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The Drummer

" When she showed herself therein at the feast, the bride was quite beside herself with the splendour of the dress, which far surpassed the others, and she said, "I must, and will have it." The maiden gave it as she had given the others for permission to spend the night outside the bridegroom's door. The bridegroom, however, did not drink the wine which was handed to him before he went to bed, but poured it behind the bed, and when everything was quiet, he heard a sweet voice which called to him,

"Drummer, drummer, I pray thee hear!

Hast thou forgotten thou heldest me dear?

That on the glass-mountain we sat hour by hour?

That I rescued thy life from the witch's power?

Didst thou not plight thy troth to me?

Drummer, drummer, hearken to me!"

Suddenly, his memory returned to him. "Ah," cried he, "how can I have acted so unfaithfully; but the kiss which in the joy of my heart I gave my parents, on the right cheek, that is to blame for it all, that is what stupefied me!" He sprang up, took the King's daughter by the hand, and led her to his parents' bed. "This is my true bride," said he; "if I marry the other, I shall do a great wrong." The parents, when they heard how everything had happened, gave their consent. Then the lights in the hall were lighted again, drums and trumpets were brought, friends and relations were invited to come, and the real wedding was solemnized with great rejoicing. The first bride received the beautiful dresses as a compensation, and declared herself satisfied.

From Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, Household Tales, trans. Margaret Hunt (London: George Bell, 1884)

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