It was just because she could not go ashore that she longed so for all these things.
Oh! how the youngest sister listened. And afterwards, when she stood in the evening at the open window, and looked up through the dark blue water, she thought of the great city with all its noise and bustle, and even
fancied she heard the church bells ringing.
The next year the second sister had leave to mount up through the water and swim where she pleased. She rose just as the sun was going down and she thought
the sunset the prettiest sight of all. The whole sky looked like gold, she said, and the beauty of the clouds was beyond description. Red and violet, they had sailed right over her; but far quicker than they, a flock of
wild swans had flown, like a long white veil, right over the place where the sun stood. She also swam towards the sun, but it sank, and the rosy gleam left behind was soon swallowed up by the sea and the clouds.
A year after that the third sister came up to the surface. She was the boldest of them all, so she swam up a broad river which ran into the sea. She saw pretty green hillocks covered with vines; castles and coun
try houses peeped forth from lovely woods; she heard the birds singing, and the sun shone so that she frequently had to duck down under the water to cool her burning face.
次年，第二个姊姊得到许可，可以浮出水面，随意地四处遨游。 她跳出水面的时候，太阳刚西沉，而她觉得这景象真是美极了。 她说当时整个天空看起来像一块黄金，而那美丽的云彩她真是无法形容出来。 它们在她头上飘过，一会儿红，一会儿紫，不过，比它们飞得还要快的，是一群掠过水面的野天鹅，像一条白又长的面纱正飞向太阳。 她也向太阳游去，可是太阳已沉下去了。一片玫瑰色的晚霞，在海面和云之间逐渐地消逝了。
又过了一年，第三个姊姊也浮到水面上了。 她是她们当中胆量最大的一位，所以她游向一条可以汇流到海的大河里去。 她看到一些美丽的青山，上面种满了一排一排的葡萄；城堡和村庄在茂密的树林中隐约可见；她听到各种鸟儿唱得多么悦耳；阳光是多么的暖和，而她不得不偶尔沉入水中，使灼烫的脸能够得到一点清涼。