WALDEMAR DAA AND HIS DAUGHTERS 647
three ! Whose lambkins will they one day become ? thought I; their Street-goat will be a gallant knight, perhaps a Prince. Huh—sh ! hurry along ! hurry along !
' Yes, the carriage rolled on with them, and the peasant people resumed their dancing. They rode that summer through all the villages round about. But 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 all—there is nothing new in that.
' Waldemar Daa stood for a space silent and thoughtful. " The proudest tree can be bowed without being broken," said a voice within him. His daughters wept, and all the people in the mansion wiped their eyes ; but Lady Daa had driven away—and I drove away too, and rushed along, huh—sh ! ' said the Wind.
I returned again ; I often returned again over the Island of Fyen and the shores of the Belt, and I sat down by Borreby, by the splendid oak wood ; there the heron made his nest, and wood-pigeons haunted the place, and blue ravens, and even the black stork. It was still spring ; some of them were yet sitting on their eggs, others had already hatched their young. But how they flew up, how they cried ! The axe sounded, blow upon blow : the wood was to be felled. Waldemar Daa wanted to build a noble ship, a man-of-war, a three-decker, which the King would be sure to buy ; and therefore the wood must be felled, the landmark of the seamen, the refuge of the birds. The 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 anger : I could well understand how they felt. Crows and jackdaws croaked aloud as if in scorn. " From the nest ! from the nest, far, far ! ' ' Far in the interior of the wood, where the swarm of labourers were working, stood Waldemar Daa and his three daughters ; and all laughed at the wild cries of the birds ; only one, the youngest, Anna Dorothea, felt grieved in her heart; and 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