ENGLISH

Kept secret but not forgotten

DANSK

Gemt er ikke glemt


There was once an old mansion with a moat and drawbridge. The drawbridge was more often up than down; not all visitors are good or welcome. Under the eaves were loopholes to shoot out through, and for throwing boiling water, yes, even molten lead, down on the enemy if he approached too closely. Indoors were high rafted ceilings, and this was good because of the space it provided for the large amount of smoke that rolled up from the hearth fires, where huge, damp logs burned. On the walls hung pictures of men in armor and proud ladies in heavy robes; the grandest of all the ladies was living here. She was named Mette Mogens, and she was the lady of the manor.

One evening robbers came; they killed three of her guards; along with the watchdog, and they bound Lady Mette with the dog chain in the kennel and then seated themselves in the great hall and drank the wine and all the good beer from her cellar.

Lady Mette stood chained like a dog and yet could not even bark at them.

Then the robbers' servant boy came to her; he had very quietly stolen away from them, knowing this must not be noticed, for if it were they would put him to death.

"Lady Mette Mogens," said the boy, "can you remember when my father rode the wooden horse in your husband's time? You prayed for him then, but it wasn't possible for you to help further toward freeing him; he was made to sit astride the block until he became a cripple. But you sneaked down to him, as I have done now, and you laid a little stone under each of his feet, to give him some relief. No one saw it, or perhaps they pretended not to see it, for you were the gracious young mistress of the manor. This my father has told me, and this I have kept secret but not forgotten. Now I will free you, Lady Mette Mogens!"

And then the two of them took horses from the stable and rode, through rain and wind, to get the help of friends.

"This was being well repaid for that small service to the old man," said Mette Mogens.

"Kept secret but not forgotten," said the boy.

The robbers were hanged.

There stood an old house; it still stands there, in fact - not the home of Lady Mette Mogens, but that of another noble family.

It is in our own time. The sun is shining on the gilded spires on the turrets; little wooded isles lie like bouquets on the lake, and around them swim wild swans. There are roses growing in the garden, but the lady of the house herself is the loveliest rose, bright with happiness, the happiness of good deeds, not done outwardly before the wide world, but within the hearts of people - and there kept secret but not forgotten.

Now she goes from the mansion to a little peasant cottage in the field. In it there lives a poor, paralyzed girl. A window in the little room faces the north, where the sun does not enter, and where her only view is a patch of meadow that is shut off by the high earth around a ditch. But today there is sunshine inside; God's warm, wonderful sun is there. It comes from the south through a new window where before there had been just a wall.

The paralyzed girl sits in the warm sunshine and looks out on wood and stream; her world has become so wide and so beautiful, and all at a single word from the kindly lady of the manor.

"That word was so easy, the deed so small," she says, "and the happiness it gave me was so unspeakably great and blessed."

And that is why she does so many good deeds and remembers all those in the poor homes about her and in the rich homes, too, where there also are afflicted people. Her deeds are done in secret, and kept secret, but they are not forgotten by our Lord.

There was an old house in the middle of the great, busy city. In it were halls and chambers, but we won't enter them; we'll remain in the kitchen. And here it is snug and bright; it is clean and neat. The copper utensils shine; the table is polished, and the sink is as spotless as a freshly scrubbed larding board. All this has been done by the maid-of-all-work, who has still found time to put on her own best dress, as if she were going to church. She has a bow on her cap, a black bow, which signifies mourning. Yet she has no one of her own to mourn, neither father nor mother, neither family nor lover. She is a poor, serving maid. Once she was engaged to a poor young man, and they loved each other dearly. One day he came to her.

"We two have nothing," he said, "and the rich widow across the way has expressed a warm interest in me. She wants to make me well to do, but you are in my heart. What would you advise me to do?"

"That which you think will be best for your happiness," said the girl. "Be kind and devoted to her; but remember that from the moment we part, we two must never see each other again."

A couple of years went by. Then she met him, her former friend and sweetheart, on the street. He looked ill and miserable. Then she could not keep from asking him, "How are you getting on?"

"Prosperously and well in every way," he said. "My wife is brave and good, but you are still in my heart. I have fought hard, and it will soon be over. Now we will not see each other again before we are with the Lord!"

A week has since passed. This morning it said in the newspaper that he has passed on; therefore the maid wears mourning. Her sweetheart has left a wife and three stepchildren, it said in the paper; that rings badly, and yet the metal is pure.

The black bow tells of mourning; the girl's face tells of it still more; in her heart it is kept secret but will never be forgotten.

Yes, as you see, there are three stories, three leaves on one stalk. Would you like to have more such clover leaves? There are many in the book of the heart, kept secret but not forgotten.
Der lå en gammel gård med mudrede grave og vindebro; den var mere oppe end nede: Ikke alle gæster, som kommer, er gode. Under tagskægget var huller til at skyde ud af og til at hælde kogende vand, ja smeltet bly ned over fjenden, kom han for nær på. Indenfor var højt til bjælkeloftet, og det var godt for den megen røg, der kom fra kaminilden, hvor de store våde brændeknuder lå. Der hang på væggen billeder af harniskklædte mænd og stolte fruer i svære klæder; den strunkeste af dem alle gik levende om herinde, hun kaldtes Mette Mogens; hun var gårdens frue.

Ved aftenstid kom der røvere; de slog tre af hendes folk ihjel, lænkehunden med, og så bandt de fru Mette i hundelænke ved hundehuset og satte sig selv op i salen og drak vinen fra hendes kælder og alt det gode øl.

Fru Mette stod i hundelænke; hun kunne ikke engang gø.

Da kom røverens dreng; han listede sig så stille, det måtte ikke mærkes, for ellers havde de slået ham ihjel.

"Fru Mette Mogens!" sagde drengen; "kan du huske, da min fader red på træhesten i din husbonds tid; da bad du for ham, men det hjalp ikke; han skulle sidde sig til krøbling; men du listede dig ned, som jeg nu lister mig; selv lagde du en lille sten under hver af hans fødder, at han kunne finde hvile. Ingen så det, eller de lod, som de ikke så det, du var den unge, nådige frue. Det har min fader fortalt, og det har jeg gemt, men ikke glemt! nu løser jeg dig, fru Mette Mogens!"

Og så tog de heste på stalden og red i regn og i blæst og fik vennehjælp.

"Det var vel betalt for den smule gerning mod den gamle!" sagde Mette Mogens.

"Gemt er ikke glemt!" sagde drengen.

Røverne blev hængt.



Der lå en gammel gård, den ligger der endnu; det var ikke fru Mette Mogens'; den tilhører en anden højadelig slægt.

Det er i vor tid. Solen skinner på tårnets forgyldte spir, små skovøer ligger som buketter på vandet, og rundt om dem svømmer de vilde svaner. I haven gror roser; gårdens frue er selv det fineste rosenblad, det skinner i glæde, god gernings glæde, ikke ud i den vide verden, men inde i hjerterne, der er det gemt, men ikke glemt.

Nu går hun fra gården hen til det lille udflytterhus på marken. Derinde bor en stakkels værkbruden pige; vinduet i den lille stue vender mod nord; solen kommer der ikke; hun har kun at se hen over et stykke mark, som lukkes ved den høje grøft. Men i dag er der solskin, Vorherres varme, dejlige sol er derinde; den kommer fra syd gennem det nye vindue, hvor før kun var mur.

Den værkbrudne sidder i det varme solskin, ser skov og strand, verden er blevet så stor og så dejlig, og det ved et eneste ord af gårdens venlige frue.

"Det ord var så let, den gerning så lille!" siger hun; "Glæden, jeg fik, var uendelig stor og velsignet!"

Og derfor øver hun så mangen god gerning, tænker på dem alle i de fattige huse og i de rige huse, hvor der også er bedrøvede. Det er skjult og gemt, men det er ikke glemt af Vorherre!



Der var en gammel gård, det var inde i den store, travle by. I gården var stuer og sale; i dem går vi ikke ind; vi bliver i køknet; og der er lunt og lyst, der er rent og nydeligt; kobbertøjet skinner, bordet er som bonet, vasken er som et nys skuret spækkebræt; det har alt sammen enepigen udrettet, og dog fået tid til at sætte tøjet på sig, som om hun skulle i kirke. Hun har sløjfe på kappen, sort sløjfe; det tyder sorg. Hun har jo ingen at sørge for, hverken fader eller moder, hverken slægt eller kæreste; hun er en fattig pige. Engang var hun forlovet, det var med en fattig karl; de holdt inderligt af hinanden. En dag kom han til hende.

"Vi to har ingenting!" sagde han; "den rige enke henne i kælderen har sagt mig varme ord; hun vil sætte mig i velstand; men du er i mit hjerte. Hvad råder du mig til?"

"Det du tror der er din lykke!" sagde pigen. "Vær god og kærlig imod hende, men husk på, at fra den stund vi skilles, kan vi to ikke oftere ses!"

– Og så gik et par år; da mødte hun på gaden sin fordums ven og kæreste; han så syg og elendig ud; da kunne hun ikke lade være, hun måtte spørge: "Hvordan har du det dog?"

"Rigt og godt i alle måder!" sagde han; "konen er brav og god, men du er i mit hjerte. Jeg har stridt min strid, snart er den forbi! Vi ses nu ikke før hos Vorherre."

En uge er gået; i morges stod i avisen, at han var død; derfor bærer pigen sorg. Kæresten er død fra kone og tre stedbørn, som der står at læse; det klinger sprukket, og dog er malmen ren.

Den sorte sløjfe tyder sorg, pigens ansigt tyder den end mere; i hjertet er den gemt, bliver aldrig glemt!



Ja, se det er tre historier, tre blade på én stilk. Ønsker du flere kløverblade? Der er mange i hjertebogen gemt men ikke glemt.




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