Friday, April 2, 2010

From Danish Popular Legends. By Hans Christian Andersen.

Snow covered hut. From

Today it is the 205th birthday of Hans Christian Andersen (April 2, 1805 – August 4, 1875), the Danish author and poet, so well recognized for his children’s stories.
Andersen’s tale “Danish Popular Legends” was first published in The Riverside Magazine for Young People, Vol. IV, pp. 470-474, New York, October 1870. It has never been published in Denmark. Here is one of those legends:

The enemy made once a great attack on the Danish island of Funen. One village only was spared; but this was also soon to be sacked and burnt. Two poor people lived in a low-studded house, in the outskirts of the town. It was a dark winter evening; the enemy was expected; and in their anxiety they took the Book of Psalms, and opened it to see if the psalm which they first met with could render them any aid or comfort. They opened the book, and turned to the psalm, “A mighty fortress is our God.” Full of confidence, they sang it; and, strengthened in faith, they went to bed and slept well,—kept by the Lord’s guardianship. When they awoke in the morning it was quite dark in the room, and the daylight could not penetrate; they went to the door, but could not open it. Then they mounted the loft, got the trap-door open, and saw that it was broad daylight; but a heavy drift of snow had in the night fallen upon the whole house and hidden it from the enemies, who in the night-time had pillaged and burnt the town. Then they clasped their hands in thankfulness, and repeated the psalm, “A mighty fortress is our God!” The Lord had guarded them, and raised an intrenchment of snow around them.


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