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Hans Christian Andersen : Eighth Evening
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Hans Christian Andersen : Eighth Evening

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Eighth Evening

Dark masses of clouds covered the sky, and the Moon did not come out at all. In my little chamber I stood more lonely than ever and gazed up into the sky where he should have appeared.

My thoughts flew far away, up to my great friend, who each evening showed me such lovely pictures and told me stories. What has he not experienced! He has floated above the waters of the Deluge, and smiled down on Noah's Ark, as now he does on me, and brought the consolation that a new world would bloom again. When the children of Israel wept beside the rivers of Babylon, he looked in sorrow through the willows where they had hung their harps. When Romeo climbed up the balcony and the kiss of love rose like a cherub's thought from the earth, the full Moon hung half hidden in the thin air behind the dark cypresses. He has seen the hero at St. Helena looking forth from the lonely cliff toward the ocean, while great thoughts stirred within him. Yes, indeed, what cannot the Moon tell? The history of humanity is to him a book of adventures. Tonight I cannot see you, old friend, and cannot sketch any picture in memory of your visit.

Then as I dreamily looked toward the sky, it brightened; there was a beam of light from the Moon, but it vanished, and black clouds glided by; still it was a greeting, a friendly "good night" sent to me by the Moon.