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HIDDEN IS NOT FORGOTTEN

 

THEREwasonce an old manor-housewithmuddy ditches and a drawbridge which was more often up thandown fornot all guestswho comeare goodUnder the eaves were holes for shooting from and pouring boiling waterand even melted leaddown over the enemy if he cametoo near. Inside it was high to theraftersand that was goodforthe smoke which came from the hearthwhere the great damp logs lay There hung on the wallspicturesof men in armour and proud ladies in heavy clothesbut the stateliestofthem all was livinghere stillshewas called Metta Mogens shewas the lady of themanorOneeveningrobbers came there they killed three of her men and the watchdog besides and then theychained Lady Metta to the kennelwith the dogchain and sat themselves down in the hall and drank the wine from her cellarand all the good aleLady Metta stood chained up like a dogbutshecouldnot even bark

Then therobber's boycametoherhesneaked along quietly so that he might not be noticed otherwisethey would have killed him

"LadyMetta Mogens"said theboy"can you re- member when my father had toride on thewooden horse in your husband's time You begged mercy for him then but it had no effect he had to sit till he was crippledbut you slipped downasI donowandyou placed a lit tlestone under each of his feet so that he could get some ease No one saw it or they pretended not to you were the younggracious ladyMy father has toldmethisand Ihave kept it to myself buthave not forgotten it NowI will set you freeLady Metta Mogens"Then theytook horses from the stable and rode in rain and in wind andgot friendly help.

"Thatwasagoodreturn for the little bit of service to the old man" said Metta Mogens

"Hidden is not forgotten" said the boy

The robbers were hanged

There stood another old mansion it stands therestill it was not Lady Metta Mogens' it belonged toanother noble family

It is inourown days The sun shineson the gilt spireof the towerlittlewooded islands lie likebouquets on the water and round about them swim the wild swans

Roses grow in the garden The lady of the house is herselfthefinest roseleaf shining ingladness thegladness of gooddeeds not out in the wideworld but inwardly in the heart where they are hidden but not forgotten

She now goes from the house to an outlying cottage inthefields Init lives apoor painriddengirlThe window inthelittle roomlookedto the northand the sun did not come there she had onlya view over alittlebit of a field which is shut in by a high dyke But today thereis sunshineOurLord's lovely warm sun is inside

it comesfromthe souththrough the new window where there was only a wall before

The invalid sits in the warm sunshine sees thewoodand shore the world has become so big and so lovelyand that at a single word from the kind lady up at the house

"The wordwas so easy the service so small"says she"andthe joyI gained was unspeakably great and blessed!"

And so she does many good deeds thinks of all the poor people in the cottagesand in therich houses where there are alsoafflictedonesIt is concealed and hidden but it is not forgotten by our Lord

There was another old house it was in thegreat busytown In the house were rooms and hallsbut we will not go into them we will stay in the kitchen it issnug and bright there it is clean and neatThecopper thingsshine the table looks polished the sink is like anewlyscrubbed larding-board It has all been done byone maid-ofallwork and yet she has had time to dress herself as ifsheweregoingto church She has ribbonsin hercapblack ribbonsthat means mourningYet shehas no one to mourn for neither father nor mother neither relative nor sweetheartshe is a poor girlOnce shewas engaged to a poor young fellowtheythoughtmuch ofeach otherOne day he cametober"We two have noth- ing"said he"and the rich widow downstairs has spokenwarm words to me she will put me into agood positionbutyou are in myheartWhatdo youadvise me todo"

"Whatever you thinkis for your happiness" said the girl"Be good and kind to her but remember thatfrom the moment we part we two cannot see each otheragain"

And so some years passed then she met her former friendand sweethearton thestreethe looked illandmis- erablethen she could not forbearshe must ask"Howareyougetting on"

"Very well in every way" said he" My wife ishonest and goodbut you are in my heart Ihave foughtmy fight it willsoonbefinishedWe shall notseeeach other now until we meet in Heaven"A weekhas passed

Yesterday morning she read in the paper that he was dead that is why shewears mourning Her sweetheart isdead leaving a widow and threestepchildren the papersaid

The black ribbon betokens mourning the girl's facebetokens it still moreItis hiddin theheartbutwill never be forgotten

Seethere are three storiesthree leaves on one stalkDo you wish for more cloverleaves There are many in the bookof the hearthidden but not forgotten

 


 

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