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The Old Street Lamp

It remembered so much, and now and then its flame flashed up as if the Lamp had the feeling: "Yes, I will also be remembered."

"There was that handsome young man-my, it was a long time ago! He came with a letter, written on pink paper, so fine and gilt-edged, so prettily written by a lady's hand. Twice he read it, and kissed it, and as he looked up to me his eyes said, 'I'm the happiest person in the world!' Yes, only he and I knew what was written in that first letter from his beloved.

"I also remember another pair of eyes - it's strange how my thoughts are rambling! Here in this street was a magnificent funeral procession, a beautiful young maiden lying in a coffin on the velvet-covered hearse. There were many wreaths and flowers, and the many torches quite overpowered my light. The sidewalk was filled with people who all followed the procession. But after the torches had passed me, and I looked around, I could see one single person, leaning against my post and weeping. I shall never forget the eyes that looked up at me then!"

Many thoughts flitted through the mind of the old Street Lamp, for tonight it shone for the last time.

The sentry who is relieved of his post at least knows his successor, and may say a few words to him; but the Lamp did not know who would succeed it. It could have given one or two useful hints about rain and mist, how far the rays of the moon lit up the pavement, and from what direction the wind blew.

On the gutter plank stood three individuals who had introduced themselves to the Lamp, because they thought it was the Lamp that could choose its successor. One of them was a herring's head, and because it could gleam in the darkness, it was sure there would be a real saving in oil if they would put him up on the lamppost. The second was a piece of touchwood, which also glowed, and certainly better than a herring's head, at least so it said. Furthermore, it was the last descendant of an old stem, once the pride of the forest. And the third was a glow-worm.

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