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 DRYAD                           1001
that one there, the dainty bream ; and here, the old moss-grown carp ! I know you ! but you don't know me ! '
The fish stared and did not understand a single word ; they stared out into the dim light. The Dryad was there no longer, she stood out in the open air, where the world's ' wonder-blossoms ' from the different countries gave out their fragrance, from the land of rye-bread, from the coast of the stock-fish, the empire of russia leather, the river-banks of Eau-de-Cologne, and from the eastern land of the essence of roses.
When, after a ball, we drive home, half-asleep, the tunes we have heard still sound distinctly in our ears ; we could sing each and all of them. And as in the eye of a murdered man, the last thing the glance rested on is said to remain photographed on it for a time, so here in the night the bustle and glare of the day was not extinguished. The Dryad felt it and knew that it would roll on in the same May through the coming day. The Dryad stood amongst the fragrant roses, thinking that she recognized them from her home, roses from the park of the castle and from the priest's garden. She also saw the red pomegranate flower here ; Marie had worn one like it in her coal-black hair.
Memories from the home of her childhood out in the country flashed through her mind ; she drank in the sights round about her with greedy eyes, whilst feverish restlessness possessed her, and carried her through the wonderful halls.
She felt tired, and this tiredness increased. She had a longing to rest upon the soft Eastern cushions and carpets spread around, or to lean against the weeping-willow down by the clear water, and plunge herself into that.
But the Ephemera has no rest. The day was only a few minutes from the end.
Her thoughts trembled, her limbs trembled, she sank down on the grass, by the rippling water.
' Thou springest from the earth with lasting life ! ' said she ; ' cool my tongue, give me refreshment! '
* I am not the living fountain ! ' answered the water. ' I flow by machinery !'