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WHEN the wind sweeps across the grass the field has a ripple like a pondand when it sweeps across the corn the field waves to and fro like a sea That is called the wind's dancebut hear it tell storiesit sings them outand how different it sounds in the treetops in the forestand throught the loopholes and clefts and cracks in wallsDo you see how the wind drives the clouds up yonderlike a flock of sheep Do you hear how the wind howls do here through the open gate like a watchman blowin his horn With wonderful tones he whistles and screams down the chimney and into the fireplace The fire crackles and flares up and shines far into the room and the little place is warm and snug and it is pleasant to sit there listening to the soundsLet the Wind speakfor he knows plenty of stories and fairy talesmany more than are known to any of usJust hear what the Wind can tell

Huhuhush Roar along!” That is the burden of the song

By the shores of the Great Belt lies an old mansion with thick red walls says the Wind.“I know every stone in it I saw it when it still belonged to the castle of Marsk Stig on the promontory But it had to be pulled down and the stone was used again for the walls of a new mansion in another placethe baronial mansion Borreby which still stands by the coast

I knew them the noble lords and ladiesthe changing races that dwelt there and now I'm going to tell about Waldemar Daa and his daughters How proudly he carried himselfhe was of royal blood He could do more than merely hunt the stag and empty the winecan

It shall be done’he was accustomed to say

His wife walked proudly in gold-embroidered garments over the polished marble floorsThe tapestries were gorgeous the furniture was expensive and artistically carved She had brought gold and silver plate with her into the houseand there was German beer in the cellar Black fiery horses neighed in the stablesThere was a wealthy look about the house of Borreby at that time when wealth was still at home there

Children dwelt there alsothree dainty maidensIdaJoannaand Anna DorotheaI have never forgotten their names.”

They were rich peoplenoble peopleborn in affluence nurtured in affluence

Huhsh Roar along!”sang the Windand then he continued

I did not see hereas in other great noble housesthe high-born lady sitting among her women in the great hall turning the spinningwheel she played on the soundin lute and sang to the sound but not always old Danish melodies but songs of a strange landHere was life and hospitalitydistinguished guests came from far and nearthe music sounded the goblets clashedand I was not able to drown the noise said the Wind.“Ostentation and haughtiness and splendour and displayand rule were therebut the fear of the Lord was not there.”

And it was just on the evening of the first day of May,”the Wind continued.“I came from the west and had seen how the ships were being crushed by the waveson the west coast of Jutland I had hurried across the heath and the woodgirt coast and over the Island of Fyen and now I drove over the Great Belt groaning and sighing

Then I lay down to rest on the shore of Zealand in the neighbourhood of the great house of Borreby where the torest the splendid oak forest still rose

The young men-servants of the neighbourhood were collecting branches and brushwood under the oak trees the largest and driest they could find they carried into the village and piled them up in a heapand set them on fireand men and maids dancedsinging in a circle round the blazing pile

I lay quite quiet,”continued the Wind;“but I quietly touched a branch which had been brought by the handsomest of the menservants and the wood blazed up brightly blazed up higher than all the rest and now he was the chosen one and bore the name of Streetgoatand might choose his Street-lamb first from among the maidsand there was mirth and rejoicinggreater than there was in the rich mansion of Borreby

And the noble lady drove towards the mansionwith her three daughters in a gilded carriage drawn by six horsesThe daughters were young and fairthree charming blossomsroselily and pale hyacinthThe mother was a proud tulip and never acknowledged the salutation of one of the men or maids who paused in their sport to do her honourthe gracious lady seemed a flower that was rather stiff in the stalk

Roselilyand pale hyacinthyes I saw them all three Whose lambkins will they one day become?”thought Itheir Streetgoat will be a gallant knightperhaps a PrinceHuh-shHurry alongHurry along

Yesthe carriage rolled on with themand the peasant people resumed their dancing They rode that summer through all the villages round aboutBut in the night when I rose again,”said the Wind,“the very noble lady lay down to rise again no more that thing came upon her which comes upon allthere is nothing new in that

Waldemar Daaa stood for a space silent and thoughtful.‘The proudest tree can be bowed without being broken'said a voice within himHis daughters wept and all the people in the mansion wiped their eyesbut Lady Daa had driven awayand I drove away too and rushed along huhsh!” said the Wind

I returned againI often returned again over the Is-land of Fyen and the shores of the Belt and I sat down by Borrebyby the splendid oak woodthere the heron made his nest and woodpigeons haunted the place and blue ravens and even the black storkIt was still springsome of them were yet sitting on their eggsothers had already hatched their young

But how they flew up how they cried The axe soundedblow upon blow the wood was to be felledWaldemar Daa wanted to build a noble shipa man-of-war a three-decker which the King would be sure to buyand therefore the wood must be felled the landmark of the seamen the refuge of the birdsThe hawk started up and flew away for its nest was destroyed the heron and all the birds of the forest became homeless and flew about in fear and in angerI could well understand how they feltCrows and jackdaws croaked aloud as if in scorn.“From the nestFrom the nestfarfar!”

Far in the interior of the wood where the swarm of labourers were workingstood Waldemar Daa and his three daughters and all laughed at the wild cries of the birdsonly onethe youngestAnna Dorotheafelt grieved in her heartand when they made preparations to fell a tree that was almost dead and on whose naked branches the black stork had built his nest whence the little storks were stretching out their heads she begged for mercy for the little thingsand tears cameinto her eyes Therefore the tree with the black stork's nest was left standingThe tree was not worth speaking of

There was a great hewing and sawing and a three-decker was built The architect was of low origin but of great pride his eyes and forehead told how clever he wasand Waldemar Daa was fond of listening to him and so was Waldemar's daughter Ida the eldestwho was now fifteen years old and while he built a ship for the fatherhe was building for himself a castle in the air into which he and Ida were to go as a married couplewhich might indeed have happened if the castle had been of stone wallsand ramparts and moats with forest and gardenBut in spite of his wise head the architect remained but a poor birdand indeedwhat business has a sparrow to take part in a dance of cranes Huhsh I careered awayand he careered away too for he was not allowed to stayand little Ida got over itbecause she was obliged to get over it

The proud black horses were neighing in the stablethey were worth looking at and they were looked at The admiralwho had been sent by the King himself to inspect the new ship and take measures for its purchase spoke loudly in admiration of the beautiful horses

I heard all that,”said the Wind.“I accompanied the gentlemen through the open door and strewed blades of straw like bars of gold before their feet Waldemar Daa wanted to have gold and the admiral wished for the black horses and that is why he praised them so much but the hint was not taken and consequently the ship was not boughtIt remained on the shore covered over with boards a Noah’ s ark that never got to the waterHuh-sh Rush awayAway!—And that was a pity

In the winter when the fields were covered with snow and the water with large blocks of ice that I blew up on to the coast continued the Wind,“crows and ravens cameall as black as might begreat flocks of them and alighted on the dead desertedlonely ship by the shore and croaked in hoarse accents of the wood that was no moreof the many pretty birds ‘nests destroyedand the old and young ones left without a homeand all for the sake of that great bit of lumberthat proud ship that never sailed forth

I made the snowflakes whirl and the snow lay like great waves high around the ship and drifted over itI let it hear my voicethat it might know what a storm has to say Certainly I did my part towards teaching it seamanshipHuhsh Push along

And the winter passed awaywinter and summerboth passed away and they are still passing away even as I pass awayas the snow whirls along and the appleblossom whirls along and the leaves fallAway AwayAway!—And men are passing away too

But the daughters were still youngand little Ida was a rose as fair to look upon as on the day when the architect saw herI often seized her long brown hairwhen she stood in the garden by the appletree musingand not heeding how I strewed blossoms on her hairand loosened itwhile she was gazing at the red sun and the golden sky through the dark underwood and the trees of the garden

Her sister was bright and slender as a lily Joanna had height and stateliness but was like her motherrather stiff in the stalkShe was very fond of walking through the great hall where hung the portraits of her ancestorsThe women painted in dresses of silk and velvetwith a tiny little hat embroidered with pearlson their plaited hairThey were handsome womenTheir husbands were in steel or in costly cloaks lined with squirrel's skinthey wore little ruffsand swords at their sides but not buckled to their hipsWhere would Joanna's picture find its place on that wall some day and how would he look her noble lord and husband This is what she thought ofand of this she spoke softly to herself I heard it as I swept into the long hall and turned round to come out again

Anna Dorotheathe pale hyacintha child of fourteenwas quiet and thoughtful her great deepblue eyes had a musing look but the childlike smile still played around her lipsI was not able to blow it away nor did I wish to do so

We met in the garden in the hollow lane in the field and meadow she gathered herbs and flowers which she knew would be useful to her father in concocting the drinks and drops he distilled Waldemar Daa was arrogant and proud but he was also a learned man and knew a great dealThat was no secret and mp opinions were expressed concerning itIn his chimney there was fire even in summertime He would lock the door of his roomand for days the fire would be poked and rakedbut of this he did not talk muchthe forces of nature must be conquered in silenceand soon he would discover the art of making the best thing of allthe red gold

That is why the chimney was always smoking there-fore the flames crackled so frequently Yes I was there too said the Wind.‘Let it go,’I sang down through the chimney:‘It will end in smoke air coals and ashes You will burn yourselfHu-uhushDrive awayDrive away’But Waldemar Daa did not drive it away

The splendid black horses in the stablewhat became of themWhat became of the old gold and silver vessels in cupboards and chests the cows in the fields and the houses and home itself Yes they may meltmay melt in the golden crucibleand yet yield no gold

Empty grew the barns and store-roomsthe cellars and magazinesThe servants decreasedand the mice multipliedThen a window brokeand then anotherand I could get in elsewhere besides at the door,”said the Wind.‘Where the chimney smokes the meal is being cookedthe proverb says.]But here the chimney smoked that devoured all the mealsfor the sake of the red gold

I blew through the courtyard gate like a watchman blowing his horn,”the Wind went on,“but no watchman was thereI twirled the weathercock round the summit of the towerand it creaked like the snoring of the warderbut no warder was thereonly mice and rats were therePoverty laid the table-clothpoverty sat in the wardrobe and in the larderthe door fell off its hingescracks and fissures made their appearanceand I went in and out at pleasureand that is how I know all about it

Amid smoke and ashesamid sorrow and sleepless nightsthe hair became greyin his beard and around his templeshis skin turned pale and yellowas his eyes looked greedily for the goldthe desired gold

I blew the smoke and ashes into his face and bearddebt came instead of goldI sang through the broken window-panes and the yawning clefts in the wallsI blew into the chests of drawers belonging to the daughterswherein lay the clothes that had become faded and threadbare form being worn over and over againThat was not the song that had been sung at the children's cradleThe lordly life had changed to a life of penurpI was the only one who sang aloud in that castle,”said the Wind.“I snowed them upand they say snow keeps people warmThey had no woodand the forest from which they might have brought it was cut downIt was a biting frostI rushed in thrugh loopholes and passagesover gables and roofsthat I might be briskThey were lying in bed because of the coldthe three high-born daughtersand their father was crouching under his leathern coverletNothing to bitenothing to burnthere was a life for high-borm peopleHuh-shlet it go!”

But that is what my Lord Daa could not dohe could not let it go

“‘After winter comes spring,’he said.‘After wantgood times will comebut they must be waited forNow my house and lands are mortgagedit is indeed high timeand the gold will soon comeAt Easter!’

I heard how he spoke thuslooking at a spider's web.‘The diligent little weaverthou dost teach me per-severanceLet them tear they weband thou wilt begin it again and complete itLet them destroy it againand thou wilt resolutely begin to work againagainThat is what we must doand that will repay itself at last.’

It was the morning of Easter-dayThe bells and the sun seemed to rejoice in the skyThe master had watched through the night in feverish excitementand had been melting and coolingdistilling and mixtingI heard him sighing like a soul in despairI heard him prayingand I noticed how he held his breathThe lamp was burned outbut he did not notice itI blew at the fire of coalsand it threw its red glow upon his ghastly white facelighting it up with a glareand his sunken eyes looked forth wildly out of their deep socketsbut they became larger and largeras though they would burst

Look at the alchemic glassIt glows in the cruciblered-hotand pure and heavyHe lifted it with a trembling handand cried with a trembling voice,‘Goldgold!’

He was quite dizzyI could have blown him down”,said the Wind;“ but I only fanned the glowing coalsand accompanied him through the door to where his daughters sat shiveringHis coat was powdered with ashesand there were ashes in his beard and in his tangled hairHe stood straight upand held his costly treasure on highin the brittle glass.‘Foundfound!—Goldgold’he shoutedand again held aloft the glass to let it flash in the sunshinebut his hand trembledand the alchemic glass fell clattering to the groundand broke into a thousand piecesand the last bubble of his happiness had burstHu-uh-ushrushing awayand I rushed away from the gold-maker's house

Late in autumnwhen the days are shortand the mist comes and strews clod drops upon the berries and leafless branchesI came back in fresh spiritsrushed through the airswept the sky clearand snapped the dry twigswhich is certainly no great labourbut yet it must be doneThen there was another kind of sweeping clean at Waldemar Daa'sin the mansion of BorrebyHis enemyOve Ramelof Basnaswas there with the mortgage of the house and everything it contained in his pocketI drummed against the broken window-panesbeat against the old rotten doorsand whistled through cracks and riftshuh-shOve Ramel was not to be encouraged to stay thereIda and Anna Dorothea wept bitterlyJoanna stood pale and proudand bit her thumb till it bledbut what could that availOve Ramel offered to allow Walde-mar Daa to remain in the mansion till the end of his lifebut no thanks were given him for his offerI listened to hear what occurredI saw the ruined gentleman lift his head and throw it back prouder than everand I rushed against the house and the old lime trees with such forcethat one of the thickest branches brokeone that was not decayedand the branch remained lying at the entrance as a broom when any one wanted to sweep the place outand a grand sweeping out there wasI thought it would be so

It was hard on that day to preserve one's composurebut their will was as hard as their fortune

There was nothing they could call their own except the clothes they woreyesthere was one thing more the alchemist's glassa new one that had lately been boughtand filled with what had been gathered up from the groundthe treasure which promised so much but never kept its promiseWaldemar Daa hid the glass in his bosomand taking his stick in his handthe once rich gentleman passed with his daughters out of the house of BorrebyI blew cold upon his heated cheeksI stroked his grey beard and his long white hairand I sang as well as I could,—‘Huh-shGone awayGone away!’And that was the end of the wealth and splendour

Ida walked on one side of the old manand Anna Dorothea on the otherJoanna turned round at the entrancewhyFortune would not turn because she did soShe looked at the old walls of what had once been the castle of Marsk Stigand perhaps she thought of his daughters

The eldest gave the youngest her hand

And forth they went to the far-off land

Was she thinking of this old songHere were three of themand their father was with them tooThey walked along the road on which they had once driven in their splendid carriagethey walked forth as beggarswith their fatherand wandered out into the open fieldand into a mud hutwhich they rented for ten marks a year into their new house with the empty rooms and empty vesselsCrows and jackdaws fluttered above themand criedas if in contempt,‘From the nestFrom the nestfarfar’as they had done in the wood at Borreby when the trees were felled

Daa and his daughters could not help hearing itI blew about their ears for what use would it be that they should listen

And they went to live in the mud hut on the open fieldand I wandered away over moor and fieldthrough bare bushes and leafless foreststo the open watersto other landshuh-uh-ushawayaway!—year after year!”

And how did Waldemar Daa and his daughters pros-perThe Wind tells us

The one I saw lastyesfor the last timewas Anna Dorotheathe pale hyacinththen she was old and bentfor it was fifty years afterwardsShe lived longer than the restshe knew all

Yonder on the heathby the town of Wiborgstood the fine new house of the Deanbuilt of red bricks with projecting gablesthe smoke came up thickly from the chimneyThe Dean's gentle lady and her beautiful daughters sat in the bay windowand looked over the hawthorn hedge of the garden towards the brown heathWhat were they looking atThey looked on the stork's nest out thereon the hutwhich was almost falling inthe roof consisted of moss and houseleekin so far as a roof existed there at allthe stork's nest covered the greater part of itand that alone was in proper conditionfor it was kept in order by the stork himself

That is a house to be looked atbut not to be touchedI must deal gently with it,”said the Wind.“For the sake of the stork's nest the hut has been allowed to standthough it was a blot upon the landscapeThey did not like to drive the stork awaytherefore the old shed was left standingand the poor woman who dwelt in it was allowed to stayshe had the Egyptian bird to thank for thator was it perchance her rewardbecause she had once interceded for the nest of its black brother in the forest of BorrebyAt that time shethe poor womanwas a young childa pale hyacinth in the rich gardenShe remembered all that right welldid Anna Dorothea

“‘Ohoh!’Yespeople can sigh like the wind moaning in the rushes and reeds.‘Ohoh!’she sighed,‘no bells sounded at they burialWaldemar DaaThe poor schoolboys did not even sing a psalm when the former lord of Borreby was laid in the earth to restOheverything has an endeven miserySister Ida became the wife of a peasantThat was the hardest trial that befell our fatherthat the husband of a daughter of his should be a miserable serfwhom the proprietor could mount on the wooden horse for punishmentI suppose he is under the ground nowAnd thouIdaAlasalasIt is not ended yetwretch that I amGrant me that I may diekind Heaven

That was Anna Dorothea's prayer in the wretched hut which was left standing for the sake of the stork

I took pity on the fairest of the sisters,”said the Wind.“Her courage was like that of a manand in man's clothes she took service as a sailor on board a shipShe was sparing of wordsand of a dark countenancebut willing at her workBut she did not know how to limbso I blew her overboard before anybody found out that she was a womanand that was well done of me!”said the Wind

On such an Easter morning as that on which Waldemar Daa had fancied that he had found the red goldI heard the tones of a psalm under the stork's nestamong the crumbling wallsit was Anna Dorothea's last song

There was no windowonly a hole in the wallThe sun rose up like a mass of goldand looked throughWhat a splendour he diffusedHer eyes and her heart were breakingbut that they would have doneeven if the sun had not shone that morning on her

The stork covered her hut till her deathI sang at her grave!”said the Wind.“I sang at her father's graveI know where his grave isand where hers isand nobody else knows it

New timeschanged timesThe old high road now runs through cultivated fieldsthe new road winds among the trim ditchesand soon the railway will come with its train of carriagesand rush over the graves which are for-gotten like the nameshu-ushPassed awayPassed away

That is the story of Waldemar Daa and his daughtersTell it betterany of youif you know how,”said the Windand turned awayand he was gone



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