Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Well-known midsummer poem by the Danish writer Ulf Hoffmann

Sweet is Denmark’s fragrance
at midsummer’s coming
feel the light, scents, humming
almost whisper: Stay!
Starlings, thrushes, hear them,
joy will soon draw near them,
new life come to cheer them,
though the leaves soon must,
all too soon be dust.
Dust and dust and dust.

Sweet is Denmark’s fragrance
in midsummer’s night now,
dream that you’re eighteen, how
your hair’s moist with dew.
Elders lining pathways
and a shawm’s glad forays:
would you own them always
ere all disappears
for how many years?
Years and years and years.

Sweet is Denmark’s fragrance
in midsummer’s showers,
find at daybreak bowers
in a haze of wine.
Nightingales still hidden,
from sweet slumber risen
hear you ask unbidden:
Will you be my own?
I am yours alone.
Yours and yours alone.

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