Oh king, if you cannot see what is passing in Visby, may you yet hear and know what is happening there. You are not of steel and iron, like Violence at your side. When the gloomy days of old age come, and you live under the shadow of death, the image of Ung-Hanse’s daughter will rise in your memory.
You shall see her pale as death sink under the contempt and scorn of her people. You shall see her dragged along between the priests and the soldiers to the ringing of bells and the singing of hymns. She is already dead in the eyes of the people. She feels herself dead in her heart, killed by what she has loved. You shall see her mount in the tower, see how the stones are inserted, hear the scraping of the trowels and hear the people who hurry forward with their stones. “Oh mason, take mine, take mine! Use my stone for the work of vengeance! Let my stone help to shut Ung-Hanse’s daughter in from light and air! Visby is fallen, the glorious Visby! God bless your hands, oh masons! Let me help to complete the vengeance!”
Hymns sound and bells ring as for a burial.
Oh Valdemar, King of Denmark, it will be your fate to meet death also. Then you will lie on your bed, hear and see much and suffer great pains. You shall hear that scraping of the trowels, those cries for vengeance. Where are the consecrated bells that drown the martyrdom of the soul? Where are they, with their wide, bronze throats, whose tongues cry out to God for grace for you? Where is that air trembling with harmony, which bears the soul up to God’s space?
Oh help Esrom, help Soro, and you big bells of Lund!
What a .gloomy story that picture told! It seemed curious and strange to come out into the park, in glowing sunshine, among living human beings.
It was Christmas night, a real Christmas night.
The goblins raised the mountain roofs on lofty gold pillars and celebrated the midwinter festival. The brownies danced around the Christmas porridge in new red caps. Old gods wandered about the heavens in gray storm cloaks, and in the Oesterhaninge graveyard stood the horse of Hel [Note: The goddess of death]. He pawed with his hoof on the frozen ground; he was marking out the place for a new grave.
Not very far away, at the old manor of Arsta, Mamsell Fredrika was lying asleep. Arsta is, as every one knows, an old haunted castle, but Mamsell Fredrika slept a calm, quiet sleep. She was old now and tired out after many weary days of work and many long journeys,— she had almost traveled round the world,—therefore she had returned to the home of her childhood to find rest.
Outside the castle sounded in the night a bold fanfare. Death mounted on a gray charger had ridden up to the castle gate. His wide scarlet cloak and his hat’s proud plumes fluttered in the night wind. The stern knight sought to win an adoring heart, therefore he appeared in unusual magnificence. It is of no avail, Sir Knight, of no avail! The gate is closed, and the lady of your heart asleep. You must seek a better occasion and a more suitable hour. Watch for her when she goes to early mass, stern Sir Knight, watch for her on the church-road!