IMAGE: Photographer Marcy Purdy
Hans Christian Andersen
In the little town there is much festivity:
they are holding a wedding there with dance and play.
To the happy man, the wine sparkles so red;
but the bride looks like whitewashed death.
Yes, dead she is to him whom she cannot forget;
he is at the feast but not as the bridegroom.
He stands among the guests at the inn,
stroking his fiddle cheerily enough.
He strokes his fiddle, his hair turning grey.
The strings resound: shrill and loud;
he presses it to his heart, paying no heed
whether it breaks into a thousand pieces.
It is quite hideous when one dies this way,
his heart young and still striving for joy.
I cannot and will not watch any longer!
It will make my head spin.
Who are you, with your fingers pointing at me?
O God - graciously protect us
from the madness that may overwhelm us.
For I am myself a poor musician.