"Grandmother!" exclaimed the child. "Oh, take me with you: I know thou wil
t leave me as soon as the match goes out; thou wilt vanish like the warm fire in the stove, like the splendid New Year's feast, like the beautiful large Christmas-tree;" and she hastily lighted all the remaining matches in the bundle, lest her grandmothe
r should disappear.
And the matches burned with such a blaze of splendour, that noonday could scarcely have been brighter. Never had the good old grandmother looked so tall and stately, so beautif
ul and kind; she took the little girl in her arms, and they both flew together. Joyfully and gloriously they flew higher and higher, till they were in that place where neither cold, nor hunger, nor pain is ever known. They were in Paradise.
But in the cold morning hour, crouching in the corner of the wall, the poor little girl was found- her cheeks glowing, her lips smiling- frozen to death on the last night of the Old Year. The New Year's sun shone on the lifeless child; motionless she sat there with the matches in her lap, one bundle of them quite burned out.
"She has been trying to warm herself, poor thing!" the people s
aid; but no one knew of the sweet visions she beheld, or how gloriously she and her grandmother were celebrating their New Year's festival.
火柴燃烧得明亮辉煌，即使是日正当中时也都不曾这么光亮。 祖母也从来不曾像现在这样看起来好庄严、高大，并且特别地美丽亲切。祖母把小女孩拥到怀里，一起飞向天上。 她们兴高采烈地愈飞愈高，一直飞到那个没有饥饿、没有寒冷、无忧无虑的地方──。 他们到天堂去了。