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See also Funeral, Graveyard


Death, graveyard, cross

Description of this motif: Graves are a place for melancholy, sorrow and memories, and so it is in Andersen's tales, for example in the "The Old Tombstone". The emphasis is on memories of the dead, even when oblivion prevails, as in the mercyless story "The Wind Tells about Valdemar Daae and His Daughters":

The stork had given her shelter to the day of her death. I sang at her funeral," said the Wind, "as I had sung at her father's; I know where his grave is, and her grave, but no one else knows.

Now there are new times, changed times. The old highway is lost in the fields, old cemeteries have been made into new roads, and soon the steam engine, with its row of cars, will come to rush over the forgotten graves of unknown ancestors. Whew, whew, whew! On, on!

Example :

A stately convent now occupied the site of the ruined temple on the little narrow street. It happened that a young nun, one of the inmates of this convent, died, and at early dawn her grave was dug in the garden. Suddenly the spade struck against what seemed to be a stone, and a dazzling whiteness gleamed through the dirt – it was white marble rounded into the perfect form of a shoulder. The spade was guided with tender care, until the head of a woman was uncovered, then butterfly wings. From the grave in which the young nun was to be buried there was lifted into the rosy light of dawn the form of lovely Psyche, chiseled from white marble.