The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen
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The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen
But in the corner, at the cold hour ofdawn, sat the poor girl
with rosy cheeks
and with a smiling mouth
leaning against the wall
frozen to death on the last eveningof the old year
Stiff and stark sat the child therewith her matches
of which one bundle had been burnt
&quot;She wanted to warm herself,&quot; people said
No one had the slightest suspicionof what beautiful things she hadseen
no one even dreamed of the splendor
in which, with her grandmother shehad entered on the joys of a newyear.
She drew another match against thewall
it was again light
and in the lustre there stood theold grandmother
so bright and radiant
and with such an expression of love
&quot;Grandmother!&quot; cried the little one. &quot;Oh, take me with you! Yougo away when the match burns out; you vanish like the warmstove, like the delicious roast goose, and like the magnificentChristmas tree!&quot;
And she rubbed the whole bundleof matches quickly against the wall
for she wanted to be quite sure ofkeeping her grandmother near her
And the matches gave such a brilliant light
that it was brighter than at noon-day
never formerly had the grandmotherbeen so beautiful and so tall
She took the little maiden on her arm
and both flew in brightness and injoy so high
so very high
and then above was
they were with God
She lighted anothermatch.
Now there she was sitting under themost magnificent Christmas tree
it was still larger, and more decorated than the onewhich she had seen through the glass door in the richmerchant's house.
Thousands of lights were burningon the green branches
and gaily-colored pictures, such as she hadseen in the shop-windows, looked down uponher.
The little maiden stretched out herhands towards them when
the match went out
The lights of the Christmas tree rosehigher and higher
she saw them now as stars in heaven
one fell down and formed a long trail of fire.
&quot;Someone is just dead!&quot;, said the little girl.
for her old grandmother
the only person who had loved her
and who was now no more
had told her, that when a star falls,a soul ascends to God.
She rubbed another against the wall
it burned brightly
and where the light fell on the wall,there the wall became transparent like aveil
so that she could see into the room
On the table was spread a snow-whitetablecloth
upon it was a splendid porcelain service,
and the roast goose was steamingfamously with its stuffing of apple anddried plums
And what was still more capital tobehold was
the goose hopped down from the dish
reeled about on the floor with knifeand fork in its breast
till it came up to the poor little girl
when the match went out and nothingbut the thick, cold, damp wall was leftbehind
In a corner formed by two houses,she seated herself down
and cowered together
she grew colder and colder
but to go home she did not venture
for she had not sold any matches
and could not bring a farthing of money
from her father she would certainly get blows
and at home it was cold too
for above her she had only the roof
through which the wind whistled
even though the largest cracks werestopped up with straw and rags
Her little hands were almostnumbed with cold
Oh! a match might afford her aworld of comfort
if she only dared take a single oneout of the bundle
draw it against the wall
and warm her fingers by it
So the little maiden walked on withher tiny naked feet
that were quite red and blue from cold
She carried a quantity of matches inan old apron
and she held a bundle of them in her hand
Nobody had bought anything of herthe whole livelong day
no one had given her a single farthing.
She crept along trembling with coldand hunger
a very picture of sorrow, the poor little thing!
From all the windows the candleswere gleaming
and it smelt so deliciously of roast goose
for you know it was New Year's Eve
Most terribly cold it was
and was nearly quite dark
the last evening of the year
In this cold and darkness there wentalong the street a poor little girl
and with naked feet
When she left home she had slippers on
it is true
but what was the good of that?
They were very large slippers, whichher mother had hitherto worn
so large were they
and the poor little thing lost themas she scuffled away across thestreet
because of two carriages that rolledby dreadfully fast.
She drew one out.
how it blazed, how it burnt!
It was a warm, bright flame,
like a candle
as she held her hands over it
it was a wonderful light
It seemed really to the little maiden asthough she were sitting before a large ironstove,
with burnished brass feet and abrass ornament at top
The fire burned with such blessed influence
it warmed so delightfully
The little girl had already stretchedout her feet to warm them too
the small flame went out
the stove vanished
she had only the remains of theburnt-out match in her hand.