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They were now so high that a large ship beneath them looked like a white sea gull skimming the waves. A great cloud floating behind them appeared like a vast mountain, and upon it Eliza saw her own shadow and those of the eleven swans, like gigantic flying things. Altogether it formed a more beautiful picture than she had ever before seen; but as the sun rose higher and the clouds were left behind, the picture vanished. Onward the whole day they flew through the air like winged arrows, yet more slowly than usual, for they had their sister to carry.

The weather grew threatening, and Eliza watched the sinking sun with great anxiety, for the little rock in the ocean was not yet in sight. It seemed to her as if the swans were exerting themselves to the utmost.

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When the sun set they would change to men, fall into the sea, and be drowned. Then she offered a prayer from her inmost heart, but still no rock appeared. Dark clouds came nearer, the gusts of wind told of the coming storm, while from a thick, heavy mass of clouds the lightning burst forth, flash after flash. The sun had reached the edge of the sea, when the swans darted down so swiftly that Eliza's heart trembled; she believed they were falling, but they again soared onward.

Father, Where Do the Wild Swans Go?

Presently, and by this time the sun was half hidden by the waves, she caught sight of the rock just below them. It did not look larger than a seal's head thrust out of the water. The sun sank so rapidly that at the moment their feet touched the rock it shone only like a star, and at last disappeared like the dying spark in a piece of burnt paper. Her brothers stood close around her with arms linked together, for there was not the smallest space to spare.

The sea dashed against the rock and covered them with spray. The heavens were lighted up with continual flashes, and thunder rolled from the clouds. But the sister and brothers stood holding each other's hands, and singing hymns. In the early dawn the air became calm and still, and at sunrise the swans flew away from the rock, bearing their sister with them. The sea was still rough, and from their great height the white foam on the dark-green waves looked like millions of swans swimming on the water. As the sun rose higher, Eliza saw before her, floating in the air, a range of mountains with shining masses of ice on their summits.

In the center rose a castle that seemed a mile long, with rows of columns rising one above another, while around it palm trees waved and flowers as large as mill wheels bloomed. She asked if this was the land to which they were hastening. The swans shook their heads, for what she beheld were the beautiful, ever-changing cloud-palaces of the Fata Morgana, into which no mortal can enter. Eliza was still gazing at the scene, when mountains, forests, and castles melted away, and twenty stately churches rose in their stead, with high towers and pointed Gothic windows.

She even fancied she could hear the tones of the organ, but it was the music of the murmuring sea. As they drew nearer to the churches, these too were changed and became a fleet of ships, which seemed to be sailing beneath her; but when she looked again she saw only a sea mist gliding over the ocean. One scene melted into another, until at last she saw the real land to which they were bound, with its blue mountains, its cedar forests, and its cities and palaces. Long before the sun went down she was sitting on a rock in front of a large cave, the floor of which was overgrown with delicate green creeping plants, like an embroidered carpet.

And this thought took such hold upon her mind that she prayed earnestly to God for help, and even in her sleep she continued to pray. Then it seemed to her that she was flying high in the air toward the cloudy palace of the Fata Morgana, and that a fairy came out to meet her, radiant and beautiful, yet much like the old woman who had given her berries in the wood, and who had told her of the swans with golden crowns on their heads.

Water is softer than your own delicate hands, and yet it polishes and shapes stones.

Paul Simpson | Music - Art - Writing

But it feels no pain such as your fingers will feel; it has no soul and cannot suffer such agony and torment as you will have to endure. Do you see the stinging nettle which I hold in my hand? Quantities of the same sort grow round the cave in which you sleep, but only these, and those that grow on the graves of a churchyard, will be of any use to you.

These you must gather, even while they burn blisters on your hands. Break them to pieces with your hands and feet, and they will become flax, from which you must spin and weave eleven coats with long sleeves; if these are then thrown over the eleven swans, the spell will be broken. But remember well, that from the moment you commence your task until it is finished, even though it occupy years of your life, you must not speak. The first word you utter will pierce the hearts of your brothers like a deadly dagger.


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Their lives hang upon your tongue. Remember all that I have told you.

Fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen

And as she finished speaking, she touched Eliza's hand lightly with the nettle, and a pain as of burning fire awoke her. It was broad daylight, and near her lay a nettle like the one she had seen in her dream. She fell on her knees and offered thanks to God. Then she went forth from the cave to begin work with her delicate hands. She groped in amongst the ugly nettles, which burned great blisters on her hands and arms, but she determined to bear the pain gladly if she could only release her dear brothers.

So she bruised the nettles with her bare feet and spun the flax. At sunset her brothers returned, and were much frightened when she did not speak. They believed her to be under the spell of some new sorcery, but when they saw her hands they understood what she was doing in their behalf.

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The youngest brother wept, and where his tears touched her the pain ceased and the burning blisters vanished. Eliza kept to her work all night, for she could not rest till she had released her brothers. During the whole of the following day, while her brothers were absent, she sat in solitude, but never before had the time flown so quickly. One coat was already finished and she had begun the second, when she heard a huntsman's horn and was struck with fear. As the sound came nearer and nearer, she also heard dogs barking, and fled with terror into the cave.

She hastily bound together the nettles she had gathered, and sat upon them. In a moment there came bounding toward her out of the ravine a great dog, and then another and another; they ran back and forth barking furiously, until in a few minutes all the huntsmen stood before the cave. The handsomest of them was the king of the country, who, when he saw the beautiful maiden, advanced toward her, saying, "How did you come here, my sweet child?

Eliza shook her head. She dared not speak, for it would cost her brothers their deliverance and their lives. And she hid her hands under her apron, so that the king might not see how she was suffering. If you are as good as you are beautiful, I will dress you in silk and velvet, I will place a golden crown on your head, and you shall rule and make your home in my richest castle. She wept and wrung her hands, but the king said: "I wish only your happiness. A time will come when you will thank me for this. He galloped away over the mountains, holding her before him on his horse, and the hunters followed behind them.

As the sun went down they approached a fair, royal city, with churches and cupolas. On arriving at the castle, the king led her into marble halls, where large fountains played and where the walls and the ceilings were covered with rich paintings. But she had no eyes for all these glorious sights; she could only mourn and weep. Patiently she allowed the women to array her in royal robes, to weave pearls in her hair, and to draw soft gloves over her blistered fingers.

As she stood arrayed in her rich dress, she looked so dazzlingly beautiful that the court bowed low in her presence. Then the king declared his intention of making her his bride, but the archbishop shook his head and whispered that the fair young maiden was only a witch, who had blinded the king's eyes and ensnared his heart. The king would not listen to him, however, and ordered the music to sound, the daintiest dishes to be served, and the loveliest maidens to dance before them. Afterwards he led her through fragrant gardens and lofty halls, but not a smile appeared on her lips or sparkled in her eyes.

She looked the very picture of grief. Then the king opened the door of a little chamber in which she was to sleep. It was adorned with rich green tapestry and resembled the cave in which he had found her. On the floor lay the bundle of flax which she had spun from the nettles, and under the ceiling hung the coat she had made. These things had been brought away from the cave as curiosities, by one of the huntsmen.

It will amuse you now, in the midst of all this splendor, to think of that time. When Eliza saw all these things which lay so near her heart, a smile played around her mouth, and the crimson blood rushed to her cheeks. The thought of her brothers and their release made her so joyful that she kissed the king's hand. Then he pressed her to his heart. Very soon the joyous church bells announced the marriage feast; the beautiful dumb girl of the woods was to be made queen of the country. A single word would cost her brothers their lives, but she loved the kind, handsome king, who did everything to make her happy, more and more each day; she loved him with her whole heart, and her eyes beamed with the love she dared not speak.

But dumb she must remain till her task was finished.


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Therefore at night she crept away into her little chamber which had been decked out to look like the cave and quickly wove one coat after another. The themes on those previous, long-ago albums were more abstractly romantic, more windswept and moors-inhabited than here.

On those you could feel Simpson stretching to try and match the burst of youthful ambition and the relative failure to do so to his satisfaction was, in hindsight, somewhat predictable. Such a stretch, at such an early age, often only leads to a kind of thinning.

Hans Christian Andersen's The Wild Swans

So it comes as little surprise that Simpson, in surveying the landscape through the diminishing lens of a backwards telescope, comes away equally in thrall to a sense of loss. The resonance of place alone speaks to this — Portland Bill, Pendle Hill, Scotland Road — and immediately the thematic heart of this album is in place: the sadness of a thing lost is impossible without there first having been a vibrant love for it, a love that never leaves, no matter.

There are markers everywhere. Though affecting, and encased in an optimistic, almost sunny melody harpsichord! And therein, as might be said, lies the Simpsonian rub. There are few songwriters more illustrative of the fineness — and cursed unpredictability — of the dividing line separating the quotidian from the sublime, fewer still who intermingle them with fairly fearless aplomb. It is, in short, hard work, which is why so few have done it this well.

The Church and other expansive Kiwi pop auteurs come to mind. If it was easy to do you could safely wager more bands would, the results are just too damn beautiful to not. He was a Danish author. Although a prolific writer of plays, travelogues, novels, and poems. His stories have inspired plays, ballets, and both live-action and animated films. PLOT: 7. One day, he decides to remarry. The king of another faraway land happens to come across the mute Elise and falls in love with her. He grants her a room in the castle where she continues her knitting. Eventually he proposes to crown her as his queen and wife, and she accepts.

One night Elisa runs out of nettles and is forced to collect more in a nearby church graveyard where the Archbishop is watching. This enrages the people, who are on the brink of snatching and destroying the shirts when the swans descend and rescue Elisa. Elisa is now free to speak and tell the truth, but she faints from exhaustion, so her brothers explain. As they do so, the firewood around Elisa's stake miraculously take root and burst into flowers.

The king plucks the topmost flower and presents it to Elisa and they are married. Like GOD never gave up on you!!! Love of GOD that has true holiness.