44 THE YELLOW DWARF
counsellor, let me see what I can do to make myself agreeable to the charming Fairy of the Desert; for I can think of nothing but how to please her.'
And he at once set to work to curl his hair, and, seeing upon a table a grander coat than his own, he put it on carefully. The Fairy came back so delighted that she could not conceal her joy.
' I am quite aware of the trouble you have taken to please me,' said she, ' and I must tell you that you have succeeded perfectly already. You see it is not difficult to do if you really care for me.'
The King, who had his own reasons for wishing to keep the old Fairy in a good humour, did not spare pretty speeches, and after a time he was allowed to walk by himself upon the sea-shore. The Fairy of the Desert had by her enchantments raised such a terrible storm that the boldest pilot would not venture out in it, so she was not afraid of her prisoner's being able to escape; and he found it some relief to think sadly over his terrible situation without being interrupted by his cruel captor.
Presently, after walking wildly up and down, he wrote these verses upon the sand with his stick :
At last may I upon this shore
tighten my sorrow with soft tears. Alas! alas ! I see no more
My Love, who yet my sadness cheers.
And thou, 0 raging, stormy Sea,
Stirred by wild winds, from depth to height,
Thou hold'st my loved one far from me, And I am captive to thy might.
My heart is still more wild than thine,
For Fate is cruel unto me. Why must I thus in exile pine ?
Why is my Princess snatched from me ?
O ! lovely Nymphs, from ocean caves, Who know how sweet true love may be,
Come up and calm the furious waves And set a desperate lover free!
While he was still writing he heard a voice which attracted his attention in spite of himself. Seeing that the waves were rolling in higher than ever, he looked all round him, and presently saw a lovely lady floating gently towards him upon the crest of a huge