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The Wind Tells About Waldemar Daa And His Daughters
by [?]

When the wind sweeps across the grass, the field has a ripple like a pond, and when it sweeps across the corn the field waves to and fro like a high sea. That is called the wind’s dance; but the wind does not dance only, he also tells stories; and how loudly he can sing out of his deep chest, and how different it sounds in the tree-tops in the forest, and through the loopholes and clefts and cracks in walls! Do you see how the wind drives the clouds up yonder, like a frightened flock of sheep? Do you hear how the wind howls down here through the open valley, like a watchman blowing his horn? With wonderful tones he whistles and screams down the chimney and into the fireplace. The fire crackles and flares up, and shines far into the room, and the little place is warm and snug, and it is pleasant to sit there listening to the sounds. Let the wind speak, for he knows plenty of stories and fairy tales, many more than are known to any of us. Just hear what the wind can tell.

Huh–uh–ush! roar along! That is the burden of the song.

“By the shores of the Great Belt, one of the straits that unite the Cattegut with the Baltic, lies an old mansion with thick red walls,” says the Wind. “I know every stone in it; I saw it when it still belonged to the castle of Marsk Stig on the promontory. But it had to be pulled down, and the stone was used again for the walls of a new mansion in another place, the baronial mansion of Borreby, which still stands by the coast.

“I knew them, the noble lords and ladies, the changing races that dwelt there, and now I’m going to tell about Waldemar Daa and his daughters. How proudly he carried himself–he was of royal blood! He could do more than merely hunt the stag and empty the wine-can. ‘It shall be done,’ he was accustomed to say.

“His wife walked proudly in gold-embroidered garments over the polished marble floors. The tapestries were gorgeous, the furniture was expensive and artistically carved. She had brought gold and silver plate with her into the house, and there was German beer in the cellar. Black fiery horses neighed in the stables. There was a wealthy look about the house of Borreby at that time, when wealth was still at home there.

“Four children dwelt there also; three delicate maidens, Ida, Joanna, and Anna Dorothea: I have never forgotten their names.

“They were rich people, noble people, born in affluence, nurtured in affluence.

“Huh–sh! roar along!” sang the Wind; and then he continued:

“I did not see here, as in other great noble houses, the high-born lady sitting among her women in the great hall turning the spinning-wheel: here she swept the sounding chords of the cithern, and sang to the sound, but not always old Danish melodies, but songs of a strange land. It was ‘live and let live’ here: stranger guests came from far and near, the music sounded, the goblets clashed, and I was not able to drown the noise,” said the Wind. “Ostentation, and haughtiness, and splendour, and display, and rule were there, but the fear of the Lord was not there.

“And it was just on the evening of the first day of May,” the Wind continued. “I came from the west, and had seen how the ships were being crushed by the waves, with all on board, and flung on the west coast of Jutland. I had hurried across the heath, and over Jutland’s wood-girt eastern coast, and over the Island of Fuenen, and now I drove over the Great Belt, groaning and sighing.

“Then I lay down to rest on the shore of Seeland, in the neighbourhood of the great house of Borreby, where the forest, the splendid oak forest, still rose.