A STORY FROM THE SAND-DUNES 739
silk,' as the old song said. The married pair went on board, and the whole congregation with them, for there was room and joyfulness for all. And the walls and arches of the church bloomed like the elder and the fragrant lime trees, and the leaves and branches waved and distributed coolness; then they bent and parted, and the ship sailed through the midst of them, through the sea, and through the air ; and every church taper became a star, and the wind sang a psalm tune, and all sang with the wind :
' In love, to glory—no life shall be lost. Full of blessedness and joy. Hallelujah ! '
And these words were the last that Jiirgen spoke in this world. The thread snapped that bound the immortal soul, and nothing but a dead body lay in the dark church, around which the storm raged, covering it with loose sand.
The next morning was Sunday, and the congregation and their pastor came to the service. The road to church had been heavy ; the sand made the way almost impassable ; and now, when they at last reached their goal, a great hill of sand was piled up before the entrance, and the church itself was buried. The priest spoke a short prayer, and said that God had closed the door of this house, and the congregation must go and build a new one for Him elsewhere.
So they sang a psalm, and went back to their homes.
Jiirgen was nowhere to be found in the town of Skagen, or in the dunes, however much they sought for him. It was thought that the waves, which had rolled far up on the sand, had swept him away.
His body lay buried in a great sepulchre, in the church itself. In the storm the Lord's hand had thrown earth on his coffin ; and the heavy mound of sand lay upon it, and lies there to this day.
The whirling sand had covered the high vaulted passages ; white-thorn and wild rose trees grow over the church, over which the wanderer now walks ; while the tower, standing forth like a gigantic tombstone over a grave, is to be seen for miles around : no King has a more splendid tombstone. No one disturbs the rest of the dead ; no one knew of this before now : the storm sang the tale to me among the sand-hills.