38 THE YELLOW DWARF
Hoping she may tread on them. And bright flowers on slender stem Gaze up at her as she passes, Brushing lightly through the grasses. Oh ! my Princess, birds above Echo back our songs of love, As through this enchanted land Blithe we wander, hand in hand.
They really were as happy as the day was long. All the King's unsuccessful rivals had gone home in despair. They said good-bje to the Princess so sadly that she could not help being sorry for them.
' Ah ! madam,' the King of the Gold Mines said to her, ' how is this ? Why do you waste your pity on these princes, who love you so much that all their trouble would be well repaid by a single smile from you ? '
' I should be sorry,' answered Bellissima,' if you had not noticed how much I pitied these princes who were leaving me for ever; but for you, sire, it is very different: you have every reason to be pleased with me, but they are going sorrowfully away, so you must not grudge them my compassion.'
The King of the Gold Mines was quite overcome by the Princess's good-natured way of taking his interference, and, throwing himself at her feet, he kissed her hand a thousand times and begged her to forgive him.
At last the happy day came. Everything wras ready for Bellis-sima's wedding. The trumpets soimded, all the streets of the town were hung with flags and strewn with flowers, and the people ran in crowds to the great square before the palace. The Queen was so over-joyed that she had hardly been able to sleep at all, and she got up before it was light to give the necessary orders and to choose the jewels that the Princess was to wear. These were nothing less than diamonds, even to her shoes, which were covered with them, .and her dress of silver brocade was embroidered with a dozen of the sun's rays. You may imagine how much these had cost; but then nothing could have baen more brilliant, except the beauty of the Princess! Upon her head she wore a splendid crown, her lovely hair waved nearly to her feet, and her stately figure could easily be distinguished among all the ladies who attended her.
The King of the Gold Mines was not less noble and splendid ;