But the swallow flew still farther, and everything became lovlier and grander. Bene
ath stately green trees near a blue lake stood a dazzlingly white marble palace from the olden times. Vine tendrils twined up and around the high pillars, and up at the very top were a number of swallow-nests; in one of those dwelt the
swallow who had carried Thumbelina.
"Here is my house," said the swallow, "but pray choose one of the most splendid of the flowers that grow, and I'll put you there and you shall have as happy a time as you can desir
"Oh, that will be lovely!" cried she, clapping her tiny hands.
On the ground lay a large white marblecolumn which had fallen and broken into three pieces, and between them g
rew the loveliest white flowers. The swallow flew down with Thumbelina and placed her on one of the broad leaves; but how amazed was she when she saw a little elf sitting in the very center of the flower, as white and transparent as if
he were of glass! He had on his head a tiny gold crown and bright wings on his shoulders, and he was scarcely any bigger than Thumbelina. He was the elf of the flower, In every flower there lived some such little man o
r woman, but he was the King of all.
"How handsome he is!" whispered Thumbelina to the swallow.
The little prince was quite frightened at the swallow, for to him it was a giganti
c bird, but when he saw Thumbelina he was delighted; she was the very prettiest girl he had ever seen.
可是燕子愈飞愈远，而景致也愈来愈绮丽。 在一个蔚蓝色的湖畔，有一丛丛很可爱的绿树，里面有一座白得发亮用大理石砌成的古代宫殿。 葡萄藤缠绕着许多高大的圆柱，它们的顶上有许多燕子巢，而带着拇指姑娘飞行的这只燕子就在其中。
那里有一根巨大的大理石柱，已经倾倒在地上，并且断成了三截。不过在中央却开出一朵最美丽的白色花朵。 燕子载着拇指姑娘飞下来，把她放在它的一片宽阔的花瓣上面。这个小姑娘感到多么惊讶啊！在那朵花的中央坐着一个小小的男孩！他是那么白晰和透明，好象是玻璃做成的。 他头上戴着一顶最华丽的金制王冠，肩上有一双闪烁的翅膀，而他的身体也不比拇指姑娘高大多少！ 他就是花中的精灵。每一朵花里都住着这样一个小小的男孩或女孩，不过这一位却是他们的国王。