The roast goose stuffed with apples and dried plums stood at one end, smoking hot,- and which was pleasantest of all to see- the goose, with knife and fork still in her breast, jumped down from the dish, and waddled along the floor right up to the poor child.
The match was burned out, and only the thick, hard wall
was beside her.
She kindled a third match. Again up shot the flame; and now she was sitting under a most beautiful Christmas-tree, far larger, and far more prettily decked out than the one she ha
d seen last Christmas Eve through the glass doors of the rich merchant's house. Hundreds of wax tapers lighted up the green branches, and tiny painted pictures such as she had seen in the shop windows, looked down from the tree upon he
The child stretched out her hands towards them in delight, and in that moment the light of the match was quenched; still, however, the Christmas candles burned higher and higher. She beheld them beaming like stars in heaven; one of them fell, the light streaming behind it like a long, fiery tail.
"Now some one is dying," said the little girl softly; for she had been told by her old grandmother- the only person who had ever been kind to her, and who was now dead- that whenever a star falls an immortal spirit returns to the God who gave it. She struck yet another match against the wall; it flamed up, and, surrounded by its light, that same dear grandmother appeared before her, gentle and loving as always, but bright and happy as she had never looked during her lifetime.
小女孩于是点燃第三根火柴。 这一次她坐在一棵非常美丽的圣诞树下，这棵圣诞树远比去年从一个有钱人家的玻璃门中看到的那棵还要大，而且点缀得更精致。 另外在这棵圣诞树的绿叶间点着许多蜡烛，还有五彩缤纷的装饰品，就像她在商店橱窗所看见的一样，都从树上向下俯看着她。