drumbeats red robes and tiger lillies

What did the tiger lily say?
“Do you hear the drum? Boom, boom! It was only two notes, always boom, boom! Hear the women wail. Hear the priests chant. The Hindoo woman in her long red robe stands on the funeral pyre. The flames rise around her and her dead husband, but the Hindoo woman is thinking of that living man in the crowd around them. She is thinking of him whose eyes are burning hotter than the flames-of him whose fiery glances have pierced her heart more deeply than these flames that soon will burn her body to ashes. Can the flame of the heart die in the flame of the funeral pyre?”
“I don’t understand that at all,” little Gerda said.
“That’s my fairy tale,” said the lily.

from The Snow Queen

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