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Main > Fairy tale > All authors > Andersen Hans Christian > Fairy tale "Kept Secret but not Forgotten"

Kept Secret but not Forgotten

She has a bow on her cap, a black bow, which signifies mourning. Yet she has no one of her own to mourn, neither father nor mother, neither family nor lover. She is a poor, serving maid. Once she was engaged to a poor young man, and they loved each other dearly. One day he came to her.

"We two have nothing," he said, "and the rich widow across the way has expressed a warm interest in me. She wants to make me well to do, but you are in my heart. What would you advise me to do?"

"That which you think will be best for your happiness," said the girl. "Be kind and devoted to her; but remember that from the moment we part, we two must never see each other again."

A couple of years went by. Then she met him, her former friend and sweetheart, on the street. He looked ill and miserable. Then she could not keep from asking him, "How are you getting on?"

"Prosperously and well in every way," he said. "My wife is brave and good, but you are still in my heart. I have fought hard, and it will soon be over. Now we will not see each other again before we are with the Lord!"

A week has since passed. This morning it said in the newspaper that he has passed on; therefore the maid wears mourning. Her sweetheart has left a wife and three stepchildren, it said in the paper; that rings badly, and yet the metal is pure.

The black bow tells of mourning; the girl's face tells of it still more; in her heart it is kept secret but will never be forgotten.

Yes, as you see, there are three stories, three leaves on one stalk. Would you like to have more such clover leaves? There are many in the book of the heart, kept secret but not forgotten.

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