文章来源: 文章作者: 发布时间:2008-06-21 03:13 字体: [ ]  进入论坛
    IN the midst of a garden grew a rose-tree, in full
blossom, and in the prettiest of all the roses lived an elf.
He was such a little wee thing, that no human eye could see
him. Behind each leaf of the rose he had a sleeping chamber1.
He was as well formed and as beautiful as a little child could
be, and had wings that reached from his shoulders to his feet.
Oh, what sweet fragrance2 there was in his chambers3! and how
clean and beautiful were the walls! for they were the blushing
leaves of the rose.

    During the whole day he enjoyed himself in the warm
sunshine, flew from flower to flower, and danced on the wings
of the flying butterflies. Then he took it into his head to
measure how many steps he would have to go through the roads
and cross-roads that are on the leaf of a linden-tree. What we
call the veins4 on a leaf, he took for roads; ay, and very long
roads they were for him; for before he had half finished his
task, the sun went down: he had commenced his work too late.
It became very cold, the dew fell, and the wind blew; so he
thought the best thing he could do would be to return home. He
hurried himself as much as he could; but he found the roses
all closed up, and he could not get in; not a single rose
stood open. The poor little elf was very much frightened. He
had never before been out at night, but had always slumbered
secretly behind the warm rose-leaves. Oh, this would certainly
be his death. At the other end of the garden, he knew there
was an arbor5, overgrown with beautiful honey-suckles. The
blossoms looked like large painted horns; and he thought to
himself, he would go and sleep in one of these till the
morning. He flew thither6; but "hush7!" two people were in the
arbor,- a handsome young man and a beautiful lady. They sat
side by side, and wished that they might never be obliged to
part. They loved each other much more than the best child can
love its father and mother.

    "But we must part," said the young man; "your brother does
not like our engagement, and therefore he sends me so far away
on business, over mountains and seas. Farewell, my sweet
bride; for so you are to me."

    And then they kissed each other, and the girl wept, and
gave him a rose; but before she did so, she pressed a kiss
upon it so fervently8 that the flower opened. Then the little
elf flew in, and leaned his head on the delicate, fragrant9
walls. Here he could plainly hear them say, "Farewell,
farewell;" and he felt that the rose had been placed on the
young man's breast. Oh, how his heart did beat! The little elf
could not go to sleep, it thumped10 so loudly. The young man
took it out as he walked through the dark wood alone, and
kissed the flower so often and so violently, that the little
elf was almost crushed. He could feel through the leaf how hot
the lips of the young man were, and the rose had opened, as if
from the heat of the noonday sun.

    There came another man, who looked gloomy and wicked. He
was the wicked brother of the beautiful maiden11. He drew out a
sharp knife, and while the other was kissing the rose, the
wicked man stabbed him to death; then he cut off his head, and
buried it with the body in the soft earth under the

    "Now he is gone, and will soon be forgotten," thought the
wicked brother; "he will never come back again. He was going
on a long journey over mountains and seas; it is easy for a
man to lose his life in such a journey. My sister will suppose
he is dead; for he cannot come back, and she will not dare to
question me about him."

    Then he scattered12 the dry leaves over the light earth with
his foot, and went home through the darkness; but he went not
alone, as he thought,- the little elf accompanied him. He sat
in a dry rolled-up linden-leaf, which had fallen from the tree
on to the wicked man's head, as he was digging the grave. The
hat was on the head now, which made it very dark, and the
little elf shuddered13 with fright and indignation at the wicked

    It was the dawn of morning before the wicked man reached
home; he took off his hat, and went into his sister's room.
There lay the beautiful, blooming girl, dreaming of him whom
she loved so, and who was now, she supposed, travelling far
away over mountain and sea. Her wicked brother stopped over
her, and laughed hideously14, as fiends only can laugh. The dry
leaf fell out of his hair upon the counterpane; but he did not
notice it, and went to get a little sleep during the early
morning hours. But the elf slipped out of the withered15 leaf,
placed himself by the ear of the sleeping girl, and told her,
as in a dream, of the horrid16 murder; described the place where
her brother had slain17 her lover, and buried his body; and told
her of the linden-tree, in full blossom, that stood close by.

    "That you may not think this is only a dream that I have
told you," he said, "you will find on your bed a withered

    Then she awoke, and found it there. Oh, what bitter tears
she shed! and she could not open her heart to any one for

    The window stood open the whole day, and the little elf
could easily have reached the roses, or any of the flowers;
but he could not find it in his heart to leave one so
afflicted. In the window stood a bush bearing monthly roses.
He seated himself in one of the flowers, and gazed on the poor
girl. Her brother often came into the room, and would be quite
cheerful, in spite of his base conduct; so she dare not say a
word to him of her heart's grief.

    As soon as night came on, she slipped out of the house,
and went into the wood, to the spot where the linden-tree
stood; and after removing the leaves from the earth, she
turned it up, and there found him who had been murdered. Oh,
how she wept and prayed that she also might die! Gladly would
she have taken the body home with her; but that was
impossible; so she took up the poor head with the closed eyes,
kissed the cold lips, and shook the mould out of the beautiful

    "I will keep this," said she; and as soon as she had
covered the body again with the earth and leaves, she took the
head and a little sprig of jasmine that bloomed in the wood,
near the spot where he was buried, and carried them home with
her. As soon as she was in her room, she took the largest
flower-pot she could find, and in this she placed the head of
the dead man, covered it up with earth, and planted the twig18
of jasmine in it.

    "Farewell, farewell," whispered the little elf. He could
not any longer endure to witness all this agony of grief, he
therefore flew away to his own rose in the garden. But the
rose was faded; only a few dry leaves still clung to the green
hedge behind it.

    "Alas19! how soon all that is good and beautiful passes
away," sighed the elf.

    After a while he found another rose, which became his
home, for among its delicate fragrant leaves he could dwell in
safety. Every morning he flew to the window of the poor girl,
and always found her weeping by the flower pot. The bitter
tears fell upon the jasmine twig, and each day, as she became
paler and paler, the sprig appeared to grow greener and
fresher. One shoot after another sprouted20 forth21, and little
white buds blossomed, which the poor girl fondly kissed. But
her wicked brother scolded her, and asked her if she was going
mad. He could not imagine why she was weeping over that
flower-pot, and it annoyed him. He did not know whose closed
eyes were there, nor what red lips were fading beneath the
earth. And one day she sat and leaned her head against the
flower-pot, and the little elf of the rose found her asleep.
Then he seated himself by her ear, talked to her of that
evening in the arbor, of the sweet perfume of the rose, and
the loves of the elves. Sweetly she dreamed, and while she
dreamt, her life passed away calmly and gently, and her spirit
was with him whom she loved, in heaven. And the jasmine opened
its large white bells, and spread forth its sweet fragrance;
it had no other way of showing its grief for the dead. But the
wicked brother considered the beautiful blooming plant as his
own property, left to him by his sister, and he placed it in
his sleeping room, close by his bed, for it was very lovely in
appearance, and the fragrance sweet and delightful22. The little
elf of the rose followed it, and flew from flower to flower,
telling each little spirit that dwelt in them the story of the
murdered young man, whose head now formed part of the earth
beneath them, and of the wicked brother and the poor sister.
"We know it," said each little spirit in the flowers, "we know
it, for have we not sprung from the eyes and lips of the
murdered one. We know it, we know it," and the flowers nodded
with their heads in a peculiar23 manner. The elf of the rose
could not understand how they could rest so quietly in the
matter, so he flew to the bees, who were gathering24 honey, and
told them of the wicked brother. And the bees told it to their
queen, who commanded that the next morning they should go and
kill the murderer. But during the night, the first after the
sister's death, while the brother was sleeping in his bed,
close to where he had placed the fragrant jasmine, every
flower cup opened, and invisibly the little spirits stole out,
armed with poisonous spears. They placed themselves by the ear
of the sleeper25, told him dreadful dreams and then flew across
his lips, and pricked26 his tongue with their poisoned spears.
"Now have we revenged the dead," said they, and flew back into
the white bells of the jasmine flowers. When the morning came,
and as soon as the window was opened, the rose elf, with the
queen bee, and the whole swarm27 of bees, rushed in to kill him.
But he was already dead. People were standing28 round the bed,
and saying that the scent29 of the jasmine had killed him. Then
the elf of the rose understood the revenge of the flowers, and
explained it to the queen bee, and she, with the whole swarm,
buzzed about the flower-pot. The bees could not be driven
away. Then a man took it up to remove it, and one of the bees
stung him in the hand, so that he let the flower-pot fall, and
it was broken to pieces. Then every one saw the whitened
skull, and they knew the dead man in the bed was a murderer.
And the queen bee hummed in the air, and sang of the revenge
of the flowers, and of the elf of the rose and said that
behind the smallest leaf dwells One, who can discover evil
deeds, and punish them also.

                            THE END


1 chamber wnky9     
  • For many,the dentist's surgery remains a torture chamber.对许多人来说,牙医的治疗室一直是间受刑室。
  • The chamber was ablaze with light.会议厅里灯火辉煌。
2 fragrance 66ryn     
  • The apple blossoms filled the air with their fragrance.苹果花使空气充满香味。
  • The fragrance of lavender filled the room.房间里充满了薰衣草的香味。
3 chambers c053984cd45eab1984d2c4776373c4fe     
n.房间( chamber的名词复数 );(议会的)议院;卧室;会议厅
  • The body will be removed into one of the cold storage chambers. 尸体将被移到一个冷冻间里。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Mr Chambers's readable book concentrates on the middle passage: the time Ransome spent in Russia. Chambers先生的这本值得一看的书重点在中间:Ransome在俄国的那几年。 来自互联网
4 veins 65827206226d9e2d78ea2bfe697c6329     
n.纹理;矿脉( vein的名词复数 );静脉;叶脉;纹理
  • The blood flows from the capillaries back into the veins. 血从毛细血管流回静脉。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • I felt a pleasant glow in all my veins from the wine. 喝过酒后我浑身的血都热烘烘的,感到很舒服。 来自《简明英汉词典》
5 arbor fyIzz0     
  • They sat in the arbor and chatted over tea.他们坐在凉亭里,边喝茶边聊天。
  • You may have heard of Arbor Day at school.你可能在学校里听过植树节。
6 thither cgRz1o     
  • He wandered hither and thither looking for a playmate.他逛来逛去找玩伴。
  • He tramped hither and thither.他到处流浪。
7 hush ecMzv     
  • A hush fell over the onlookers.旁观者们突然静了下来。
  • Do hush up the scandal!不要把这丑事声张出去!
8 fervently 8tmzPw     
  • "Oh, I am glad!'she said fervently. “哦,我真高兴!”她热烈地说道。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • O my dear, my dear, will you bless me as fervently to-morrow?' 啊,我亲爱的,亲爱的,你明天也愿这样热烈地为我祝福么?” 来自英汉文学 - 双城记
9 fragrant z6Yym     
  • The Fragrant Hills are exceptionally beautiful in late autumn.深秋的香山格外美丽。
  • The air was fragrant with lavender.空气中弥漫薰衣草香。
10 thumped 0a7f1b69ec9ae1663cb5ed15c0a62795     
v.重击, (指心脏)急速跳动( thump的过去式和过去分词 )
  • Dave thumped the table in frustration . 戴夫懊恼得捶打桌子。
  • He thumped the table angrily. 他愤怒地用拳捶击桌子。
11 maiden yRpz7     
  • The prince fell in love with a fair young maiden.王子爱上了一位年轻美丽的少女。
  • The aircraft makes its maiden flight tomorrow.这架飞机明天首航。
12 scattered 7jgzKF     
  • Gathering up his scattered papers,he pushed them into his case.他把散乱的文件收拾起来,塞进文件夹里。
13 shuddered 70137c95ff493fbfede89987ee46ab86     
v.战栗( shudder的过去式和过去分词 );发抖;(机器、车辆等)突然震动;颤动
  • He slammed on the brakes and the car shuddered to a halt. 他猛踩刹车,车颤抖着停住了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • I shuddered at the sight of the dead body. 我一看见那尸体就战栗。 来自《简明英汉词典》
14 hideously hideously     
  • The witch was hideously ugly. 那个女巫丑得吓人。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Pitt's smile returned, and it was hideously diabolic. 皮特的脸上重新浮现出笑容,但却狰狞可怕。 来自辞典例句
15 withered 342a99154d999c47f1fc69d900097df9     
adj. 枯萎的,干瘪的,(人身体的部分器官)因病萎缩的或未发育良好的 动词wither的过去式和过去分词形式
  • The grass had withered in the warm sun. 这些草在温暖的阳光下枯死了。
  • The leaves of this tree have become dry and withered. 这棵树下的叶子干枯了。
16 horrid arozZj     
  • I'm not going to the horrid dinner party.我不打算去参加这次讨厌的宴会。
  • The medicine is horrid and she couldn't get it down.这种药很难吃,她咽不下去。
17 slain slain     
杀死,宰杀,杀戮( slay的过去分词 ); (slay的过去分词)
  • The soldiers slain in the battle were burried that night. 在那天夜晚埋葬了在战斗中牺牲了的战士。
  • His boy was dead, slain by the hand of the false Amulius. 他的儿子被奸诈的阿缪利乌斯杀死了。
18 twig VK1zg     
  • He heard the sharp crack of a twig.他听到树枝清脆的断裂声。
  • The sharp sound of a twig snapping scared the badger away.细枝突然折断的刺耳声把獾惊跑了。
19 alas Rx8z1     
  • Alas!The window is broken!哎呀!窗子破了!
  • Alas,the truth is less romantic.然而,真理很少带有浪漫色彩。
20 sprouted 6e3d9efcbfe061af8882b5b12fd52864     
v.发芽( sprout的过去式和过去分词 );抽芽;出现;(使)涌现出
  • We can't use these potatoes; they've all sprouted. 这些土豆儿不能吃了,都出芽了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The rice seeds have sprouted. 稻种已经出芽了。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
21 forth Hzdz2     
  • The wind moved the trees gently back and forth.风吹得树轻轻地来回摇晃。
  • He gave forth a series of works in rapid succession.他很快连续发表了一系列的作品。
22 delightful 6xzxT     
  • We had a delightful time by the seashore last Sunday.上星期天我们在海滨玩得真痛快。
  • Peter played a delightful melody on his flute.彼得用笛子吹奏了一支欢快的曲子。
23 peculiar cinyo     
  • He walks in a peculiar fashion.他走路的样子很奇特。
  • He looked at me with a very peculiar expression.他用一种很奇怪的表情看着我。
24 gathering ChmxZ     
  • He called on Mr. White to speak at the gathering.他请怀特先生在集会上讲话。
  • He is on the wing gathering material for his novels.他正忙于为他的小说收集资料。
25 sleeper gETyT     
  • I usually go up to London on the sleeper. 我一般都乘卧车去伦敦。
  • But first he explained that he was a very heavy sleeper. 但首先他解释说自己睡觉很沉。
26 pricked 1d0503c50da14dcb6603a2df2c2d4557     
刺,扎,戳( prick的过去式和过去分词 ); 刺伤; 刺痛; 使剧痛
  • The cook pricked a few holes in the pastry. 厨师在馅饼上戳了几个洞。
  • He was pricked by his conscience. 他受到良心的谴责。
27 swarm dqlyj     
  • There is a swarm of bees in the tree.这树上有一窝蜜蜂。
  • A swarm of ants are moving busily.一群蚂蚁正在忙碌地搬家。
28 standing 2hCzgo     
  • After the earthquake only a few houses were left standing.地震过后只有几幢房屋还立着。
  • They're standing out against any change in the law.他们坚决反对对法律做任何修改。
29 scent WThzs     
  • The air was filled with the scent of lilac.空气中弥漫着丁香花的芬芳。
  • The flowers give off a heady scent at night.这些花晚上散发出醉人的芳香。