128 THE BROWN BEAR OF NORWAY
passed on ; and soon the witch's daughter passed by, and found her combing her hair, and pearls and diamonds dropping from it.
Well, another bargain was made, and the princess spent another night of sorrow, and she left the castle at, daybreak, and the footman was at his post and enjoyed his revenge.
The third day the prince went by, and stopped to talk with the strange woman. He asked her could he do anything- to serve her, and she said he might. She asked him did he ever wake at night. He said that he often did, but that during the last two nights he was listening to a sweet song in his dreams, and could not wake, and that the voice was one that he must have known and loved in some other world long ago. Says she, ' Did you drink any sleepy posset either of these evenings before you went to bed ? ' 'I did,' said he. ' The two evenings my wTife gave me something to drink, but I don't know whether it was a sleepy posset or not.' ' Well, prince,' said she, ' as you say you would wish to oblige me, you can do it by not tasting any drink to-night.' ' I will not,' says he, and then he went on his walk.
Well, the great lady came soon after the prince, and found the stranger using her hand-reel and winding threads of gold off it, and the third bargain was made.
That evening the prince was lying on his bed at twilight, and his mind much disturbed ; and the door opened, and in his princess walked, and down she sat by his bedside and sung :
Four long years I was married to thee ; Three sweet babes I bore to thee ; Brown Bear of Norway, turn to me.
' Brown Bear of Norway ! ' said he. ' I don't understand you.' ' Don't you remember, prince, that I was your wedded wife for four years ? ' ' I do not,'