DANSK

Nabofamilierne

ENGLISH

The neighbouring families


Man skulle rigtignok tro at der var noget på færde i gadekæret, men der var ikke noget på færde! Alle ænderne, ligesom de allerbedst lå på vandet, nogle stod på hovedet, for det kan de, satte med et lige i land; man kunne se i det våde ler sporene af deres fødder, og man kunne høre et langt stykke borte at de skreg. Vandet kom ordentlig i bevægelse, og nylig var det blank, som et spejlglas, man så deri hvert træ, hver busk tæt ved, og det gamle bondehus med hullerne i gavlen og svalereden, men især det store rosentræ fuldt af blomster, der hang fra muren næsten lige ud over vandet, og deri stod det hele, ligesom et skilderi, men alt sammen på hovedet; og da vandet kom i uro, så løb det ene i det andet, hele billedet var væk. To andefjer, der faldt af ænderne, som fløj, vippede ordentlig op og ned, med et tog de fart, ligesom om der var vind, men der var ingen vind, og så lå de stille, og vandet blev spejlglat igen, man så tydeligt gavlen med svalereden, og rosentræet så man; hver rose spejlede sig; de var så dejlige, men de vidste det ikke selv, for ingen havde sagt dem det. Solen skinnede ind imellem de fine blade, der var så fyldt med duft; og det var for hver rose, ligesom for os, når vi er ret lyksalige henne i tanker.
One would have thought that something important was going on in the duck-pond, but it was nothing after all. All the ducks lying quietly on the water or standing on their heads in it– for they could do that– at once swarm to the sides; the traces of their feet were seen in the wet earth, and their cackling was heard far and wide. The water, which a few moments before had been as clear and smooth as a mirror, became very troubled. Before, every tree, every neighbouring bush, the old farmhouse with the holes in the roof and the swallows' nest, and especially the great rose-bush full of flowers, had been reflected in it. The rose-bush covered the wall and hung out over the water, in which everything was seen as if in a picture, except that it all stood on its head; but when the water was troubled everything got mixed up, and the picture was gone. Two feathers which the fluttering ducks had lost floated up and down; suddenly they took a rush as if the wind were coming, but as it did not come they had to lie still, and the water once more became quiet and smooth. The roses were again reflected; they were very beautiful, but they did not know it, for no one had told them. The sun shone among the delicate leaves; everything breathed forth the loveliest fragrance, and all felt as we do when we are filled with joy at the thought of our happiness.


"Hvor det er dejligt at være til!" sagde hver rose, "det eneste jeg ved at ønske, er at jeg kunne kysse solen, fordi den er så varm og klar. - Ja, roserne dernede i vandet ville jeg også kysse! de ligner os ganske akkurat; jeg ville kysse de søde fugleunger dernede i reden; ja der er også nogle oven over os! de stikker hovederne ud og pipper så småt; de har slet ingen fjer, som deres fader og moder. Det er gode naboer, vi har, både dem oven over og neden under. Oh, hvor det er dejligt at være til!"
"How beautiful existence is!" said each rose. "The only thing that I wish for is to be able to kiss the sun, because it is so warm and bright. I should also like to kiss those roses down in the water, which are so much like us, and the pretty little birds down in the nest. There are some up above too; they put out their heads and pipe softly; they have no feathers like their father and mother. We have good neighbours, both below and above. How beautiful existence is!"


De små unger oppe og nede, - ja de nede var kun skin i vandet, - var spurve, fader og moder var spurve; de havde taget den tomme svalerede fra i fjor, i den lå de og var hjemme.
The young ones above and below– those below were really only shadows in the water– were sparrows; their parents were sparrows too, and had taken possession of the empty swallows' nest of last year, and now lived in it as if it were their own property.


"Er det ællingebørn, som svømmer der?" spurgte spurveungerne, da de så andefjerene drive på vandet.
"Are those the duck's children swimming here?" asked the young sparrows when they saw the feathers on the water.


"Gør fornuftige spørgsmål når I spørger," sagde moderen; "Ser I ikke, at det er fjer, levende kjoletøj, som jeg har det og I får det, men vort er finere! Gid vi ellers havde dem heroppe i reden, for de varmer. Jeg gad vide hvad det var, som forskrækkede ænderne! der må have været noget i vandet, for mig var det vist ikke! skønt jeg sagde rigtig nok noget stærkt 'pip' til jer! De tykhovedede roser burde vide det, men de ved ingen ting, de ser kun på sig selv og lugter. Jeg er inderlig ked af de naboer!" -
"If you must ask questions, ask sensible ones," said their mother. "Don't you see that they are feathers, such as I wear and you will wear too? But ours are finer. Still, I should like to have them up in the nest, for they keep one warm. I am very curious to know what the ducks were so startled about; not about us, certainly, although I did say 'peep' to you pretty loudly. The thick-headed roses ought to know why, but they know nothing at all; they only look at themselves and smell. I am heartily tired of such neighbours."


"Hør de søde små fugle deroppe!" sagde roserne, "de begynder nu også på at ville synge! - De kan ikke, men det kommer nok! - Hvor det må være en stor fornøjelse! Det er ganske morsomt at have sådanne lystige naboer!" -
"Listen to the dear little birds up there," said the roses; "they begin to want to sing too, but are not able to manage it yet. But it will soon come. What a pleasure that must be! It is fine to have such cheerful neighbours."


I galop kom i det samme to heste, de skulle vandes; en bondedreng sad på den ene, og han havde taget alle sine klæder af undtagen sin sorte hat; den var så stor og bred. Drengen fløjtede ligesom om han var en lille fugl, og red så ud i det dybeste af gadekæret; og da han kom over mod rosentræet, rev han en af roserne af og stak op i hatten, så troede han at være rigtig pyntet, og red så bort med den. De andre roser så efter deres søster, og spurgte hinanden: "Hvor rejste hun hen?" men det vidste ingen.
Suddenly two horses came galloping up to be watered. A peasant boy rode on one, and he had taken off all his clothes except his large broad black hat. The boy whistled like a bird, and rode into the pond where it was deepest, and as he passed the rose-bush he plucked a rose and stuck it in his hat. Now he looked dressed, and rode on. The other roses looked after their sister, and asked each other, "Where can she be going to?" But none of them knew.


"Jeg gad nok komme ud i verden!" sagde den ene til den anden, "men her hjemme i vort eget grønne er også dejligt! om dagen er solen så varm og om natten skinner himlen endnu smukkere! det kan vi se igennem de mange små huller, der er på den!"
"I should like to go out into the world for once," said one; "but here at home among our green leaves it is beautiful too. The whole day long the sun shines bright and warm, and in the night the sky shines more beautifully still; we can see that through all the little holes in it."


Det var stjernerne, som de troede hver var et hul, for roserne vidste det ikke bedre.
They meant the stars, but they knew no better.


"Vi liver op om huset," sagde spurvemoderen, "og svalereder bringer lykke," siger folk; "derfor er de glade ved at have os! men de naboer der, sådan en hel rosenbusk op ad muren, sætter fugtighed; jeg tænker den kommer nok bort, så kan der dog gro et korn. Roser er kun at se på og at lugte til, eller i det højeste at stikke i hatten. Hvert år, det ved jeg fra min moder, så falder de af, bondekonen sylter dem med salt, de får et fransk navn, som jeg ikke kan sige, og heller ikke bryder mig om; og så lægges de på ilden, når der skal lugte godt. Se, det er deres levnedsløb! de er bare for øjne og næse. Nu ved I det!"
"We make it lively about the house," said the sparrow-mother; "and people say that a swallows' nest brings luck; so they are glad of us. But such neighbours as ours! A rose-bush on the wall like that causes damp. I daresay it will be taken away; then we shall, perhaps, have some corn growing here. The roses are good for nothing but to be looked at and to be smelt, or at most to be stuck in a hat. Every year, as I have been told by my mother, they fall off. The farmer's wife preserves them and strews salt among them; then they get a French name which I neither can pronounce nor care to, and are put into the fire to make a nice smell. You see, that's their life; they exist only for the eye and the nose. Now you know."


Da det blev aften og myggene dansede i den varme luft, hvor skyerne var så røde, kom nattergalen og sang for roserne: at det skønne var som solskinnet i denne verden; og at det skønne levede altid. Men roserne troede at nattergalen sang om sig selv og det kunne man jo også tænke. Det faldt dem slet ikke ind, at det var dem, der skulle have sangen, men glade var de ved den og tænkte på, om ikke alle de små spurveunger også kunne blive til nattergale.
In the evening, when the gnats were playing about in the warm air and in the red clouds, the nightingale came and sang to the roses that the beautiful was like sunshine to the world, and that the beautiful lived for ever. The roses thought that the nightingale was singing about itself, and that one might easily have believed; they had no idea that the song was about them. But they were very pleased with it, and wondered whether all the little sparrows could become nightingales.


"Jeg forstod meget godt hvad den fugl sang!" sagde spurveungerne, "der var bare et ord, jeg ikke forstod: Hvad er det skønne?"
"I understand the song of that bird very well," said the young sparrows. "There was only one word that was not clear to me. What does 'the beautiful' mean?"


"Det er ingenting!" sagde spurvemoderen, "det er bare sådan et udseende. Oppe på herregården, hvor duerne har deres eget hus, og hver dag får ærter og korn strøet i gården, - jeg har spist med dem og det skal I også komme til! sig mig, hvem du omgås, så skal jeg sige dig, hvem du er! - der oppe på herregården har de to fugle med grønne halse og en top på hovedet; halen kan brede sig ud, som var den et stort hjul, og den har alle kulører, så at det gør ondt i øjnene; påfugle kaldes de, og de er det skønne! De skulle pilles lidt, da så de ikke anderledes ud, end vi andre. Jeg havde hugget dem, dersom de ikke havde været så store!"
"Nothing at all," answered their mother; "that's only something external. Up at the Hall, where the pigeons have their own house, and corn and peas are strewn before them every day– I have dined with them myself, and that you shall do in time, too; for tell me what company you keep and I'll tell you who you are– up at the Hall they have two birds with green necks and a crest upon their heads; they can spread out their tails like a great wheel, and these are so bright with various colours that it makes one's eyes ache. These birds are called peacocks, and that is 'the beautiful.' If they were only plucked a little they would look no better than the rest of us. I would have plucked them already if they had not been so big."


"Jeg vil hugge dem!" sagde den mindste spurveunge og han havde endnu ikke fjer.
"I'll pluck them," piped the young sparrow, who had no feathers yet.


Inde i bondehuset boede to unge folk; de holdt så meget af hinanden, de var så flittige og raske, der var så nydeligt hos dem. Søndag morgen gik den unge kone ud, tog en hel håndfuld af de smukkeste roser, satte dem i vandglasset og stillede det midt på dragkisten.
In the farmhouse lived a young married couple; they loved each other dearly, were industrious and active, and everything in their home looked very nice. On Sundays the young wife came down early, plucked a handful of the most beautiful roses, and put them into a glass of water, which she placed upon the cupboard.


"Nu kan jeg se, det er søndag!" sagde manden, kyssede sin søde, lille kone, og de satte sig ned, læste en salme, holdt hinanden i hænderne, og solen skinnede ind af vinduerne på de friske roser og på de unge folk.
"Now I see that it is Sunday," said the husband, kissing his little wife. They sat down, read their hymn-book, and held each other by the hand, while the sun shone down upon the fresh roses and upon them.


"Det er jeg ked af at se på!" sagde gråspurvemoderen, som fra reden kiggede lige ind i stuen; og så fløj hun.
"This sight is really too tedious," said the sparrow-mother, who could see into the room from her nest; and she flew away.


Det samme gjorde hun næste søndag, thi hver søndag kom der friske roser i glasset og altid blomstrede rosenhækken lige smukt; spurveungerne, der nu havde fået fjer, ville gerne flyve med, men moderen sagde: "I bliver!" og så blev de. - Hun fløj, men hvordan hun nu fløj eller ikke, med et hang hun fast i en fuglesnare af hestehår, som nogle drenge havde bundet på en gren. Hestehårene trak sig fast om benet, oh så fast, som om det skulle skæres over; det var en pine, det var en skræk; drengene sprang lige til og greb fuglen, og de greb så gruelig hårdt. "Det er ikke andet, end en spurv!" sagde de, men de lod den dog ikke flyve igen, de gik hjem med den og hver gang den skreg, slog de den på næbbet.
The same thing happened on the following Sunday, for every Sunday fresh roses were put into the glass; but the rose-bush bloomed as beautifully as ever. The young sparrows now had feathers, and wanted very much to fly with their mother; but she would not allow it, and so they had to stay at home. In one of her flights, however it may have happened, she was caught, before she was aware of it, in a horse-hair net which some boys had attached to a tree. The horse-hair was drawn tightly round her leg– as tightly as if the latter were to be cut off; she was in great pain and terror. The boys came running up and seized her, and in no gentle way either.


Inde i bondegården stod der en gammel karl, der forstod at lave sæbe til skægget og til hænderne, sæbe i kugler og sæbe i stykker. Det var sådan en omvandrende lystig gammel en, og da han så gråspurven, som drengene kom med, og som de sagde at de slet ikke brød sig om, sagde han: "Skal vi gøre den skøn" og det gøs i spurvemoderen, da han sagde det. Og op af sin kasse, hvori der lå de dejligste kulører, tog han en hel mængde skinnende bogguld, og drengene måtte løbe ind at skaffe et æg, og af det tog han hviden og den smurte han hele fuglen over med, og klinede så bogguldet på, så var spurvemoderen forgyldt; men hun tænkte ikke på den stads, hun rystede over alle lemmer. Og sæbemanden tog en rød lap, han rev den af foret i sin gamle trøje, klippede lappen til en takket hanekam, og klistrede den på hovedet af fuglen.
"It's only a sparrow," they said; they did not, however, let her go, but took her home with them, and every time she cried they hit her on the beak.


"Nu skal I se guldfuglen flyve!" sagde han og slap gråspurven, der i den grueligste forfærdelse fløj af sted i det klare solskin. Nej, hvor den skinnede! alle gråspurve, selv en stor krage, og det ingen årsunge, blev ganske forskrækket for det syn, men de fløj dog bag efter, for de ville vide hvad det var for en fremmed fugl.
In the farmhouse was an old man who understood making soap into cakes and balls, both for shaving and washing. He was a merry old man, always wandering about. On seeing the sparrow which the boys had brought, and which they said they did not want, he asked, "Shall we make it look very pretty?"


"Hvorfra! hvorfra!" skreg kragen.
At these words an icy shudder ran through the sparrow-mother.


"Tøv lidt! tøv lidt!" sagde spurvene. Men den ville ikke tøve lidt; i angst og forfærdelse fløj hun hjemad; hun var nærved at synke til jorden og altid kom der flere fugle til, små og store; nogle fløj lige tæt ind på den for at hugge løs. "Se'ken en! se'ken en!" skreg de alle sammen!
Out of his box, in which were the most beautiful colours, the old man took a quantity of shining leaf-gold, while the boys had to go and fetch some white of egg, with which the sparrow was to be smeared all over; the gold was stuck on to this, and the sparrow-mother was now gilded all over. But she, trembling in every limb, did not think of the adornment. Then the soap-man tore off a small piece from the red lining of his old jacket, and cutting it so as to make it look like a cock's comb, he stuck it to the bird's head.


"Se'ken en! se'ken en!" skreg ungerne, da hun kom hen imod reden. "Det er bestemt en påfugleunge, der er alle kulører, som skærer i øjnene, som mor sagde; pip! det er det skønne!" Og så huggede de med deres små næb, så at det ikke blev muligt for hende at slippe ind, og hun var således af forfærdelse, at hun ikke længere kunne sige pip, end sige: Jeg er eders moder. De andre fugle huggede den nu alle, så hver fjer gik af, og blodig sank spurvemoderen ned i rosenhækken.
"Now you will see the gold-jacket fly," said the old man, letting the sparrow go, which flew away in deadly fear, with the sun shining upon her. How she glittered! All the sparrows, and even a crow– and an old boy he was too– were startled at the sight; but still they flew after her to learn what kind of strange bird she was.


"Det stakkels dyr!" sagde roserne. "Kom vi skal skjule dig! Held dit lille hoved op til os!"
Driven by fear and horror, she flew homeward; she was almost sinking fainting to the earth, while the flock of pursuing birds increased, some even attempting to peck at her.


Spurvemoderen bredte endnu engang vingerne ud, knugede dem så fast til sig igen og var død hos nabofamilien, de friske, smukke roser.
"Look at her! Look at her!" they all cried.


"Pip!" sagde spurveungerne i reden. "Hvor mutter bliver af, det kan jeg ikke begribe! Det skulle dog ikke være et fif af hende, at vi nu må skøtte os selv. Huset har hun ladet os beholde til arvepart! men hvem af os skal have det alene, når vi får familie."
"Look at her! Look at her" cried her little ones, as she approached the nest. "That is certainly a young peacock, for it glitters in all colours; it makes one's eyes ache, as mother told us. Peep! that's 'the beautiful'." And then they pecked at the bird with their little beaks so that it was impossible for her to get into the nest; she was so exhausted that she couldn't even say "Peep!" much less "I am your own mother!" The other birds, too, now fell upon the sparrow and plucked off feather after feather until she fell bleeding into the rose-bush.


"Ja, jeg kan ikke have jer andre her, når jeg udvider mig med kone og børn!" sagde den mindste.
"Poor creature!" said all the roses; "only be still, and we will hide you. Lean your little head against us."


"Jeg får nok flere koner og børn end du!" sagde den anden.
The sparrow spread out her wings once more, then drew them closely to her, and lay dead near the neighbouring family, the beautiful fresh roses.


"Men jeg er ældst!" sagde en tredje. Alle sammen kom de op at skændes, de slog med vingerne, huggede med næbbet, og bums, så blev den ene efter den anden puffet ud af reden. Der lå de, og vrede var de; hovedet hældte de helt om på den ene side og så plirrede det øje, som vendte op; det var nu deres måde at mule på.
"Peep!" sounded from the nest. "Where can mother be so long? It's more than I can understand. It cannot be a trick of hers, and mean that we are now to take care of ourselves. She has left us the house as an inheritance; but to which of us is it to belong when we have families of our own?"


Lidt kunne de flyve, og så øvede de sig noget mere, og blev til sidst enige om, at for at kunne kende hinanden igen når de mødtes i verden, ville de sige; pip! og skrabe tre gange med det venstre ben.
"Yes, it won't do for you to stay with me when I increase my household with a wife and children," said the smallest.


Den unge, som blev tilbage i reden, gjorde sig så bred den kunne, den var jo nu husejer, men længe varede det ikke. - Om natten skinnede den røde ild gennem ruderne, flammerne slog frem under taget, det tørre strå gik op i lue, hele huset brændte, og spurveungen med, derimod kom de unge folk lykkelig bort.
"I daresay I shall have more wives and children than you," said the second.


Da solen næste morgen var oppe og alt syntes så forfrisket som efter en mild nattesøvn, stod der af bondehuset ikke andet tilbage, end nogle sorte, forkullede bjælker, der hældede sig op til skorstenen, som var sin egen herre; det røg stærkt fra grunden, men foran den stod frisk og blomstrende det hele rosentræ, der spejlede hver gren og hver blomst i det stille vand.
"But I am the eldest!" exclaimed the third. Then they all got excited; they hit out with their wings, pecked with their beaks, and flop! one after another was thrown out of the nest. There they lay with their anger, holding their heads on one side and blinking the eye that was turned upwards. That was their way of looking foolish.


"Nej hvor dejligt de roser står der foran det nedbrændte hus!" råbte en mand, som kom forbi. "Det er det yndigste lille billede! det må jeg have!" og manden tog op af lommen en lille bog med hvide blade, og han tog sin blyant, for han var en maler, og tegnede så det rygende grus, de forkullede bjælker op til den hældende skorsten, for den hældede mere og mere, men allerforrest stod den store, blomstrende rosenhæk, den var rigtignok dejlig, og var jo også ene skyld i at det hele blev tegnet.
They could fly a little; by practice they learned to improve, and at last they agreed upon a sign by which to recognise each other if they should meet in the world later on. It was to be one "Peep!" and three scratches on the ground with the left foot.


Op ad dagen kom forbi to af gråspurvene, som var født her. "Hvor er huset?" sagde de, "hvor er reden? - Pip, alting er brændt op og vor stærke broder er brændt med! det fik han fordi han beholdt reden. - Roserne er sluppet godt fra det! de står endnu med røde kinder. De sørger da ikke for naboens ulykke. Ja jeg taler ikke til dem, og grimt er her, det er min mening!" Så fløj de.
The young one who had remained behind in the nest made himself as broad as he could, for he was the proprietor. But this greatness did not last long. In the night the red flames burst through the window and seized the roof, the dry straw blazed up high, and the whole house, together with the young sparrow, was burned. The two others, who wanted to marry, thus saved their lives by a stroke of luck.


Ud på efteråret var det en dejlig solskinsdag, man kunne ordentlig tro, man var midt i sommeren. Der var så tørt og rent i gården foran den store trappe hos herremandens, og der gik duerne, både sorte og hvide og violette, de glinsede i solskinnet og de gamle duemødre brusede sig op og sagde til ungerne, "stå i gruppe! stå i gruppe!" - for så tog de sig bedre ud.
When the sun rose again and everything looked as refreshed as if it had had a quiet sleep, there only remained of the farmhouse a few black charred beams leaning against the chimney, which was now its own master. Thick smoke still rose from the ruins, but the rose-bush stood yonder, fresh, blooming, and untouched, every flower and every twig being reflected in the clear water.


"Hvad er det små grå, der løber mellem os?" spurgte en gammel due, som havde rødt og grønt igennem øjnene. "Små grå! små grå!" sagde hun.
"How beautifully the roses bloom before the ruined house," exclaimed a passer-by. "A pleasanter picture cannot be imagined. I must have that." And the man took out of his portfolio a little book with white leaves: he was a painter, and with his pencil he drew the smoking house, the charred beams and the overhanging chimney, which bent more and more; in the foreground he put the large, blooming rose-bush, which presented a charming view. For its sake alone the whole picture had been drawn.


"Det er spurve! skikkelige dyr! vi har altid haft ord for at være fromme, og så får vi lade dem pille op! - De taler ikke med og skraber så net med benet!"
Later in the day the two sparrows who had been born there came by. "Where is the house?" they asked. "Where is the nest? Peep! All is burned and our strong brother too. That's what he has now for keeping the nest. The roses got off very well; there they still stand with their red cheeks. They certainly do not mourn at their neighbours' misfortunes. I don't want to talk to them, and it looks miserable here– that's my opinion." And away they went.


Ja de skrabede, tre gange skrabede de med det venstre ben, men de sagde også pip og så kendte de hverandre, det var tre spurve fra det afbrændte hus. -
On a beautiful sunny autumn day– one could almost have believed it was still the middle of summer– there hopped about in the dry clean-swept courtyard before the principal entrance of the Hall a number of black, white, and gaily-coloured pigeons, all shining in the sunlight. The pigeon-mothers said to their young ones: "Stand in groups, stand in groups! for that looks much better."


"Her er overmåde godt at æde!" sagde spurvene.
"What kind of creatures are those little grey ones that run about behind us?" asked an old pigeon, with red and green in her eyes. "Little grey ones! Little grey ones!" she cried.


Og duerne gik rundt om hverandre, brystede sig og havde indvendig mening.
"They are sparrows, and good creatures. We have always had the reputation of being pious, so we will allow them to pick up the corn with us; they don't interrupt our talk, and they scrape so prettily when they bow."


"Ser du brystduen?" sagde den ene om den anden, "og ser du hende, hvor hun sluger ærter? hun får for mange! hun får de bedste! kurr kurr! ser du hvor hun der bliver skaldet i kammen! ser du det søde, det arrige dyr! knurre, knurre!" og så skinnede på dem alle sammen øjnene røde af arrighed. "Stå i gruppe, stå i gruppe! Små grå! små grå! Knurre, knurre, kurre!" gik det i et væk og således går det endnu om tusinde år.
Indeed they were continually making three foot-scrapings with the left foot and also said "Peep!" By this means they recognised each other, for they were the sparrows from the nest on the burned house.


Gråspurvene spiste godt, og de hørte godt, ja de stillede sig endogså op, men det klædte ikke; mætte var de; så gik de fra duerne og sagde indbyrdes deres mening om dem, hoppede så ind under havestakittet, og da døren der til havestuen stod åben, hoppede den ene op på dørtrinet, han var overmæt og derfor modig: "pip!" sagde han, "det tør jeg!" - "pip!" sagde den anden, "det tør jeg også og lidt til!" og så hoppede han ind i stuen. Der var ingen folk derinde, det så den tredje nok, og så fløj han endnu længere op i stuen og sagde: "Helt ind, eller slet ikke! det er ellers en løjerlig menneske-rede den! og hvad her er stillet op! nej hvad er det!"
"Here is excellent fare!" said the sparrow. The pigeons strutted round one another, puffed out their chests mightily, and had their own private views and opinions.


Lige foran spurvene blomstrede jo roserne, de spejlede sig der i vandet, og de kullede bjælker lå op til den faldefærdige skorsten! - Nej, hvad var dog dette! hvor kom det ind i herregårdsstuen?
"Do you see that pouter pigeon?" said one to the other. "Do you see how she swallows the peas? She eats too many, and the best ones too. Curoo! Curoo! How she lifts her crest, the ugly, spiteful creature! Curoo! Curoo!" And the eyes of all sparkled with malice. "Stand in groups! Stand in groups! Little grey ones, little grey ones! Curoo, curoo, curoo!"


Og alle tre spurve ville flyve hen over roser og skorsten, men det var en flad væg, de fløj imod; det hele var et maleri, et stort, prægtigt stykke, som maleren havde gjort efter sin lille tegning.
So their chatter ran on, and so it will run on for thousands of years. The sparrows ate lustily; they listened attentively, and even stood in the ranks with the others, but it did not suit them at all. They were full, and so they left the pigeons, exchanging opinions about them, slipped in under the garden palings, and when they found the door leading into the house open, one of them, who was more than full, and therefore felt brave, hopped on to the threshold. "Peep!" said he; "I may venture that."


"Pip!" sagde spurvene, "det er ingenting! det ser bare ud! pip! det er det skønne! Kan du begribe det, for jeg kan ikke!" og så fløj de, for der kom mennesker i stuen.
"Peep!" said the other; "so may I, and something more too!" and he hopped into the room. No one was there; the third sparrow, seeing this, flew still farther into the room, exclaiming, "All or nothing! It is a curious man's nest all the same; and what have they put up here? What is it?"


Nu gik der både år og dag, duerne havde mange gange kurret, for ikke at sige knurret, de arrige dyr! Gråspurvene havde frosset om vinteren og levet højt om sommeren; de var alle sammen forlovede eller gifte, eller hvad man nu vil kalde det. Unger havde de, og enhvers unge var, naturligvis, den kønneste og den klogeste; en fløj her og en fløj der, og mødtes de, så kendtes de på "pip!" og tre skrab med det venstre ben. Den ældste af dem, det var nu sådan en gammel en, hun havde ingen rede og hun havde ingen unger; hun ville så gerne en gang til en stor by og så fløj hun til København. -
Close to the sparrows the roses were blooming; they were reflected in the water, and the charred beams leaned against the overhanging chimney. "Do tell me what this is. How comes this in a room at the Hall?" And all three sparrows wanted to fly over the roses and the chimney, but flew against a flat wall. It was all a picture, a great splendid picture, which the artist had painted from a sketch.


Der lå et stort hus med mange kulører; det lå lige ved slottet og kanalen, hvor der var skibe med æbler og potter. Vinduerne var bredere for neden end for oven, og kiggede spurvene derind, så var hver stue, syntes dem, ligesom om de så ned i en tulipan, alle mulige kulører og snirkler, og midt i tulipanen stod hvide mennesker; de var af marmor, nogle var også af gips, men det kommer ud på et for spurveøjne. Oven på huset stod en metalvogn med metalheste for, og sejrens gudinde, også af metal, kørte dem. Det var Thorvaldsens Museum.
"Peep!" said the sparrows, "it's nothing. It only looks like something. Peep! that is 'the beautiful.' Do you understand it? I don't."


"Hvor det skinner! hvor det skinner!" sagde spurvefrøknen, "det er nok det skønne! pip! her er det dog større end en påfugl!" hun huskede endnu på fra lille af, hvad der var det største skønne, moderen kendte. Og hun fløj lige ned i gården; der var også prægtigt, der var malet palmer og grene op ad væggene, og midt i gården stod en blomstrende stor rosenbusk; den hældede sine friske grene med de mange roser hen over en grav; og hun fløj derhen, for der gik flere spurve, "pip!" og tre skrab med det venstre ben; den hilsen havde hun mange gange gjort i år og dag, og ingen havde forstået den, for de, som er skilt ad, de træffes ikke hver dag; den hilsen var blevet til vane, men i dag var der to gamle spurve og en unge, der sagde "pip!" og skrabede med det venstre ben.
And they flew away, for some people came into the room.


"Ih se god dag, god dag!" det var tre gamle fra spurvereden og så en lille en af familien. "Skal vi træffes her!" sagde de. "Det er et fornemt sted, men her er ikke meget at æde. Det er det skønne! pip!"
Days and years went by. The pigeons had often cooed, not to say growled– the spiteful creatures; the sparrows had been frozen in winter and had lived merrily in summer: they were all betrothed, or married, or whatever you like to call it. They had little ones, and of course each one thought his own the handsomest and cleverest; one flew this way, another that, and when they met they recognised each other by their "Peep!" and the three scrapes with the left foot. The eldest had remained an old maid and had no nest nor young ones. It was her pet idea to see a great city, so she flew to Copenhagen.


Og der kom mange folk fra sidekamrene, hvor de prægtige marmorskikkelser stod, og de gik hen til graven, der gemte den store mester, som havde formet marmorstøtterne, og alle som kom, stod med lysende ansigter om Thorvaldsens grav, og enkelte opsamlede de affaldne rosenblade og gemte disse. Der var folk langvejs fra; de kom fra det store England, fra Tyskland og Frankrig; og den skønneste dame tog en af roserne, lagde den ved sit bryst. Da troede spurvene at roserne regerede her, at det hele hus var bygget for deres skyld, og det syntes de var rigtignok lidt for meget, men da menneskene alle sammen gjorde af roserne, så ville de ikke stå tilbage. "Pip!" sagde de, fejede gulvet med deres hale, og så med det ene øje på roserne; længe så de ikke, før de var visse på at det var de gamle naboer; og det var det også. Maleren, som havde tegnet rosenbusken ved det nedbrændte hus, havde siden ud på året fået lov til at grave den op, og da givet bygmesteren den, thi ingen roser var dejligere; og han havde sat den på Thorvaldsens grav, hvor den, som billedet på det skønne, blomstrede og gav sine røde, duftende blade at bæres som erindring til fjerne lande.
There was a large house painted in many gay colours standing close to the castle and the canal, upon which latter were to be seen many ships laden with apples and pottery. The windows of the house were broader at the bottom than at the top, and when the sparrows looked through them, every room appeared to them like a tulip with the brightest colours and shades. But in the middle of the tulip stood white men, made of marble; a few were of plaster; still, looked at with sparrows' eyes, that comes to the same thing. Up on the roof stood a metal chariot drawn by metal horses, and the goddess of Victory, also of metal, was driving. It was Thorwaldsen's Museum.


"Har I fået ansættelse herinde i byen?" spurgte spurvene. Og roserne nikkede; de kendte de grå naboer og blev så glade ved at se dem.
"How it shines! how it shines!" said the maiden sparrow. "I suppose that is 'the beautiful.' Peep! But here it is larger than a peacock." She still remembered what in her childhood's days her mother had looked upon as the greatest among the beautiful. She flew down into the courtyard: there everything was extremely fine. Palms and branches were painted on the walls, and in the middle of the court stood a great blooming rose-tree spreading out its fresh boughs, covered with roses, over a grave. Thither flew the maiden sparrow, for she saw several of her own kind there. A "peep" and three foot-scrapings– in this way she had often greeted throughout the year, and no one here had responded, for those who are once parted do not meet every day; and so this greeting had become a habit with her. But to-day two old sparrows and a young one answered with a "peep" and the thrice-repeated scrape with the left foot.


"Hvor det er velsignet at leve og blomstre, at se gamle venner og hver dag milde ansigter! Her er ligesom om det hver dag var en stor helligdag!"
"Ah! Good-day! good-day!" They were two old ones from the nest and a little one of the family. "Do we meet here? It's a grand place, but there's not much to eat. This is 'the beautiful.' Peep!"


"Pip!" sagde spurvene, "jo det er de gamle naboer! deres herkomst fra gadekæret husker vi! pip! hvor de er kommet til ære! Somme kommer da også sovende til det. Og hvad rart der er ved sådan en rød klat, ved jeg ikke! - Og der sidder da et vissent blad, for det kan jeg se!"
Many people came out of the side rooms where the beautiful marble statues stood and approached the grave where lay the great master who had created these works of art. All stood with enraptured faces round Thorwaldsen's grave, and a few picked up the fallen rose-leaves and preserved them. They had come from afar: one from mighty England, others from Germany and France. The fairest of the ladies plucked one of the roses and hid it in her bosom. Then the sparrows thought that the roses reigned here, and that the house had been built for their sake. That appeared to them to be really too much, but since all the people showed their love for the roses, they did not wish to be behindhand. "Peep!" they said sweeping the ground with their tails, and blinking with one eye at the roses, they had not looked at them long before they were convinced that they were their old neighbours. And so they really were. The painter who had drawn the rose-bush near the ruined house, had afterwards obtained permission to dig it up, and had given it to the architect, for finer roses had never been seen. The architect had planted it upon Thorwaldsen's grave, where it bloomed as an emblem of 'the beautiful' and yielded fragrant red rose-leaves to be carried as mementoes to distant lands.


Og så nippede de i det, så at bladet faldt af, og friskere og grønnere stod træet, og roserne duftede i solskinnet på Thorvaldsens grav, til hvis udødelige navn deres skønhed sluttede sig.
"Have you obtained an appointment here in the city?" asked the sparrows. The roses nodded; they recognized their grey neighbours and were pleased to see them again. "How glorious it is to live and to bloom, to see old friends again, and happy faces every day. It is as if every day were a festival." - "Peep!" said the sparrows. "Yes, they are really our old neighbours; we remember their origin near the pond. Peep! how they have got on. Yes, some succeed while they are asleep. Ah! there's a faded leaf; I can see that quite plainly." And they pecked at it till it fell off. But the tree stood there fresher and greener than ever; the roses bloomed in the sunshine on Thorwaldsen's grave and became associated with his immortal name.





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