Monday, 6 March 2017

From Andersen's 'Collected Poems (1833)


‘I dreamt I was but a little bird’

I dreamt I was but a little bird,
Over land and wave was gliding,
My heart’s emotions and all I saw
I had not a way of hiding.

I sang all thoughts deep-lodged in my breast,
Those sad and joyous sensations,
I soared and dived o’er the foaming sea
And many unknown locations.

One morning high on a branch I sat,
And chirruped songs ten a penny
The flowers in the grass stood all around
So lovely they were, so many.

But one with a scent and tint so rare
Excelled all others begotten,
On her I did gaze, for her did sing
And foreign climes were forgotten.

I there decided to build a nest,
Be even my wings forsaking,
I wished there to sing my finest song,
Till my heart at last were breaking !

Her head so chaste in the wind she bowed,
I touched the flower’s head full-flushing,
The petal’s scent I then understood,
In the morning sun bright-blushing.

And downwards the flower did bend her head,
I recall it all so closely!
My love so clearly it seemed I read
In her trusting eye though mostly.

A huntsman appeared, both bold and young,
With his gun slung o’er his shoulder,
He placed the flower in his buttonhole
Where she then did brightly smoulder.

A dewdrop fell from her petals fine,
Though maybe a tear concealing,
I sang then and thought, it’s me he’ll shoot!
For death I found so appealing.

The flower’s undimished scent’s a home,
And never she will regret it!
From town to town I fly on and on,
If only I could forget it!

I grieve – though I sing more than before,
while I o’er meadow I’m winging,
A hunter will surely come along
And will shoot me while I’m singing!



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