UNDER THE WILLOW TREE 473
and lonely. The world went its way, and Knud went his. •*
The winter came, and the streams were frozen. Everything seemed to be preparing for a burial. But when spring returned, and the first steamer was to start, a longing seized him to go away, far, far into the world, but not too near to France. So he packed his knapsack, and wandered far into the German land, from city to city, without rest or peace ; and it was not till he came to the glorious old city of Nuremberg that he could master his restless spirit ; and in Nuremberg, therefore, he decided to remain.
Nuremberg is a wonderful old city, and looks as if it were cut out of an old picture-book. The streets lie just as they please. The houses do not like standing in regular ranks. Gables with little towers, arabesques, and pillars, start out over the pathway, and from the strange peaked roofs water-spouts, formed like dragons or great slim dogs, extend far over the street.
Here in the market-place stood Knud, with his knapsack on his back. He stood by one of the old fountains that are adorned with splendid bronze figures, scriptural and historical, rising up between the gushing jets of water. A pretty servant-maid was just filling her pails, and she gave Knud a refreshing draught; and as her hand was full of roses, she gave him one of the flowers, and he accepted it as a good omen.
From the neighbouring church the strains of the organ were sounding : they seemed to him as familiar as the tones of the organ at home at Kjoge ; and he went into the great cathedral. The sunlight streamed in through the stained glass windows, between the lofty slender pillars. His spirit became prayerful, and peace returned to his soul.
And he sought and found a good master in Nuremberg, with whom he stayed, and learned the language.
The old moat round the town has been converted into a number of little kitchen gardens ; but the high walls are standing yet, with their heavy towers. The ropemaker twists his ropes on a gallery or walk built of wood, inside the town wall, where elder bushes grow out of the clefts and cracks, spreading their green twigs over the little low houses that stand below ; and in one of these dwelt the