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discourse afforded me, is to say that I was actually pleased when Ingemann asked my leave to light his cigar, and when he actually smoked it walking beside me, which at first he would not consent to do; and when I say that the puff of a cigar was to me even pleasant, I think you will say that it is a strong proof of my affection towards the quarter from whence it came. In fact, anything that could have given that dear, rosycheeked, blue-eyed old poet pleasure, would have been, for the moment at least, a source of pleasure to me.
Well ! we never met but then-never before, never since. How little do Professor Ingemann and his pious wife imagine that I am writing of them now ! that I am thinking of his walk with me, of her last words to me; of Sorö, its sweet lake, quiet woods, old abodes, and present poetry and peace!
Hans Andersen, in his rather disappointing “Story of a Life,” speaks of sailing on this lake with a poet who had an Æolian harp fastened to the mast of his boat, and says that Ingemann's life at Sorô appears like a beautiful story. I wanted the Professor to get the Æolian harp and fasten it to the mast of the boat; but he smiled—one of his own bright, child-like smiles,and said his dear friend Andersen made stories more beautiful still than his life at Soro.
At night I went back to the miserable house where I had stopped. My room was on the ground-floor, and my only solace was to look out at the moon; for if the house in which I was lodged had existed in the time of Saxo Grammaticus, I might have believed that no one had ever used the bed allotted to me since the days of the said Grammaticus.
To avoid the damp I kept at the window, waiting for four o'clock, at which hour I might expect the post-diligence which went on to Korsör. Regretting my pertinacity in leaving the Professor's romantic abode, I was leaning from the window, looking down the silent, scarcely moon-lighted avenue, and wondering what hour it was, when a curious drawling sort of chant struck my ear. I saw a light approaching; it was a lantern carried by an old man, who had a staff in one hand, and came slowly on, singing the hour—the watchsong of Denmark. *. A lady of that land gave me the original of the entire chant, and Mr. H., an Englishman, put it into our verse; but I only quote the hours I chanced to hear sung at Soro.
Ho! watchmen, ho! Help us, O! Jesu, dear,
In patience here below, Our cross alway to bear
No other help we know. Our clock has just struck one,
Thine aid accord; We look, O Lord, For aid to Thee alone.
TWO O'CLOCK. Ho! watchmen, ho ! Thou, Jesu, good and kind,
Who to our succour came, When we were lost and blind,
We bless thy holy name. 0! Holy Ghost divine,
May Thy bright beams,
Thy heavenly gleams, On us for ever shine.
Ho! watchmen, ho! The night is now far spent,
And near at hand the day. 0! Lord, all harm prevent,
That might Thy fold dismay. Our clock has just struck three:
Father, we pray,
Help us alway,
Ho! watchmen, ho!
Be praise in heaven above,
Us help and ceaseless love.
For quiet rest,
The Lord be blest;
The warning of the last line I was obliged to follow; the droning voice of the old watchman seemed to say that he thought more of sleep than of anything else. But I heard the diligence at the great stone-arched gateway, outside of which it stopped. The diligence was full, and a cabriolet, for additional passengers, accompanied it. I asked, was there room in the latter for me; a decentlooking man, perceiving I was from England, hastened kindly to make use of his knowledge of our language, and informed me that the carriage contained only himself and a mill! I looked in, and entered, wondering how the mill was to get in, or where it was—another man being already within the small vehicle. My kind informant fell into a fit of musing; and after we had gone on some
time, suddenly said, “It is a miller-not a mill."
So we passed Slagelse, and the famous hill of Holy Anders, who was carried thither in his sleep from Jerusalem; and then we came to Korsör, and got into a boat and passed the Great Belt, and a very rough Belt it was, and got to Nyeborg in the Isle of Funen, which we ought to spell as the natives spell it—Fyen.
And at Nyeborg, what made the most lasting impression on my memory was the extraordinary number of pictures in the church and these not saintly pictures, nor biblical ones, but clerical ! One might think that all the priests who had had charge of that church, from the time of Martin Luther, were there represented in somewhat corresponding figures, as plump and comfortable looking, with black gowns and white ruffs, and each attended by one, two, or three, I suppose, wives, in black gowns and white aprons—the old fashioned mourning of the North—and by a vast number of quaint-looking children, who were all, I conjecture, represented as weeping for the death of the stout and healthy priest, to whose memory the picture was dedicated, while he was depicted in full rotundity.