The Legend of Ulenspiegel by Charles de Coster Book I Chapter 83

The two weeks having thrice passed by and the five days as well, the lover devil never came back. And still Katheline lived without despairing of it.

Soetkin, never working now, remained continually in front of the fire, coughing and bent. Nele gave her the best and most fragrant herbs: but no remedy had power upon her. Ulenspiegel never left the cottage, fearing that Soetkin might die while he was abroad.

Then it came that the widow could neither eat nor drink without vomiting. The barber surgeon came and bled her; the blood being taken from her, she was so weak that she could not leave her stool. At length, withered up with sorrow and pain, she said one evening:

“Claes, my husband! Thyl, my son! I thank thee, God who takest me away!”

And she died on a sigh.

Katheline not daring to watch by her, Ulenspiegel and Nele did it together, and all night long they prayed for the dead woman.

At dawn there entered by the open window a swallow.

Nele said:

“The bird of souls, ’tis a good omen: Soetkin is in heaven.”

The swallow flew round the chamber thrice and went off with a cry.

Then there entered a second swallow, bigger and blacker than the other. It circled around Ulenspiegel, and he said:

“Father and Mother, the ashes beat against my breast, I shall do what ye ask.”

And the second went away crying shrill like the first. The day showed brighter; Ulenspiegel saw thousands of swallows skimming the meadows, and the sun arose.

And Soetkin was buried in the field of the poor.