en-es  Hans_Christian_Andersen_Little_Mermaid_part2
The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen; part 2.

At dawn the tempest was over; of the ship there was not a bit to be seen.

The sun rose red and bright out of the water, and it seemed as if thereat life came into the Prince's cheeks; but his eyes were still closed.

The mermaid kissed his fair high forehead and stroked back his wet hair. She thought he resembled the marble statue down in her little garden. She kissed him again and wished that he might live after all.

And now she saw in front of her the dry land, high blue hills on whose top the white snow shone as if swans were lying there.

Down by the shore were lovely green woods, and in front of them lay a church or an abbey (she knew not what), but at least a building.

Lemon and apple trees grew in the garden, and before the gate were tall palms.

At this spot the sea made a little bay; it was dead calm, but very deep right up to the rocks where the fine white sand was washed up.

Hither she swam with the fair Prince and laid him on the sand, but took care that his head should rest uppermost in the warm sunshine.

Now the bells rang out from the great white building, and a number of young maidens came out through the gardens.

The little mermaid swam further out, behind some high boulders which stuck up out of the water, laid some sea-foam over her hair and her bosom, so that no one could see her little face, and there she watched to see who would come to the poor Prince.

It was not long before a young girl came that way, and seemed to be quite terrified, but only for a moment.

Then she fetched more people, and the mermaid saw the Prince revive, and smile on all those about him.

But on her, out there, he did not smile; he had, of course, no notion that she had rescued him.

She felt very sad, and when he was carried into the great building, she dived sorrowfully down into the water, and betook herself home to her father's palace.

She had always been quiet and thoughtful, but now she became much more so.

The sisters asked her what she had seen the first time she went up, but she did not tell them anything about it.

Every evening and morning did she go up to the place where she had left the Prince.

She saw how the fruits in the garden grew ripe and were picked; she saw how the snow melted on the high mountains; but the Prince she never saw, so she always turned homeward sadder than before.

It was her one comfort to sit in her little garden and throw her arms about the fair marble statue which was like the Prince; but she took no care of her flowers, and they spread as in a wild wood over all the paths, and wove their long stems and leaves in among the branches of the trees, so that it was quite dark there.

At last she could contain herself no longer, but told one of her sisters, and at once all the others got to know it, but nobody else except them and just one or two other mermaids, who didn't tell anyone but their dearest friends.

One of these could tell who the Prince was: she too had seen the fete on the ship, and knew where he came from and where his kingdom lay.

"Come, little sister," said the other Princesses, and with their arms about each other's shoulders they rose in a long line out of the sea in front of the spot where they knew the Prince's palace was.

It was built of a kind of pale yellow shining stone, with great marble steps that you could go down straight into the sea.

Stately gilded domes rose above the roof, and between the pillars that surrounded the whole building stood statues of marble which seemed alive.

Through the clear glass of the tall windows you could see into the noble halls, where costly silk curtains and tapestries were hung, and all the walls were decked with great paintings that it was delightful to gaze at.

In the middle of the largest hall a great fountain splashed; its jet soared high up towards the glass dome in the roof, through which the sun shone on the water and on the beautiful plants that grew in the wide basin.

Now she knew where he lived, and thither she came on many an evening and night upon the water.

She swam much closer to the land than any of the others had dared to do; she even went right up the narrow canal beneath the stately balcony of marble, which cast a shadow far over the water.

Here she would sit and gaze at the young Prince, who believed himself to be quite alone in the bright moonlight.

Many an evening she saw him sail, to the sound of music, in his splendid boat, where the flags waved; she peeped out from among the green weed, and if the breeze caught her long silver white veil, and anyone saw it, they thought it was a swan flapping its wings.

Many a night when the fishermen lay out at sea with torches, she heard them telling all manner of good about the young Prince, and it made her glad that she had saved his life when he was being tossed half dead upon the waves, and she thought of how close his head had lain on her bosom, and how lovingly she had kissed him then; he knew nothing whatever about it, and could not so much as dream about her.

She became fonder and fonder of human people, and more and more did she long to be able to go up amongst them.

Their world, she thought, was far larger than hers: for they could fly far over the sea in ships, climb high up above the clouds on the lofty mountains; and the lands they owned stretched over forests and fields farther than she could see.

There was a great deal she wanted to know, but her sisters could not answer all her questions, so she asked the old grandmother: she knew well the upper world, as she very properly called the countries above the sea.

"If the human people aren't drowned," the little mermaid inquired, "can they go on living always? Don't they die as we do down here in the sea?"

"Yes," said the old lady, "they have to die, too, and besides, their lifetime is shorter than ours.

We can live for three hundred years, but when we cease to be here, we only turn to foam on the water, and have not even a grave down here among our dear ones.

We have no immortal souls, we never live again; we are like the green weed: once it is cut down it never grows green again.

Human kind, on the other hand, have a soul that lives always after the body has turned into earth.

It rises up through the clear air, up to all the shining stars; just as we rise out of the sea and look at the human people's country, so do they rise up to unknown beautiful places, which we never attain."

"Why did we have no immortal souls given us?" said the little mermaid, very sadly.

"I would give all my hundreds of years that I have to live to be a human being for only one day, and then get a share in the heavenly world."

"You mustn't go thinking about that," said the old lady, "we have a much happier and better lot than the people up there."

"So then I've got to die and float like foam on the sea, and not hear the noise of the waves and see the lovely flowers and the red sun! Can't I do anything at all to gain an everlasting soul?"

"No," said the old lady, "only if a human being held you so dear that you were to him more than father or mother, and if with all his thoughts and affections he clung to you and made the priest lay his right hand in yours with the promise to be faithful to you here and for ever, then his soul would flow over into your body, and you too would have a share in the destiny of men.

He would give you a soul and still keep his own.

But that can never happen.

The very thing that is counted beautiful here in the sea, I mean your fish's tail, they think horrid up there on the earth; they have no notion of what's proper: up there people must needs have two clumsy props which they call legs, if they're to look nice."

The little mermaid sighed and looked sadly at her fish's tail.

"Let's be cheerful," said the old lady.

"We'll jump and dance about for the three hundred years we have to live.

It's long enough in all conscience; after that one can sleep it out all the pleasanter in one's grave.

To-night we're to have a court ball."

The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen; part 2.

At dawn the tempest was over; of the ship there was not a bit to be seen.

The sun rose red and bright out of the water, and it seemed as if thereat life came into the Prince's cheeks; but his eyes were still closed.

The mermaid kissed his fair high forehead and stroked back his wet hair. She thought he resembled the marble statue down in her little garden. She kissed him again and wished that he might live after all.

And now she saw in front of her the dry land, high blue hills on whose top the white snow shone as if swans were lying there.

Down by the shore were lovely green woods, and in front of them lay a church or an abbey (she knew not what), but at least a building.

Lemon and apple trees grew in the garden, and before the gate were tall palms.

At this spot the sea made a little bay; it was dead calm, but very deep right up to the rocks where the fine white sand was washed up.

Hither she swam with the fair Prince and laid him on the sand, but took care that his head should rest uppermost in the warm sunshine.

Now the bells rang out from the great white building, and a number of young maidens came out through the gardens.

The little mermaid swam further out, behind some high boulders which stuck up out of the water, laid some sea-foam over her hair and her bosom, so that no one could see her little face, and there she watched to see who would come to the poor Prince.

It was not long before a young girl came that way, and seemed to be quite terrified, but only for a moment.

Then she fetched more people, and the mermaid saw the Prince revive, and smile on all those about him.

But on her, out there, he did not smile; he had, of course, no notion that she had rescued him.

She felt very sad, and when he was carried into the great building, she dived sorrowfully down into the water, and betook herself home to her father's palace.

She had always been quiet and thoughtful, but now she became much more so.

The sisters asked her what she had seen the first time she went up, but she did not tell them anything about it.

Every evening and morning did she go up to the place where she had left the Prince.

She saw how the fruits in the garden grew ripe and were picked; she saw how the snow melted on the high mountains; but the Prince she never saw, so she always turned homeward sadder than before.

It was her one comfort to sit in her little garden and throw her arms about the fair marble statue which was like the Prince; but she took no care of her flowers, and they spread as in a wild wood over all the paths, and wove their long stems and leaves in among the branches of the trees, so that it was quite dark there.

At last she could contain herself no longer, but told one of her sisters, and at once all the others got to know it, but nobody else except them and just one or two other mermaids, who didn't tell anyone but their dearest friends.

One of these could tell who the Prince was: she too had seen the fete on the ship, and knew where he came from and where his kingdom lay.

"Come, little sister," said the other Princesses, and with their arms about each other's shoulders they rose in a long line out of the sea in front of the spot where they knew the Prince's palace was.

It was built of a kind of pale yellow shining stone, with great marble steps that you could go down straight into the sea.

Stately gilded domes rose above the roof, and between the pillars that surrounded the whole building stood statues of marble which seemed alive.

Through the clear glass of the tall windows you could see into the noble halls, where costly silk curtains and tapestries were hung, and all the walls were decked with great paintings that it was delightful to gaze at.

In the middle of the largest hall a great fountain splashed; its jet soared high up towards the glass dome in the roof, through which the sun shone on the water and on the beautiful plants that grew in the wide basin.

Now she knew where he lived, and thither she came on many an evening and night upon the water.

She swam much closer to the land than any of the others had dared to do; she even went right up the narrow canal beneath the stately balcony of marble, which cast a shadow far over the water.

Here she would sit and gaze at the young Prince, who believed himself to be quite alone in the bright moonlight.

Many an evening she saw him sail, to the sound of music, in his splendid boat, where the flags waved; she peeped out from among the green weed, and if the breeze caught her long silver white veil, and anyone saw it, they thought it was a swan flapping its wings.

Many a night when the fishermen lay out at sea with torches, she heard them telling all manner of good about the young Prince, and it made her glad that she had saved his life when he was being tossed half dead upon the waves, and she thought of how close his head had lain on her bosom, and how lovingly she had kissed him then; he knew nothing whatever about it, and could not so much as dream about her.

She became fonder and fonder of human people, and more and more did she long to be able to go up amongst them.

Their world, she thought, was far larger than hers: for they could fly far over the sea in ships, climb high up above the clouds on the lofty mountains; and the lands they owned stretched over forests and fields farther than she could see.

There was a great deal she wanted to know, but her sisters could not answer all her questions, so she asked the old grandmother: she knew well the upper world, as she very properly called the countries above the sea.

"If the human people aren't drowned," the little mermaid inquired, "can they go on living always? Don't they die as we do down here in the sea?"

"Yes," said the old lady, "they have to die, too, and besides, their lifetime is shorter than ours.

We can live for three hundred years, but when we cease to be here, we only turn to foam on the water, and have not even a grave down here among our dear ones.

We have no immortal souls, we never live again; we are like the green weed: once it is cut down it never grows green again.

Human kind, on the other hand, have a soul that lives always after the body has turned into earth.

It rises up through the clear air, up to all the shining stars; just as we rise out of the sea and look at the human people's country, so do they rise up to unknown beautiful places, which we never attain."

"Why did we have no immortal souls given us?" said the little mermaid, very sadly.

"I would give all my hundreds of years that I have to live to be a human being for only one day, and then get a share in the heavenly world."

"You mustn't go thinking about that," said the old lady, "we have a much happier and better lot than the people up there."

"So then I've got to die and float like foam on the sea, and not hear the noise of the waves and see the lovely flowers and the red sun! Can't I do anything at all to gain an everlasting soul?"

"No," said the old lady, "only if a human being held you so dear that you were to him more than father or mother, and if with all his thoughts and affections he clung to you and made the priest lay his right hand in yours with the promise to be faithful to you here and for ever, then his soul would flow over into your body, and you too would have a share in the destiny of men.

He would give you a soul and still keep his own.

But that can never happen.

The very thing that is counted beautiful here in the sea, I mean your fish's tail, they think horrid up there on the earth; they have no notion of what's proper: up there people must needs have two clumsy props which they call legs, if they're to look nice."

The little mermaid sighed and looked sadly at her fish's tail.

"Let's be cheerful," said the old lady.

"We'll jump and dance about for the three hundred years we have to live.

It's long enough in all conscience; after that one can sleep it out all the pleasanter in one's grave.

To-night we're to have a court ball."