Friday, 31 August 2018

HCA: 'Svinedrengen' in English translation

The Swineherd

There was once a poor prince; he had a kingdom that was quite small, though it was of course always large enough to marry on, and marriage was exactly what he had in mind.
It was fairly audacious of him even so to dare ask the emperor’s daughter ‘Will you marry me?’ but he dared to all right, for his name was famous far and wide, there were a hundred princesses who would have gladly said ‘Yes’, but just see if this one did.
Here’s our story, then:
On the grave of the prince’s father there grew a rosebush – oh such a lovely rosebush – it only blossomed every fifth year and only bore a single rose, but it was a rose with such a sweet fragrance that just smelling it made one forget all one’s sorrows and worries, and then he also had a nightingale that could sing as if all the beautiful melodies of the world resided in its tiny throat. The princess was to have the rose and the nightingale, so they were both packed in large silver cases and then sent to her. The emperor had them carried in front of him into the great hall where the princess was playing ‘Guess the Stranger’ with her ladies-in-waiting; and when she saw the large cases with the presents, she clapped her hands with joy.
‘I only hope it’s a small pussy cat!’ she said – but out came the rosebush with its beautiful rose.
‘Oh, how nicely fashioned!’ all the ladies-in-waiting said.
‘It’s more than nicely fashioned,’ the emperor said, ‘it’s exquisite.’
But the princess felt it and almost started to cry.
‘Ugh, papa!’ she said, ‘it’s not artificial, it’s real!’
‘Ugh!’ all the ladies-in-waiting said, ‘it’s real!’
‘Let’s have a look and see what’s in the other case first, before we get upset!’ was the emperor’s opinion about it, and then the nightingale emerged – and it sang so beautifully that no one just like that find could anything nasty to say about it.
Superbe, charmant!’ the ladies-in-waiting said, for all of them spoke French, each one trying to outdo the other.
‘That bird reminds me so much of the late empress’s musical box,’ an old courtier said, ‘ah yes! precisely the same timbre, the same execution!’
‘Yes!’ the emperor said, and then he wept like a small child.
‘I can hardly believe it’s real!’ the princess said. ‘Oh yes, it’s a real bird!’ those who had brought it said.
‘In that case, let the bird fly away,’ the princess said, and in no way was she willing to receive the prince.
But he refused to lose heart – he smeared his face brown and black, pulled a cap well down over his forehead and knocked at the door.
‘Good day, Emperor!’ he said, ‘is there perhaps a job for me anywhere here at the palace?’
‘Yes, I think there might be!’ the emperor said, ‘I need someone to look after the pigs! for we’ve lots of them!’
And so the prince was given a job as an imperial swineherd. He was given a wretched cubbyhole of a room down by the pigsty and that was where he was to stay; but he sat there working all day long and when evening came he had made a lovely small cooking pot with small bells around the rim and as soon as the pot came to the boil, they all tinkled so delightfully and played the old tune:
Ach, du lieber Augustin
‘Everything’s gone, gone, gone!’
but the most remarkable thing of all was that when you held your fingers in the steam from the pot, you could immediately smell what food was being cooked in every chimney in the town – now that was certainly something else than that rose of his.
The princess came walking by with her ladies-in-waiting, and when she heard the tune she stopped and looked very pleased indeed, for she could also play ‘Ach, du lieber Augustin’ – it was the only thing she could play, but she played the tune with one finger.
‘That’s the one I can play!’ she said, ‘so it must be quite a cultivated swineherd! Listen! Go in and ask him what the instrument costs!’
And so one of the ladies-in-waiting had to go into the pigsty, but she put some clogs on first.
‘What do you want for that cooking pot?’ the lady-in-waiting asked.
‘I want ten kisses from the princess!’ the swineherd said.
‘God forbid!’ the lady-in-waiting said.
‘Yes, nothing less will do!’ the swineherd replied.
‘He really is too bad!’ the princess said, and started to walk away – but when she had gone a little way, the bells started to tinkle so delightfully:
Ach, du lieber Augustin
‘Everything’s gone, gone, gone!’
‘Listen,’ the princess said, ‘ask him if he’ll accept ten kisses from my ladies-in-waiting!’
‘Oh no!’ the swineherd said, ‘ten kisses from the princess, or I keep the pot.’
‘How tiresome!’ the princess said, ‘but then you must stand in front of me, so that nobody sees anything!’
And the ladies-in-waiting stood in front of her, and spread their skirts out wide, and then the swineherd got his ten kisses and she got the cooking pot.
Well, now the fun started! all evening and all day long the pot had to cook, there wasn’t a chimney in the town that didn’t tell them what was being prepared there – at the chamberlain’s and at the cobbler’s. The ladies-in-waiting danced and clapped their hands.
‘We know who’s going to have sweet soup and pancakes! We know who’s going to have porridge and cutlets! How fascinating!’
‘Yes, but keep it quiet, for I’m the emperor’s daughter!’
‘God forbid!’ they all said.
The swineherd – the prince, that is, but they only thought that he was a real swineherd – didn’t let the next day pass without making something else, this time it was a musical rattle – when you swung it round, all the waltzes and dance tunes since the world began came out of it.
‘But it’s quite superbe!’ the princess said, as she passed by, ‘I’ve never heard a more delightful composition! Listen! go in and ask him what that instrument costs: but I’m not giving any more kisses!’
‘He wants to have a hundred kisses from the princess!’ the lady-in-waiting said when she’d been in and asked.
‘The man must be mad!’ the princess said, and started to walk away; but when she had gone a little way, she stopped.
‘One must encourage the arts!’ she said. ‘I am the emperor’s daughter! Tell him, he can have ten kisses like yesterday – the rest he can have from my ladies-in-waiting!’
‘Yes, but we’re not at all keen on that!’ the ladies-in-waiting said.
‘Nonsense!’ the princess said, ‘and if I can kiss him, so can you! Remember, I’m the one who pays you and gives you board and lodging!’ and so the lady-in-waiting had to go back in once more. ‘A hundred kisses from the princess,’ he said, ‘or there’s nothing doing.’
‘Stand in front of me!!!’ she said, and all the ladies-in-waiting stood round her and the kissing started.
‘I wonder what all that commotion is down there at the pigsty!’ the emperor said when he had come out onto the balcony – he rubbed his eyes and put on his spectacles. ‘It seems that the ladies-in-waiting are involved! I must go down to them!’ – and he pulled up the heels of his slippers, for he had trodden them down.
Goodness gracious! How he hurried!
As soon as he got down to the courtyard, he started to move quite slowly, and the ladies-in-waiting were so busy counting the kisses to make sure that it was properly done that they didn’t notice the emperor at all. He stood up on tiptoe.
‘What’s all this?!’ he said, when he saw that they were kissing, and he beat them over the head with his slipper, just as the swineherd got his eighty-sixth kiss. ‘Heraus!’ the emperor said, for he was angry, and both the princess and swineherd were banished from his empire.
There she now stood in tears, the swineherd scolded her, and the rain poured down.
‘Oh, how wretched I now am!’ the princess said, ‘if only I had taken that handsome prince! Oh, how miserable I am!’
And the swineherd went behind a tree, wiped all the black and brown off his face, threw away the horrid clothes and reappeared in his princely costume, so handsome that the princess couldn’t help curtseying.

‘I have come to despise you!’ he said. ‘You didn’t want to have an honest prince! You didn’t understand anything about the rose and the nightingale, but you were quite prepared to kiss the swineherd for a mechanical musical instrument! Farewell and goodbye to you!’ – And he went back to his kingdom and shut the door on her, so now she could certainly sing: ‘Ach, du lieber Augustin, Everything’s gone, gone, gone!’

Saturday, 25 August 2018

Anna Bijns (1493-1575) 'Refereyn' in English


To be a woman’s fine, a man far better.
You maids, you widows keep this to the letter:
Don’t haste or fret to see yourselves soon wed.
It’s said that manless you are honour’s debtor;
If finding food and clothes though does not fetter,
Let no man master both your house and bed.
Take my advice: Be wary where you tread
It seems to me, where’er I cast my gaze,
That if a woman choose – though nobly bred
And rich in goods – to wed she all her days
Will spend short-tethered; if alone she stays
Instead both pure and chaste she’ll, I profess,
Be mistress of a life excelling praise.
With marriage I’ve no quarrel, nonetheless
Not tied by husbands women prosper best.

Maids fair of face make wives plain to behold,
Poor frumps, poor drudges; take care, young and old!
From wedlock’s hold I thus should clearly sheer.
Alas, once they are wed they’ve soon extolled
A love which they believe cannot grow cold;
This they will rue within just half a year:
The yoke of marriage makes life far too drear!
Of this all those who’ve wed are well aware!
And women make much clamour out of fear
When husbands seek distraction here and there,
Spend nights and days in inn and gambling lair;
Then wives swear that they rue their foolishness,
But friends and family can’t ease their care.
So stay on guard, and hear what I profess:
Not tied by husbands women prosper best.

The man comes home at times drunk as a lord,
Pesters his wife, exhausted by her chores;
No time to pause if she the house shall run.
And should she feel like countering his roars,
He strikes her in the face or to the floor;
That drink-logged vat’s commands she may not shun.
For all he’ll do is rant and rave at one,
So are things done; poor wife who such must bear!
And if with other women he’s begun,
What joy to rule the home when he’s not there.
You maids, you women, quench your thirst elsewhere
Ere you would hitch yourself up to distress.
Though you a view opposed to mine all share,
I simply do not care, but still profess:
Not tied by husbands women prosper best.

Unkept, a woman must man’s wealth forgo;
His will though likewise she need never know.
And freedom, I maintain, is of great worth.
Without account she’s free to come and go;
Though she must spin to earn her bread, all know
To feed one mouth it takes a lesser purse.
Not tied, she’s envied everywhere on earth,
And though a husband’s income is denied,
As mistress she is master of her hearth.
To freely move is joy none can deride.
To sleep or wake at will she may decide,
With none to chide – so stay untied, don’t rest.
Lost freedom is the worst ill ever tried.
Wives everywhere, though good blokes line your nest,
Not tied by husbands women prosper best.


Though women may have wealth none can deny,
They’re viewed as slaves by men both low and high.
Should they with fine words ply, then stop them short
And tell them to push off if they should try;
In number good men with white ravens vie.
Away from all gifts shy that they have brought,
As soon as in their mesh the woman’s caught,
Love is as nought, ’tis seen repeatedly.
In marriage man’s deception’s grimly taught,
With sorrows fraught, she suffers constantly;
He squanders all her wealth, won’t let her be.
No game for free, but heavy curse no less.
Oft money rules not love when you can see
Such men run till their lungs burst out their chest.
Not tied by husbands women prosper best.

To listen to the poem in English, go to here

Friday, 17 August 2018

Benny Andersen - 1929-2018

Ode to death

When I just think about myself
I think: good enough
you’ve made some wrong moves
but also left your mark
have quite a bit to regret
and a bit to be proud of

sum total:
it could have gone much worse
but actually went much better
you were given plenty
you’ve passed the test
have yet to pass on
a good day to die
though Monday would suit better.

Thursday, 16 August 2018

Contents of 'Fashioners of faith' - and access to the music

For anyone interested in listening to the music of the hymns translated in 'Fashioners of faith', you can always go to the site listed for DDS below the contents of these four sections:

1.       Her huiler jeg i livsens haab
2.      Keed af verden, og kier ad himmelen (Far, Verden, far vel) (DDS 614)
3.      Hver har sin skæbne (Sorrig og Glæde de vandre tilhaabe) (DDS 46) (HSSB 84)
4.      Hierte-Suk (Aldrig er jeg uden Vaade) (DDS 644)
5.      Hierte-Suk (Ach! min JEsu! ach! jeg er)
6.      Hierte-Suk (Søde JEsu, Siælens Læge)
7.      Sonnet
suk i klingeriim (Hvor ofte sukker jeg, fordi dend haarde Lykke)
8.      Dend anden morgen-sang (Siæl og Hierte, Sind og Sandser)
9.      Dend fierde aften-sang (Dend klare Sool gaar ned) (DDS 761) (HSSB 534)
10.    Sonnet eller klinge-riim (Saa skal dog alle Ting sig efter dennem føye)
11.    Dend X. sang (Tak JEsu, Siælens Hyrde good)
12.    Længe haver Satan spundet (DDS 185)
13.    O JEsu, søde JEsu, Dig
14.    Skriv dig JEsu paa mit hierte (DDS 208)
15.    Op, dovne Hierter, op og seer
16.    Hierte-Suk (En fattig Pillegriim jeg er)
17.    Hierte-Suk om hiertelig andagt (Steenig Hierte, gid du kunde)
18.    Morgen-Sang (Nu rinder Solen op) (DDS 743) (HSSB 4)
19.    Som dend Gyldne Sool frembryder (DDS 227) (HSSB 276)
20.   Store Gud og Frelsermand (DDS 91)
21.    Hierte-Suk (Naar jeg, O GUd, paa Havet er)
22.   Hierte-Suk (Ach, JEsu, mit hierte hâr vanked omkring)
23.   Hierte-Suk (Naar jeg, o GUd, mit Synde-dyb)
24.   Hierte-Suk (Hierte Jesu, hvad for Prøve)
25.   Dend 3. Morgen-Suk (Nat Søvn og Slum og Seng, far vel) (DDS 740)
26.   Over Evangelium, Luc. 24. (FØlg, Jesu med)
27.   Hierte-Suk (Hellige Betænkninger over Herrens Nadvere)

1.       Op! all den ting, som Gud har gjort (DDS 15) (HSSB 47)
2.      Hvor Gud mig fører, gaaer jeg glad (DDS 23)
3.      Jeg gaaer i fare, hvor jeg gaaer (DDS 45)
4.      Den yndigste Rose er funden (DDS 122) (HSSB 225)
5.      Ach! vidste du, som gaaer i syndens lenke (DDS 591)
6.      Mit hierte altid vanker (DDS 125) (HSSB 226)
7.      Skal kierlighed sin prøve staae (DDS 688)
8.      Kom, hierte! tag dit regnebret
9.      Her vil ties, her vil bies (DDS 557) (HSSB 48)
10.    Naar mit Øje (DDS 558)
11.    I denne søde jule-tiid (DDS 109) (HSSB 224)
12.    Hører, I, som græde (DDS 242)
13.    GUds riges evangelium (DDS 389)
14.    O Hellig Aand! mit Hierte (DDS 559)
15.    Hvo vil mig anklage (DDS 512)
16.    Fred i Jesu død vi skulle (DDS 515)
17.    Hvor seer det ud i verdens ørk (DDS 689)
18.    Her kommer, Jesus, dine små (DDS 123)
19.    I Dag skal alting siunge (DDS 253)
20.   Drag, Jesu, mig (DDS 255)
21.    JEsus mig alting er*
22.   Op min Aand, op fra dit Leer!
23.   Op, alle folk paa denne jord (DDS 385)
24.   Nu! jeg har vunden
25.   Den troe, som Jesum favner (DDS 578)
26.   Kommer, hvo vil viisdom lære! (DDS 606)
27.   Den Vey du gickst i Kors og Trang (DDS 603)

1.       Dejlig er den himmel blå (DDS 136) (HSSB 72)
2.      Påskeblomst! hvad vil du her? (DDS 236) (HSSB 277)
3.      Langt højere bjerge så vide på jord (HSSB 351)
4.      De levendes Land (DDS 561) (HSSB Synges til 64)
5.      Den signede Dag med Fryd vi seer (DDS 402) (HSSB 1)
6.      Morgenhanen atter gol (HSSB 6)
7.      Giv mig, Gud, en salmetunge (DDS 4) (HSSB 54)
8.      Har Haand du lagt paa Herrens Plov (DDS 633)
9.      Kirken den er et gammelt hus (DDS 323) (HSSB 57)
10.    Hil dig, frelser og forsoner! (DDS 192) (HSSB 279)
11.    Forunderligt at sige
12.    Himlene, Herre, fortælle din Ære (DDS 392) (HSSB 53)
13.    Moders navn er en himmelsk lyd (HSSB 152)
14.    Et jævnt og muntert, virksomt Liv paa Jord (HSSB 95)
15.    I al sin glans nu stråler solen (DDS 290) (HSSB 303)
16.    Velkommen i den grønne lund (HSSB 155)
17.    At sige verden ret farvel (DDS 538) (HSSB 58)
18.    Oplysning (Er lyset for de lærde blot) (HSSB 89)
19.    Nu falmer skoven trindt om land (DDS 729) (HSSB 341)
20.   Skyerne gråne (DDS 733) (HSSB 211)
21.    Jeg gik mig ud en sommerdag at høre (HSSB 153)
22.   Midsommers-Natten ved Frederiksborg (HSSB 548)
23.   Alt, hvad som fuglevinger fik (DDS 10) (HSSB 62)
24.   Morgenstund har guld i mund (DDS 752) (HSSB 7)
25.   Det er saa yndigt at følges ad (DDS 703) (HSSB 439)
26.   Kimer, I klokker (DDS 100) (HSSB 33)
27.   Hvad solskin er for det sorte muld (HSSB 92)

1.       Nu ringer alle Klokker mod Sky (DDS 408) (HSSB 8)
2.      Lysets Engel gaaer med Glands (DDS 747) (HSSB 9)
3.      Nu vaagne alle Guds fugle smaa (DDS 748) (HSSB 10)
4.      I Østen stiger Solen op (DDS 479) (HSSB 11)
5.      Gud skee Tak og Lov! (DDS 751) (HSSB 12)
6.      Morgenstund har Guld i Mund (DDS 752) (HSSB 7)
7.      Nu titte til hinanden de favre Blomster smaa (DDS 750) (HSSB 13)
8.      Storken sidder paa Bondens Tag (HSSB 291)
9.      Der staaer et Slot i Vesterled (DDS 775) (HSSB 542)
10.    Dagen gaaer med raske Fjed (DDS 771) (HSSB 543)
11.    Til vor lille Gjerning ud (DDS 772) (HSSB 544)
12.    I fjerne Kirketaarne hist (DDS 776)
13.    Bliv hos os, naar Dagen helder (DDS 773) (HSSB 545)
14.    Den skjønne Jordens Sol gik ned (DDS 774) (HSSB 546)
15.    Den store stille Nat gaaer frem (DDS 777)
16.    Lyksalig, lyksalig hver Sjæl, som har Fred! (DDS 779)
17.    Fred hviler over Land og Bye (DDS 778) (HSSB 547)
18.    Den store Seilads
19.    På Sjølunds fagre sletter (HSSB 472)
20.   Efteraars-Tone
21.    I sne står urt og busk i skjul (HSSB 252)
22.   Græshoppen
23.   Børnenes sang til storken
24.   Bekjendelser (HSSB 85)
25.   Dugdraaben
26.   Dejlig er jorden (DDS 121)
27.   Den Miskundelige (DDS 31)

For the music, go to here