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

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

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852
THE PSYCHE
the ruins of the temple, a nunnery was now built ; a grave was being dug in the convent garden, for a young nun had died, and was to be laid in the earth this morning. The spade struck against a stone that shone dazzling white. A block of marble soon appeared, a rounded shoulder was laid bare, and now the spade was plied with a more careful hand, and presently a female head was seen, and butter­flies' wings. Out of the grave in which the young nun was to be laid they lifted, in the rosy morning, a wonderful statue of a Psyche carved in white marble.
' How beautiful, how perfect it is ! ' cried the spectators. ' A relic of the best period of art.'
And who could the sculptor have been ? No one knew, no one remembered him, except the bright Star that had gleamed for thousands of years. The Star had seen the course of that life on earth, and knew of the man's trials, of his weakness—in fact, that he had been but human. The man's life had passed away, his dust had been scattered abroad as dust is destined to be ; but the result of his noblest striving, the glorious work that gave token of the divine element within him—the Psyche that never dies, that lives beyond posterity—the brightness even of this earthly Psyche remained here after him, and was seen and acknowledged and appreciated.
The bright Morning Star in the roseate air threw its glancing ray downward upon the Psyche, and upon the radiant countenances of the admiring spectators, who here beheld the image of the soul portrayed in marble.
What is earthly will pass away and be forgotten, and the Star in the vast firmament knows it. What is heavenly will shine brightly through posterity; and when the ages of posterity are past, the Psyche—the soul—will still live on!