Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 26, 1915.djvu/311

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Collectanea. 2,0 1

" Our custom," said the Maiden, " is that we should bathe our- selves before the wedding."

" Well, we'll bathe at my Father's castle," said the Lad.

"Why shouldn't we bathe here?" was all the Maiden said to that, and with a smile so sweet that it made his head swim, she held out her hand to the Lad ; and he, feeling as if his very heart were being drawn from him, took it, closed his eyes, and let her lead him where she would.

So she led him to the brink of the Pool, — but when the water touched his feet, he drew back a little, for it seemed to him that a chill rose round his heart. Then the Maiden's voice called to him :

'■ Come, my Dear Love ! " and so she drew him down into the water. . . .

And the trees saw only an ever-widening circle that faded away into the silence of the Pool.

But the Emperor? . . .

He still waits for his Youngest Lad.

So I jumped on a Saddle and came to tell you so. . . .

" The Tale of the Girl who had no Luck."

Once upon a time, when eggs were boiled in ice, and night began towards morning, there lived an Emperor who had twelve sons". When he sat at table with his children in a circle round him, no happpier Emperor could be found ; for his kingdom was pros- perous, his subjects loved him and his wife was beautiful, — but his twelve sons were the true crown of his life.

Neighbouring Emperors envied his quiet happiness : for, you see, this Emperor was good at heart, never worrying his people, and never oppressing the widow or the poor.

But, aei 1 No one knew that a worm was gnawing even at his heart ! You see, he would have liked to have a daughter amongst his sons, that was all !

And so to-day, and so to-morrow, it came to pass that this one wish of his heart was fulfilled ; for the Empress his wife gave him a daughter, so beautiful, so beautiful, that she had no peer in all the world.