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The motif Hymn, psalm in HCA : The Marsh King's Daughter (1858)
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The motif Hymn, psalm in HCA : The Marsh King's Daughter (1858)

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Religious motifs : Overview. Search. About religious motifs

See also Hymn book, hymnal

Keywords:

Song, church

Description of this motif:

Psalms are religious songs. A remarkable example of the motif in the fairy tales and stories of Hans Christian Andersen is At the Uttermost Parts of the Sea. The title is a quote from psalm 139 of the bible's book of Psalms, a psalm by David.

Example :

He uttered holy names and made the sign of the cross. As the creature remained unchanged, he said, in the words of the Bible:

" 'Blessed is he that considereth the poor. The Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.' Who are you, that in guise of an animal are so gentle and merciful?"

The frog beckoned for him to follow her. She led him behind sheltering curtains and down a long passage to the stable, where she pointed to a horse. When he mounted it, she jumped up in front ot him, clinging fast to the horse's mane. The prisoner understood her, and speedily they rode out on the open heath by a path he could never have found.

He ignored her ugly shape, for he knew that the grace and kindness of God could take strange forms. When he prayed and sang hymns, she trembled. Was it the power of song and prayer that affected her, or was she shivering at the chill approach of dawn? What had come over her? She rose up, trying to stop the horse so that she could dismount, but the Christian priest held her with all his might, and chanted a psalm in the hope that it might have power to break the spell which held her in the shape of a hideous frog.

The horse dashed on, more wildly than ever. The skies turned red, and the first ray of the sun broke through the clouds. In that first flash of sunlight she changed. She became the lovely maiden with the cruel, fiendish temper. The priest was alarmed to find himself holding a fair maid in his arms. He checked the horse, and sprang off it, thinking he faced some new trick of the devil.

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