The Wind Tells about Valdemar Daae and His Daughters
And there were children; three fair daughters - I can still remember their names - Ide, Johanne, and Anna Dorothea. These were rich folk, noble folk, born and reared in luxury. Whew, whew, whew! On, on, on!" sang the Wind, and then continued his tale.
"Here I never saw, as in other old houses, the noble mistress turning the spinning wheel among her maidens in the great hall. She played upon the lute and sang, though not always the old Danish songs but songs in foreign languages. There were life and gaiety here; guests of distinction came from far and near; the sounds of music and the clinking of glasses were so loud that even I could not drown them. There was pride here, with boasting and bragging, and talk of domination, but not the blessings of our Lord!
"Then there was one May-day even," said the Wind, "when I came upon it from the west. I had seen ships wrecked on the coast of West Jutland, had hunted over the heath and the green-wooded shore to Fünen, and now I came over the Great Belt, blowing and roaring. I lay down for a rest on the coast of Zeeland, quite near Borreby Mansion, where the beautiful forest of oaks still grew. The young lads of the neighborhood came out to the forest to collect the biggest and driest branches and twigs they could find; they carried them into the town, laid them in piles, set fire to them, then the young men and girls sang as they danced around them.
"I lay still," said the Wind, "but then gently I just touched one of the branches that had been brought by the handsomest lad of them all, and immediately his pile of wood blazed up the highest. That meant he became the leader among them, with the privilege of choosing first one of the young girls to be his own May lamb. There was a joy, a merriment, such as I had never found in the rich Borreby Mansion.
"Then there came driving toward the mansion, in a gilded carriage drawn by six horses, the noble lady herself with her three daughters - so young and so fair - three sweet blossoms, a rose, a lily, and a pale hyacinth.