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Main > Fairy tale > All authors > Andersen Hans Christian > Fairy tale "The Galoshes of Fortune"

The Galoshes of Fortune

If only I were rich, is still my heavenly prayer.

My little girl of seven is now a lady fair;

She is so sweet, so clever and so good;

My heart's fair tale she never understood.

If only, as of yore, she still for me would care,

But I am poor and silent; I confess I do not dare.

It is Your will, oh Lord!

If only I were rich, in peace and comfort rest,

I would my sorrow to this paper never trust.

You, whom I love, if still you understand

then read this poem from my youth's far land,

Though best it be you never know my pain.

I am still poor, my future dark and vain,

But may, O Lord, You bless her!

Yes, a man in love writes many a poem that a man in his right mind does not print. A lieutenant, his love and his lack of money - there's an eternal triangle for you, a broken life that can never be squared. The lieutenant knew this all too well. He leaned his head against the window, and sighed, and said:

"The poor watchman down there in the street is a far happier man than I. He does not know what I call want. He has a home. He has a wife and children who weep with him in his sorrows and share in his joy. Ah, I would be happier if I could trade places with him, for he is much more fortunate than I am."

Instantly, the watchman was himself again. The galoshes had transformed him into the lieutenant, as we have seen. He was far less contended up there, and preferred to be just what he had been. So the watchman turned back into a watchman.

"I had a bad dream," he said. "Strangely enough, I fancied I was the lieutenant, and I didn't like it a bit. I missed my wife and our youngsters, who almost smother me with their kisses."

He sat down and fell to nodding again, unable to get the dream out of his head. The galoshes were still on his feet when he watched a star fall in the sky.

"There goes one," he muttered. "But there are so many it will never be missed. I'd like to have a look at those trinkets at close range. I'd especially like to see the moon, which is not the sort of thing to get lost in one's hands.

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