The passage that Christian reads in the funeral for his mother in the beginning of the film is from the story of “The Nightingale” in Hans Christian Andersen’s book of fairy tales. It would make an interesting exercise and and interesting blog post to write on this. Here’s a link to the story. The story is originally in Danish (fittingly). But, since the funeral is set in England, the film uses an English translation by Jean Hersholt, which is the version I linked to.