The Complete Fairy Tales & Other Stories
By Hans Christian Andersen - online book

Oxford Complete Illustrated Edition all his stories written between 1835 and 1872.

Home Main Menu Order Support About Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

One let his pinions glide over the strings of the golden harp, and it resounded through the North : Norway's mountains seemed to rise higher in the sunlight of former days ; there was a rustling among the pine trees and the birches ; the gods of the North, the heroes, and the noble women showed themselves in the dark forest depths.
We have seen a swan beat with his wings upon the marble crag, so that it burst, and the forms of beauty imprisoned in the stone stepped out to the sunny day, and men in the lands round about lifted up their heads to behold these mighty forms.
We have seen a third swan spinning the thread of thought that is fastened from country to country round the world, so that the word may fly with lightning speed from land to land.
And our Lord loves the old swan's nest between the Baltic and the Northern Sea. And when the mighty birds come soaring through the air to destroy it, even the callow young stand round in a circle on the margin of the nest, and though their breasts may be struck so that their blood flows, they bear it, and strike with their wings and their claws.
Centuries will pass by, swans will fly forth from the nest, men will see them and hear them in the world, before it shall be said in spirit and in truth/ This is the last swan— the last song from the swan's nest.'
My father left me the best inheritance ; to wit—good humour. And who was my father ? Why, that has nothing to do with the humour. He was lively and stout, round and fat; and his outer and inner man were in direct contra­diction to his calling. And pray what was he by profession and calling in civil society ? Ah, if this were to be written down and printed in the very beginning of a book, it is probable that many when they read it would lay the book aside, and say, ' It looks so uncomfortable ; I don't like anything of that sort.' And yet my father was neither