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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THE BIRD OF POPULAR SONG             903
The black ravens and crows flew on over the white snow.
' Grub, grub !' they cried. ' There's something to be got down there; something to swallow, and that's most important. That's the opinion of most of them down there and the opinion is goo—goo—good !
The wild swans come flying on whirring pinions, and sing of the noble and the great, that will still sprout in the hearts of men, down in the town which is resting beneath its snowy veil.
No death is there—life reigns yonder ; wre hear it on the notes that swell onward like the tones of the church organ, which seize us like sounds from the elf-hill, like the songs of Ossian,like the rushing swoop of the War-maidens' wings. What harmony ! That harmony speaks to our hearts, and lifts up our souls!—It is the Bird of Popular Song whom we hear.
And at this moment the warm breath of heaven blows down from the sky. There are gaps in the snowy mountains, the sun shines into the clefts ; spring is coming, the birds are returning, and new races are coming with the same home sounds in their hearts.
Hear the story of the year: ' The might of the snow­storm, the heavy dream of the winter night, all shall be dissolved, all shall rise again in the beauteous notes of the Bird of Popular Song who never dies !'
In the window stood a rose-tree, lately blooming with youth, but now it looked sickly ; something ailed it.
It had got a company quartered on it which ate it up : otherwise, a very respectable company in green uniform. I spoke with one of them, he was only three days old, and already a great-grandfather. Do you know what he said ? It was true what he said ; he spoke of himself and the whole company.
1 We are the most remarkable regiment among all the creatures of earth. In the warm season, we bear living young ones ; the weather is good then, and we betroth our­selves at once, and celebrate the wedding. Towards the