht. Nor were þere any seafule to eat þe dead þings.

For many stunds ic sat þinking or brooding in þe boat, hwic lay on its side and aforded a sliht scade as þe sun scroþe þwares þe heafens. As þe day went on, þe grund lost sum of its stickiness, and looked likely to dry enuff for a fare in a scort time. Þat niht ic slept but littel, and þe next day ic made for myself a bindel holding food and water, ready for an oferland fare seecing þe swinded sea and mihtly nearing.

On þe þird morning ic fund þe earþ dry enuff to walk on wiþ eaþ. Þe stenc of þe fisc was maddening; but ic was too muc worried wiþ heafier þings to mind so sliht an efil, and set ute boldly for an uncnown goal. All day ic steadily made way westward, wised by a farlen hillock hwic rose hiher þan any oþer swell on þe endless weast. Þat niht ic slept, and on þe following day still fared on toward þe hillock, þauh þat þing felt hardly nearer þan hwen ic had first sihted it. By þe forþ efening ic rauht þe bottom of þe rise, hwic was muc hiher þan it had looked from afar; a betwixtset deen setting it ute in scarper standing from þe mean bred. Too weary to climb, ic slept in þe scadow of þe hill.

Ic cnow not hwy my swefens were so wild þat niht; but ere þe near full, yet waning moon had risen far abuf þe eastern wong, ic was awake in a cold sweat, ceosen to sleep no more. Suc meetings as had befallen me were too muc for me to þole ayen. And in þe moons glow ic saw hu unwise ic had been to fare by day. Wiþute þe blasing sun, my fare wud haf nimmen less of my miht; indeed, ic nu felt raþer fit to make þe climb hwic had elded me at sunset. Picking up my bindel, ic began for þe hihþs cop.

Ic haf said þat þe unbroken ilkness of þe endless emnet was a spring of mirky brow to me; but ic þink my brow was greater hwen ic rauht þe hills cop and looked dune þe oþer side into an unmetenly pit or deen, hwose black depþs þe moon had not yet soared hihe enuff to liht. Ic felt myself on þe ecg of þe world; staring ofer þe rim into a faþomless dwolm of endless niht. Þruhe my fear ran ferly aminds of Nerxenwong Lost, and of Satans atel climb þruhe þe unmade lands of darkness.

As þe moon clamb hiher in þe heafen, ic began to see þat þe slopes of þe deen were slihtly less steep þan ic had faþomed. Lecges and utecroppings of stone aforded fairly eaþ footholds for a fare dune, hwiles after a drop of a few hundred feet, þe slope became mihty liþe. Scied on by a swincg hwic ic cannot trewly rec, ic crept wiþ hardscip dune þe stones and stood on þe lesser slope beneaþ, staring into þe hellisc deeps hwere no liht had yet bored.

At ones my heed was fanged by a great and mihty þing on þe wiþer slope, hwic rose steeply abute a hundred yards ahead of me; a þing þat gleamed hwitely in þe newly bestowed beams of þe rising moon. Þat it was but an ettinisc bit of stone, ic soon told myself; but ic was aware of a sundry feeling þat its scape and standing were not altogeþer þe work of Kind. A niher look filled me wiþ feelings ic cannot rec; for its greatness notwiþstanding, and its standing in a newelness hwic had yawned at þe seas bottom siþ þe world was yong, ic saw beyond twee þat þe ferly þing was a wellscaped standing stone hwo had cnown þe workmanscip and maybe þe worscip of lifing and þinking wihts.

Mased and frihtened, yet not wiþute a sundry þrill of þe witscippers glee, ic howed my umbstandness niher. Þe moon, nu near its hihest ord, scone ferly and brihtly abuf þe tall steeps þat hemmed in þe dwolm, and unheeled þat a farflung water body flowed at þe bottom, winding ute of siht in bo ways, and almost lapping my feet as ic stood on þe slope. Þwares þe dwolm, þe wafocks wasced þe bottom of þe ruffhewn stone; on hwose bred ic cud nu rine bo carfings and ruff graftings. Þe writing was in begriprunes uncnown to me, and unlike anyþing ic had efer seen in books; made up mostly of tokens of þe sea suc as fisces, eels, prekes, clams, hwales, and þe like. Sundry hoads suttelly betokened þings of þe sea hwic sind uncnown to þe latter day, but hwose rotting scapes ic had seen on þe risen seafloor.

It was þe great carfings, huefer, þat did most to hold me under hir spell. Suttelly seenly þwares þe betwixtset water for hir ettinisc great, were a set of scallow carfings hwose hoads wud haf hwetted þe ond of a Doré. Ic þink þat þese þings were meant to token men—at least, a kind of men; þauh þe wihts were scown swimming like fisces in þe waters of sum undersea scrafe, or worscipping at sum great scrine hwic looked to be under þe wafes as well. Of hir anlets and scapes ic dare not speak too muc; for but þe amind makes me grow wan. Atel beyond þe faþoming of a Poe or a Bulwer, hy were eyfully manlike in hir uteline, webbed hands and feet notwiþstanding, wide and clammy lips, great, glassy eyes, and oþer marks less kind to mimmer. Ferly enuff, hy looked to haf been ciselled badly ute of standing wiþ hir backgrund; for one of þe wihts was scown slaying a hwale scown as but littel greater þan himself. Ic heeded, as ic say, hir atelness and ferly great; but in an eyeblink ceose þat hy were but þe faþomed gods of sum form fiscing or seafaring þeed; sum þeed hwose last efer had swelted elds before þe first forebear of þe Piltdune or Neanderþal man was born. Eystruck at þiss unforeseen look into a yore beyond þe faþoming of þe most daring manlorer, ic stood þinking hwiles þe moon þrew ferly glasses on þe still fleet before me.

Þen at ones ic saw it. Wiþ only a sliht cerning to mark its rise to þe top, þe þing slid into siht abuf þe dark waters. Great, ettinisc, and loaþsum, it flew like a great fifel of nihtmares to þe stone, abute hwic it þrew its ettinisc scaly arms, þe hwile it bued its atel head and let free into þe lift sundry ludes. Ic þink ic went mad þen.

Of my mad climb of þe slope and cliff, and of my wild fare back to þe stranded boat, ic mimmer littel. Ic beleef ic sang a great deal, and laffed ferly hwen ic cud no longer. Ic haf unsuttel aminds of a great storm sum time after ic rauht þe boat; anyhu, ic cnow þat ic heard ringing þunder and oþer ludes hwic Kind speaks only in her wildest moods.

Hwen ic came ute of þe scadows ic was in a San Fransisko sickhuse; brouht þiþer by þe sciplord of þe Americkisc scip hwic had pickt up my boat in midsea. In my madness ic had said muc, but fund þat my words had been yeafen littel heed. Of any land upheafing in þe Eastern Sea, my nearers cnew noþing; nor did ic deem it needful to hold on a þing hwic ic cnew hy cud not beleef. Ones ic souht ute a mear manlorer, and nayed him wiþ ferly frains abute þe fern Filistine tale of Dagon, þe Fisc God; but soon seeing þat he was hopelessly mean, ic did not hold steadfast my asks.

It is at niht, hure hwen þe moon is near full yet waning, þat ic see þe þing. Ic fanded poppy tears; but þe lib has yeafen only henward liss, and has drawn me into its claws as a hopeless þew. So nu ic am to end it all, hafing written a full rake for þe cnowlecg or þe hateful win of mine own kind. Often ic ask myself if it cud not all haf been but a dwimmer—but a riþswefen as ic lay sunstricken and mad in þe open boat after atwinding þe Garman scip. Þiss ic ask myself, but efer cummeþ þere before me an atelly briht meeting in answer. Ic cannot þink of þe deep sea wiþute scuddering at þe nameless þings þat may efen nu be creeping and flopping on its slimy bed, worscipping hir fern stone dwalegods and carfing hir own hateful likenesses on undersea steepels of watersoaked cornstone. Ic swefen of a day hwen hy may rise abuf þe wafes to draw dune in hir reeking claws þe lafe of tiny, wyebroken mankind—of a day hwen þe land scall sink, and þe dark seafloor scall rise amids eyful dwolm.

Þe end is near. I hear a lude at þe door, as of sum great slipper body hitting ayens it. It scall not find me. God, þat hand! Þe eyedoor! Þe eyedoor!