PER OLS PER ERIK
Per Ols Per Erik in green glades went walking,
down pallid cheeks coursed tears of woe and grief,
and bright the moon shone in the sky’s great vaulting
and in the east wind quivered leaf on leaf.
Per Ols Per Erik sat down on a boulder
and listened to the forest’s mournful sigh,
and it was autumn, evening now was over
and friendly stars all twinkled from on high.
His thoughts were filled with sorrows even keener,
In Vaina lake he’d drown – the time was nigh,
the end had come twixt him and Mattson’s Mina,
so it was best to rue his sins and die.
Per Ols Per Erik sought the lakeside, sobbing,
his pockets full of nails and scrap and stones,
and all around were reeds and lilies bobbing
in waves the moon had turned as white as bones.
Per Ols Per Erik leapt into the evening,
and made the water shoot like silver staves
and heavenward his legs the air were cleaving
and rushes danced in ripples from the waves.
Per Ols Per Erik surfaced at the foreland,
when in black water autumn’s snow did melt,
he lay content there on the grassy shore and
no more was troubled by the cold he felt.
But many years have passed since this occurred now,
and Mina’s long since wed and red and plump.
Per Ols Per Erik in his grave would surely turn now
were he to see the one who made him jump.
At any rate he’s best off safely buried,
both me and Mina think so anyway.
Beneath the tufts of weeds he sleeps unharried,
and he will stand up tall on Judgment Day.
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