Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Sonnet by the Swedish writer
Georg Stiernhielm (1598-1672)

The Amazoners
Til then
Stormächtigste Drottning

Hjeltinna, hwilkens Nampn, och Seger-rijke Hand,
                  Wett, wijßdom, dygd, förstånd, och herlige bedrifter
                  Wijdt öfwerga all prijß, som gifs i gambla Skrifter
The störste Hiältar, vnder Solen i all Land:
I Eder dygd består wärt Köns beröm och Stand,
                  Wår forne högheetz rätt, wårt wälde, prijß och heder
                  Förnyjat ökas, store Drottning, genom Eder.
Alt Mans-twång är nedlagt, och slijtne theres band.
Then Seger som Wij daglig öfwer Eder winne,
                  I blöde Män, them Wij vthi wår ögons macht
Oß tienstbar’ göre, skatte Wij vthi wår Sinne,
                  För ringa Saak: Men thetta är vthi wår acht:
At böija Halßen vnder lydnan och betwinga
The stolte Hiertan, them wårt Wälde synes ringa.

The Amazons
To the
Most Mighty Queen

Oh heroine, whose name, and whose victorious hand,
                  Wit, wisdom, virtue, sense, and wondrous feats exciting
                  Do far exceed all praise bestowed in ancient writing
On greatest heroes ’neath the sun in every land:
Your virtue does enshrine our gender’s rank and fame –
                  Our ancient noble right, our rule, our praise and honour
                  Through you, great queen, are now replenished and grow stronger.
All male constraint is gone, their ties make little claim.
The victory which daily we o’er you are gaining,
                  You feeble men, whom we by force of eye alone
Bend to our service, we deem worthy of disdaining,
                  Of little note: But our intention here make known:
To make those with stiff necks bow low and bring to earth
Those with proud hearts who judge our rule of little worth.

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