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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 1:

How clever and cultured and learned she is! She can speak Latin and Greek, sing in Italian to her lute, and talk about the Pope and Martin Luther.

"Now King Christian lies in the vault in Roskilde Cathedral, and Eleonore's brother is King.

Comment on this quote: "Eleonore": Leonora Christina (1621-98)

Example 2:

"But he was with her in those days; now she is alone, alone forever. She does not know his grave; no one knows it.

Faithfulness to her husband was her only crime.

"For long and many years she sat there, while life went on outside. Life never pauses, but we will for a moment here, and think of her and the words of the song.

I keep my promise to my husband still, In want and dire need, and always will.

Comment on this quote: Leonora Christina and Korfitz Ulfeldt.