The Wind Tells about Valdemar Daae and His Daughters
When the wind sweeps over the grass, the blades of grass ripple like the water of a lake; and when it sweeps over the cornfield, the ears of corn curl into waves like those on a lake; this is the dance of the Wind. But listen to him tell the story; he sings it out; and how different his song among the trees of the forest is from his shriek through the cracks, crannies, and crevices of old walls. Watch him chase the white, fleecy clouds across the sky like a flock of sheep; notice how he howls through the open gate, as if he were the watchman blowing his horn. Strangely he whistles through the chimney until the fire on the hearth beneath blazes up, and it is pleasant and comfortable to sit in the chamber warmed by its glow and listen to stories. Let only the Wind himself be the storyteller! He knows more wonderful tales than all the rest of us put together. Hear now how he tells the story: "Whew, whew, whew! On, on, on!" That is the theme of his song.
"Near the Great Belt there stands an old mansion with thick red walls," says the Wind. "I know every stone of those walls; I knew them in the olden days when they were part of Marsk Stig's castle on the promontory. They were torn down from there, but then they were built up again to form a new wall and a new mansion; this was Borreby Mansion, which stands to this day. I have seen and known all the noble men and women of many different families who have lived there. Now I shall tell you of Valdemar Daae and his daughters.
"He was a very proud man, for he was of royal blood. He knew more than how to hunt the stag or empty the jug. 'Everything will come out right,' he used to say.
"His highborn wife walked daintily in her golden-cloth garment over floors of polished mosaic. Magnificent tapestries and costly, beautifully carved furniture surrounded her; she had brought both silver and gold into the house; there was German beer in the cellar; proud black horses neighed in the stables; ah, Borreby Mansion was then the home of wealth.