A String of Pearls
The ruined old ramparts of the fallen fortress are now the last visible witness of your childhood home; their lengthening sunset shadows point to the spot where stood the house in which you were born. From these hills you looked toward Sprogö and sang in undying verse.
Nowhere have roses so red a hue
And nowhere are feathers so light and so blue,
Nowhere the thorns so daintily grown,
As those to childhood innocence known.
Humorous, charming singer! We shall weave for thee a garland of woodbine and fling it into the lake, so that the current may bear it to the coast of Kielerfiord, where your ashes rest. The tide shall bring you a greeting from the new generation, a greeting from your birthplace Korsör - where I drop my string of pearls.
"That's quite right! A string of pearls does stretch from Copenhagen to Korsör," said Grandmother when she had heard this read aloud. "It's a string of pearls for me now, as it was more than forty years ago. We had no railroad then; we spent days on a trip that can now be made in as many hours. That was in 1815, and I was twenty-one; that is a charming age! Although to be up in the sixties, that is also a wonderful age! In my young days it was a much rarer event than it is now to come to Copenhagen, which we considered the town of all towns! My parents hadn't visited it for twenty years, but at last they were going, and I was going with them. We had talked about that journey for years before, and now it was actually coming true; it seemed as though a new life were beginning for me, and really in a way a new life did begin for me.
"There was such a bustle of sewing and packing; and when at last we were ready to start, such a crowd of friends came to bid us farewell! It was a long journey we had ahead of us. Shortly before noon we drove out of Odense in my parents' Holstein carriage, and our friends waved to us from the windows all the way down the street, till we passed through St. Jörgen's Gate. The weather was beautiful; the birds sang, and everything was joyful; we forgot what a long and tiresome road it was to Nyborg.