Saturday, 23 May 2020

Holger Drachmann: 'Ad kendte Veje'

DOWN WELL-KNOWN PATHS

Oh, how each footstep with lead seems hung,
       when the path must be trod till it’s ended;
       Light was each  step, so twenty-years young,
       when it led towards days that were splendid.
       A small bird as we passed
       was so busily singing
       its song of love;
       in each beech there was swinging
       and playing above, —
       songs and games did not last.
       Only pine trees now soughing have voice at all,
       and its sound’s that of water when rough;
              soon autumn will call.

Dearest one! ah, the double-edged plea
       that clashes in this strange calling:
       Songbirds’ gay laughter from corn-hued lea
       and woodland streams’ sad-sobbing falling!
       Now the summer is gone
       there’s but  autumn remaining,
       and autumn’s stalled;
       merely day’s image waning
       with solace now palled,
       a picture whose features once shone.
       And I press the wan leaf to my lips with a sigh.
       Double urges still clash when recalled
              at the hour of goodbye.

No, as lamenter I’ll not say adieu,
       since all has been laid out quite surely;
       nor will I tread paths of autumn hue,
       when star-paths lie here before me.
       There’s a force in the air
       which as pine needles’ resin
       my mind sets on fire;
       and the autumn’s rays dress in
       a rainbow attire,
       each flower has a scent twice as rare.
       Let the spring remain silent; a seed time is nigh.
       All my heart’s songs will never expire:
              they refuse to die.

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