DANSK

Klokken

ENGLISH

The bell


Om aftnen i de snævre gader i den store by, når solen gik ned og skyerne skinnede som guld oppe mellem skorstenene, hørte tit snart den ene snart den anden en underlig lyd, ligesom klangen af en kirkeklokke, men det var kun et øjeblik den hørtes, for der var sådan en rumlen med vogne og sådan en råben og det forstyrrer. "Nu ringer aftenklokken!" sagde man, "nu går solen ned!"
In the narrow streets of a large town people often heard in the evening, when the sun was setting, and his last rays gave a golden tint to the chimney-pots, a strange noise which resembled the sound of a church bell; it only lasted an instant, for it was lost in the continual roar of traffic and hum of voices which rose from the town. "The evening bell is ringing," people used to say; "the sun is setting!"


De, som gik uden for byen, hvor husene lå længere fra hinanden med haver og små marker, så aftenhimlen endnu prægtigere og hørte langt stærkere klangen af klokken, det var som kom lyden fra en kirke dybt inde i den stille, duftende skov; og folk så derhen, og blev ganske højtidelige. -
Those who walked outside the town, where the houses were less crowded and interspersed by gardens and little fields, saw the evening sky much better, and heard the sound of the bell much more clearly. It seemed as though the sound came from a church, deep in the calm, fragrant wood, and thither people looked with devout feelings.


Nu gik mange tider, den ene sagde til den anden: "Mon der er en kirke derude i skoven? Den klokke har dog en underlig, dejlig klang, skal vi ikke tage derud og se lidt nærmere på den." Og de rige folk de kørte og de fattige de gik, men vejen blev dem så underlig lang, og da de kom til en hel del piletræer, der voksede ved udkanten af skoven, så satte de sig der og så op i de lange grene og troede, at de var rigtigt i det grønne; konditoren inde fra byen kom derud og slog sit telt op, og så kom der nok en konditor og han hang en klokke op lige over sit telt, og det en klokke, som var tjæret for at kunne tåle regnen, og kneblen manglede. Når så folk tog hjem igen, sagde de at det havde været så romantisk, og det betyder noget ganske uden for tevand. Tre personer forsikrede, at de var trængt ind i skoven lige til hvor den endte, og de havde altid hørt den underlige klokkeklang, men det var der for dem ligesom den kom inde fra byen; den ene skrev en hel vise derom og sagde, at klokken klang som en moders stemme til et kært klogt barn, ingen melodi var dejligere end klokkens klang.
A considerable time elapsed: one said to the other, "I really wonder if there is a church out in the wood. The bell has indeed a strange sweet sound! Shall we go there and see what the cause of it is?" The rich drove, the poor walked, but the way seemed to them extraordinarily long, and when they arrived at a number of willow trees on the border of the wood they sat down, looked up into the great branches and thought they were now really in the wood. A confectioner from the town also came out and put up a stall there; then came another confectioner who hung a bell over his stall, which was covered with pitch to protect it from the rain, but the clapper was wanting. When people came home they used to say that it had been very romantic, and that really means something else than merely taking tea. Three persons declared that they had gone as far as the end of the wood; they had always heard the strange sound, but there it seemed to them as if it came from the town. One of them wrote verses about the bell, and said that it was like the voice of a mother speaking to an intelligent and beloved child; no tune, he said, was sweeter than the sound of the bell.


Landets kejser blev også opmærksom derpå og lovede, at den som ret kunne opdage hvorfra lyden kom, skulle få titel af "Verdensklokker" og det selv om det ikke var en klokke.
The emperor of the country heard of it, and declared that he who would really find out where the sound came from should receive the title of "Bellringer to the World," even if there was no bell at all.


Nu gik da mange til skoven for det gode levebrøds skyld, men der var kun én, som kom hjem med en slags forklaring, ingen havde været dybt nok inde, og han da ikke heller, men han sagde dog at klokkelyden kom fra en meget stor ugle i et hult træ, det var sådan en visdomsugle, som idelig slog sit hoved mod træet, men om lyden kom fra dens hoved eller fra den hule stamme, det kunne han ikke endnu med bestemthed sige, og så blev han ansat som Verdensklokker og skrev hvert år en lille afhandling om uglen; men lige meget vidste man.
Now many went out into the wood for the sake of this splendid berth; but only one of them came back with some sort of explanation. None of them had gone far enough, nor had he, and yet he said that the sound of the bell came from a large owl in a hollow tree. It was a wisdom owl, which continually knocked its head against the tree, but he was unable to say with certainty whether its head or the hollow trunk of the tree was the cause of the noise. He was appointed "Bellringer to the World," and wrote every year a short dissertation on the owl, but by this means people did not become any wiser than they had been before.


Nu var det just en konfirmationsdag, præsten havde talt så smukt og inderligt; konfirmanderne havde været så bevægede, det var en vigtig dag for dem, de blev fra børn med ét til voksne mennesker, barnesjælen skulle nu ligesom flyve over i en forstandigere person. Det var det dejligste solskin, konfirmanderne gik ud af byen, og fra skoven klang forunderlig stærkt den store ubekendte klokke. De fik lige straks sådan en lyst til at komme der, og det alle på tre nær, den ene af dem skulle hjem og prøve sin balkjole, for det var just den kjole og det bal, der var skyld i, at hun var blevet konfirmeret denne gang, for ellers var hun ikke kommet med; den anden var en fattig dreng, som havde lånt sin konfirmationskjole og støvlerne hos værtens søn og dem måtte han levere af på bestemt klokkeslæt; den tredje sagde, at han aldrig gik noget fremmed sted, uden hans forældre var med, og at han altid havde været et artigt barn og det ville han forblive, selv som konfirmand, og det skal man ikke gøre nar af! - men det gjorde de.
It was just confirmation-day. The clergyman had delivered a beautiful and touching sermon, the candidates were deeply moved by it; it was indeed a very important day for them; they were all at once transformed from mere children to grown-up people; the childish soul was to fly over, as it were, into a more reasonable being. The sun shone most brightly; and the sound of the great unknown bell was heard more distinctly than ever. They had a mind to go thither, all except three. One of them wished to go home and try on her ball dress, for this very dress and the ball were the cause of her being confirmed this time, otherwise she would not have been allowed to go. The second, a poor boy, had borrowed a coat and a pair of boots from the son of his landlord to be confirmed in, and he had to return them at a certain time. The third said that he never went into strange places if his parents were not with him; he had always been a good child, and wished to remain so, even after being confirmed, and they ought not to tease him for this; they, however, did it all the same.


Tre af dem gik altså ikke med; de andre travede af sted; solen skinnede og fuglene sang og konfirmanderne sang med og holdt hinanden i hænderne, for de havde jo ikke fået embeder endnu og var alle konfirmander for Vorherre.
These three, therefore did not go; the others went on. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and the confirmed children sang too, holding each other by the hand, for they had no position yet, and they were all equal in the eyes of God.


Men snart blev to af de mindste trætte og så vendte de to om til byen igen; to småpiger satte sig og bandt kranse, de kom heller ikke med, og da de andre nåede piletræerne, hvor konditoren boede, så sagde de: "Se så, nu er vi herude; klokken er jo egentlig ikke til, den er bare sådant noget man bilder sig ind!"
Two of the smallest soon became tired and returned to the town; two little girls sat down and made garlands of flowers, they, therefore, did not go on. When the others arrived at the willow trees, where the confectioner had put up his stall, they said: "Now we are out here; the bell does not in reality exist– it is only something that people imagine!"


Da lød i det samme dybt i skoven klokken så sødt og højtideligt, at fire, fem bestemte sig til dog at gå noget længere ind i skoven. Den var så tæt, så løvfuld, det var ordentligt besværligt at komme frem, skovmærker og anemoner voksede næsten alt for højt, blomstrende konvolvolus og brombærranker hang i lange guirlander fra træ til træ, hvor nattergalen sang og solstrålerne legede; oh det var så velsignet, men det var ingen vej at gå for pigerne, de ville fået klæderne revet itu. Der lå store klippeblokke begroede med mos af alle farver, det friske kildevand piblede frem og underligt sagde det ligesom "kluk, kluk!"
Then suddenly the sound of the bell was heard so beautifully and solemnly from the wood that four or five made up their minds to go still further on. The wood was very thickly grown. It was difficult to advance: wood lilies and anemones grew almost too high; flowering convolvuli and brambles were hanging like garlands from tree to tree; while the nightingales were singing and the sunbeams played. That was very beautiful! But the way was unfit for the girls; they would have torn their dresses. Large rocks, covered with moss of various hues, were lying about; the fresh spring water rippled forth with a peculiar sound.


"Det skulle dog ikke være klokken"! sagde en af konfirmanderne, og lagde sig ned og hørte efter. "Det må man rigtigt studere"! og så blev han og lod de andre gå.
"I don't think that can be the bell," said one of the confirmed children, and then he lay down and listened. "We must try to find out if it is!" And there he remained, and let the others walk on.


De kom til et hus af bark og grene, et stort træ med vilde æbler hældede sig hen over det, som ville det ryste hele sin velsignelse ud over taget, der blomstrede med roser; de lange grene lå lige hen om gavlen, og på den hang en lille klokke. Skulle det være den, man havde hørt. Ja, derom var de alle enige, på én nær, han sagde, at den klokke var for lille og fin til at kunne høres så langt borte, som de havde hørt den, og at det var ganske andre toner, som således rørte et menneskehjerte; han som talte var en kongesøn, og så sagde de andre "sådan én ville nu altid være klogere."
They came to a hut built of the bark of trees and branches; a large crab-apple tree spread its branches over it, as if it intended to pour all its fruit on the roof, upon which roses were blooming; the long boughs covered the gable, where a little bell was hanging. Was this the one they had heard? All agreed that it must be so, except one who said that the bell was too small and too thin to be heard at such a distance, and that it had quite a different sound to that which had so touched men's hearts. He who spoke was a king's son, and therefore the others said that such a one always wishes to be cleverer than other people.


Så lod de ham gå alene, og alt som han gik blev hans bryst mere og mere opfyldt af skovensomheden; men endnu hørte han den lille klokke, som de andre var så fornøjede med, og imellem, når vinden bar fra konditoren, kunne han også høre, hvorledes der blev sunget til tevand; men de dybe klokkeslag lød dog stærkere, det var snart ligesom et orgel spillede dertil, lyden kom fra venstre, fra den side, på hvilken hjertet sidder.
Therefore they let him go alone; and as he walked on, the solitude of the wood produced a feeling of reverence in his breast; but still he heard the little bell about which the others rejoiced, and sometimes, when the wind blew in that direction, he could hear the sounds from the confectioner's stall, where the others were singing at tea. But the deep sounds of the bell were much stronger; soon it seemed to him as if an organ played an accompaniment– the sound came from the left, from the side where the heart is.


Nu raslede det i busken og der stod en lille dreng foran kongesønnen, en dreng i træsko og med en trøje så kort, at man ret kunne se hvor lange håndled han havde. De kendte begge hinanden, drengen var just den af konfirmanderne, som ikke kunne komme med, fordi han skulle hjem og levere trøje og støvler af til værtens søn; det havde han gjort og var nu i træsko og de fattige klæder gået af sted alene, thi klokken klang så stærkt, så dybt, han måtte derud.
Now something rustled among the bushes, and a little boy stood before the king's son, in wooden shoes and such a short jacket that the sleeves did not reach to his wrists. They knew each other: the boy was the one who had not been able to go with them because he had to take the coat and boots back to his landlord's son. That he had done, and had started again in his wooden shoes and old clothes, for the sound of the bell was too enticing– he felt he must go on.


"Så kan vi jo gå sammen"! sagde kongesønnen. Men den fattige konfirmand med træskoene var ganske undselig, han trak på de korte trøjeærmer og sagde: Han var bange for, at han ikke kunne gå så rask med, desuden mente han, at klokken måtte søges til højre, thi den plads havde jo alt stort og herligt.
"We might go together," said the king's son. But the poor boy with the wooden shoes was quite ashamed; he pulled at the short sleeves of his jacket, and said that he was afraid he could not walk so fast; besides, he was of opinion that the bell ought to be sought at the right, for there was all that was grand and magnificent.


"Ja, så mødes vi slet ikke"! sagde kongesønnen og nikkede til den fattige dreng, der gik ind i den mørkeste, mest tætte del af skoven, hvor tornene rev hans fattige klæder itu og ansigt, hænder og fødder til blods. Kongesønnen fik også nogle gode rifter, men solen skinnede dog på hans vej, og det er ham vi nu følger med, for en rask knøs var han.
"Then we shall not meet," said the king's son, nodding to the poor boy, who went into the deepest part of the wood, where the thorns tore his shabby clothes and scratched his hands, face, and feet until they bled. The king's son also received several good scratches, but the sun was shining on his way, and it is he whom we will now follow, for he was a quick fellow.


"Klokken vil og må jeg finde"! sagde han, "om jeg så skal gå til verdens ende"!
"I will and must find the bell," he said, "if I have to go to the end of the world."


De ækle abekatte sad oppe i træerne og grinede med alle deres tænder. "Skal vi dænge ham"! sagde de; "skal vi dænge ham; han er en kongesøn"!
Ugly monkeys sat high in the branches and clenched their teeth. "Shall we beat him?" they said. "Shall we thrash him? He is a king's son!"


Men han gik ufortrøden dybere og dybere ind i skoven, hvor der voksede de forunderligste blomster, der stod hvide stjerneliljer med blodrøde støvtråde, himmelblå tulipaner, som gnistrede i vinden, og æbletræer, hvor æblerne ganske og aldeles så ud som store skinnende sæbebobler, tænk bare hvor de træer måtte stråle i solskinnet. Rundt om de dejligste grønne enge, hvor hjort og hind legede i græsset, voksede prægtige ege og bøge, og var et af træerne revnet i barken, så voksede her græs og lange ranker i revnen; der var også store skovstrækninger med stille indsøer, hvori hvide svaner svømmede og slog med vingerne. Kongesønnen stod tit stille og lyttede, ofte troede han, at det var fra en af disse dybe søer klokken klang op til ham, men så mærkede han dog nok, at det var ikke derfra, men endnu dybere inde i skoven at klokken klang.
But he walked on undaunted, deeper and deeper into the wood, where the most wonderful flowers were growing; there were standing white star lilies with blood-red stamens, sky-blue tulips shining when the wind moved them; apple-trees covered with apples like large glittering soap bubbles: only think how resplendent these trees were in the sunshine! All around were beautiful green meadows, where hart and hind played in the grass. There grew magnificent oaks and beech-trees; and if the bark was split of any of them, long blades of grass grew out of the clefts; there were also large smooth lakes in the wood, on which the swans were swimming about and flapping their wings. The king's son often stood still and listened; sometimes he thought that the sound of the bell rose up to him out of one of these deep lakes, but soon he found that this was a mistake, and that the bell was ringing still farther in the wood.


Nu gik solen ned, luften skinnede rød, som ild, der blev så stille, så stille i skoven, og han sank på sin knæ, sang sin aftensalme og sagde: "Aldrig finder jeg hvad jeg søger! nu går solen ned, nu kommer natten, den mørke nat; dog engang kan jeg måske endnu se den runde, røde sol, før den ganske synker bag jorden; jeg vil stige op på klipperne der, de rejser sig i højde med de største træer"!
Then the sun set, the clouds were as red as fire; it became quiet in the wood; he sank down on his knees, sang an evening hymn and said: "I shall never find what I am looking for! Now the sun is setting, and the night, the dark night, is approaching. Yet I may perhaps see the round sun once more before he disappears beneath the horizon. I will climb up these rocks, they are as high as the highest trees!"


Og han greb i ranker og rødder, klatrede op ad de våde sten, hvor vandslangerne snoede sig, hvor skrubtudsen ligesom gøede af ham; men op kom han før solen endnu ganske var nede, set fra denne højde; oh, hvilken pragt! Havet, det store herlige hav, der væltede sine lange bølger mod kysten, strakte sig ud foran ham, og solen stod som et stort skinnende alter derude, hvor hav og himmel mødtes, alt smeltede sammen i glødende farver, skoven sang og havet sang og hans hjerte sang med; den hele natur var en stor hellig kirke, hvori træer og svævende skyer var pillerne, blomster og græs det vævede fløjlsklæde og himlen selv den store kuppel: Deroppe slukkedes de røde farver, idet solen forsvandt, men millioner stjerner tændtes, millioner diamantlamper skinnede da, og kongesønnen bredte sine arme ud mod himlen, mod havet og skoven, og i det samme, fra den højre sidegang, kom med de korte ærmer og med træsko den fattige konfirmand; han var kommet der lige så tidlig, kommet der ad sin vej, og de løb hinanden i møde og holdt hinanden i hænderne i naturens og poesiens store kirke, og over dem klang den usynlige hellige klokke, salige ånder svævede i dans om den til et jublende halleluja!
And then, taking hold of the creepers and roots, he climbed up on the wet stones, where water-snakes were wriggling and the toads, as it were, barked at him: he reached the top before the sun, seen from such a height, had quite set. "Oh, what a splendour!" The sea, the great majestic sea, which was rolling its long waves against the shore, stretched out before him, and the sun was standing like a large bright altar and there where sea and heaven met– all melted together in the most glowing colours; the wood was singing, and his heart too. The whole of nature was one large holy church, in which the trees and hovering clouds formed the pillars, the flowers and grass the woven velvet carpet, and heaven itself was the great cupola; up there the flame colour vanished as soon as the sun disappeared, but millions of stars were lighted; diamond lamps were shining, and the king's son stretched his arms out towards heaven, towards the sea, and towards the wood. Then suddenly the poor boy with the short-sleeved jacket and the wooden shoes appeared; he had arrived just as quickly on the road he had chosen. And they ran towards each other and took one another's hand, in the great cathedral of nature and poesy, and above them sounded the invisible holy bell; happy spirits surrounded them, singing hallelujahs and rejoicing.





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