940 THE SNOWDROP, OR SUMMER-GECK
painted on the floor. The girl who was sweeping took it up and put it in one of the books on the table ; she thought it had fallen out, when she was clearing up and putting things in order. And so the flower lay again amongst verses, printed verses, and they are grander than written ones ; at least more is spent upon them.
Years passed away, and the book stood on the shelf. At length it was taken down, opened and read ; it was a good book,—songs and poems by the Danish poet, Ambrosius Stub, who is well worth knowing. And the man who read the book, turned the page. ' Here is a flower ! ' said he, ' a summer-geck ! not without some meaning does it lie here. Poor Ambrosius Stub ! he was also a summer-geck, a befooled poet ! he was too early in his time ; and so he got sleet and sharp winds, and went his rounds amongst the gentlemen of Fyen, like the flower in the flower-glass, the flower in the verses. A summer-geck, a winter-fool, all jest and foolery, and yet the first, the only, the youthfully fresh Danish poet. Yes, lie as a mark in the book, little summer-geck I Thou art laid there with some meaning.'
And so the summer-geck was laid in the book again, and felt itself both honoured and delighted with the knowledge that it was a mark in the lovely song-book, and that the one who had first sung and written about it, had also been a summer-geck, had been befooled in the winter. Of course the flower understood this in its own way, just as we understand anything in our own way.
This is the story of the summer-geck.
You should have known Auntie ! She was charming ! that is to say, she was not at all charming in the usual sense of the word, but she was sweet and nice, and funny in her own way, just the thing to talk about, when some one is to be talked about and made merry over. She was fit to be put in a play, and that simply and solely because she lived for the play-house and all that goes on in it. She was