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What is the name of this fairy? Lili? Don't
ask about, her: if you know her not, thank God
for it! What a bustle, what a cackle, when she
comes to the door, and holds the food-basket in
her hand! What a squeaking, what a quacking!
Every beast, every tree seems to be alive! Thus
do whole troops rush to her feet, even the fish
in the basins splash impatiently, with their
heads out of the water! And then she scatters
the bread about, with a look to ravish the gods,
much more beasts! Then begins such a picking,
such a gobbling, such a pecking. They tumble
over each other's necks; they shove, they
squeeze, they tug at; they drive, they frighten,
they bite each other! And all this for a bit of
bread which, dry as it is, tastes out of her
beautiful hands as if it had been steeped in ambrosia!
But the look, toothe tone; when she calls
'Pipi! Pipi!' would draw down the eagle from
Jupiter's throne, allure the doves of Venus, nay,
even Juno's peacock. I swear they would all of
them come it they heard that voice from ever so
far. For thus" (here begins the real interest of
the whole story) "she had enticed hither, out of
the night of the woods, a Bear, unlicked and
untutored, and brought him under her rule into
the midst of the tame company, and made him
as tame as the restto a certain point, you
understand. How beautiful, and, ah, how kind
she seemed to be!" (Here unwittingly the Bear
reveals himself.) "I would have given my
blood only to water her flowers! 'I' say you;
'How? who?' Well, then, good sirs, to be
plain with you, I am the Bear! caught in a
net, bound with a silken cord at her feet. But
how it all came to pass I will tell you another
time, because to-day I am much too furious.
For, ah, I stand thus in a corner, and hear the
noise from afar, see all the fluttering and
flapping, turn myself round and growl, and run
backwards a bit, and look round meand
growl; and run again a bit andat lastI
return." (The original of this passage is too
good to be lost: "Kehr' ich mich um, und
brumm'. Und renne rückwärts eine Strecke,
und seh' mich um. Und brumm'. Und laufe
wieder eine Strecke, und kehr' doch endlich
wieder um.") "Then all at once rage stirs
within me, a fierce spirit starts from out my
nose, my inward nature storms. 'What, thou
be a fool, a coward hare, a Pipi, a little
nutcracking squirrel! I stake my shaggy neck to
serve unused. Every little upstart tree mocks
at me! I flee from the green sward, from the
pretty smooth-shaven grass. The box-tree turns
up its nose at me as I pass. I fly away to the
darkest thicketI break through the hedgeI
leap over the pales! A spell lies like lead upon
me, and forbids me to scramble and spring. A
spell drives me back again. I wear myself out,
and when quite tired I lie down by the artificial
cascade and champ, and weep, and toss myself
half dead; and, ah, my anguish is heard In
porcelain Oreades alone! All at onceah, what a
blissful feeling rushes through all my limbs!—
'tis she who sings there in her bower. I hear
the dear, dear voice again. The whole air is
warm, is full of bloom. Ah, she sings then,
indeed, that I may hear her! I rush forwards
trample down all the bushes. The shrubs, the
trees bend before meand there at her feet lies
the beast! She looks at him: 'A monster! yet
so droll. For a bear too gentlefor a poodle too
wild! So shaggy, clumsy, cumbersome!' She
strokes his back with her little foot: he thinks
himself in Paradise. How all his seven senses
reel! And she looks down, quite carelessly. I
kiss her shoeI gnaw the sole of it as gently as
ever a Bear can. Softly I raise myself and
throw myself, by stealth, lightly on her knee.
On a favourable day she suffers it, and scratches
me under the ear, and pats me with petulant,
heavy slap. I purr, new born in ecstasy."
("Ich knur', in Wonne neu geboren.") "Then
cries she, in sweet, triumphant mockery:
'Allons, tout doux, et la menotte! Et faites
serviteur, comme un joli seigneur!' Thus she
continues with jest and laughter, and the oft-
deluded fool hopes on. But should he grow
importunate, she holds him in, tight as before.
She has, too, a little flask of balsam-fire,
equalled by no honey on earth, with which she
sometimessoftened by his love and truth
puts a little drop with the tip of her finger on
the parching lips of her monster, and then runs
away, and leaves me to myself. And I, then,
though loosed, am spell-bound, I follow ever
after herseek hershudderflee again. Thus
does she let the poor disturbed one gois
heedless of his pleasures or his pains. Nay, many a
time she leaves the door half open, and looks
sweetly askance at me, as if to ask if I will not
escape. And I! Ye gods, it is in your hands to
end this tantalising witchery! How should I
thank you if you would give me freedom! Yet
send me down no help; not quite in vain do I
thus stretch my limbs. I feel it, I swear it, I
have yet strength left!"

Having shown our Bear in love, we leave him
in that blissful condition.


DECEMBER hung her glittering roof
Of frosty sunshine o'er the earth,
The streamers danced across the night
Like angels in a troop of mirth.
I stood in the deserted street,
A child that never saw a flower,
Till looking upward, God unveiled
The face of beauty in that hour.

Around, the city, dark and dumb,
Above, the gleaming mystery,
I stood like one who views afar
The flashing of an awful sea.
Like the bright fingers of a god,
That sweep creation's mystic bars,
They seemed on night's weird harp to wake
The song of all the eternal stars.

Their shaking glory filled my trance,
With eyes turned upward, wonder-wide
Till every wave of pulsing joy,
Rose towering in a swell of pride.
I blessed the night, I blessed the stars,
I blessed the chance that bound me there,
But chief, the floods of streaming light,
Like young Aurora's golden hair.

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