Monday 31 July 2017

Sunday 23 July 2017

Friday 14 July 2017

Wednesday 12 July 2017

Niels Ferlin: 'Får jag lämna några blommor?'

May I leave some flowers when parting

May I leave some flowers when parting – a few roses for your care,
and you must ward off all sadness, my dear one.
For a royal estate is where they have bloomed once, and I swear
it would take a sword for one to get near one.
The first one, it is white
and the second, it is red,
but the third I would bestow my heart's nearest.
It will not bloom until
he who gives it is no more –
it is strange indeed that rose is, my dearest.


The first one, it is white
and the second, it is red,
but the third I would bestow my heart's nearest.
It will not bloom until
he who gives it is no more –
but will bloom then quite a long time, my dearest.

Listen to Sven-Bertil Taube sing it on Spotify!

Saturday 8 July 2017

Only Afrikaans can come up with a word like 'skoelapper' for butterfly



Eendag toe hou die skepper
sy skepping soos 'n kind 'n skoelapper
op sy hand, en bibberend
spalt die gebrandskilderde vlerke.
Magtig die kleure wat gloei soos godhede

gloei, oop, toe, met groot
vertoon, die vlerke vir dag en nag.
Die skepper voel nog die pootjies
fyntjies op sy vingers en wonder
oor wat hy vermag het: oopvou

van 'n al, goudstofoortrekte lig,
en soos skeppendes maar is, bedink
hy, trots en nederig, nog ene,
nog 'n lieflike ligsinnige vlinder,
herhaaldelik, die ewigheid ter wille.


One day the creator held
his creation like a child a butterfly
in his hand, and quivering
the enamelled wings parted.
Wondrous the colours that glowed as deities

glowed, open, shut, with great
display, the wings for day and night.
The creator still feels the small feet
delicately on his fingers and is astonished
at what he has been capable of: the unfolding

of an everything, gold-dust-covered light,
and as it is with creators, he
conceives, proud and humble, one more
one more such lovely, light-hearted butterfly,
repeatedly, for the sake of eternity.

Thursday 6 July 2017

Tuesday 4 July 2017

Grundtvig - Land of the Living

The land of the living

              I know of a land
Where hair does not grey, and where time’s rule is banned,
Where sun does not burn, and where wave does not ring,
Where autumn embraces the blossoming spring,
Where morning and evening unceasingly dance
              In noon’s brightest glance.

              Oh, wonderful land,
Where glass does not run full of tear-drops as sand,
Where nothing is wanting that’s worth holding dear,
Where that does not lack which so pained us back here!
With breast filled with longing we seek ever more
              Your sweet-smiling shore.

              Oh, long-promised land!
We greet you in morning hour’s mirror-clear strand,
When perfect your shadow the child may espy
And where woods are green dreams that there you must lie,
Where too it can share with the rushes and flowers
              Its smile and its hours.

              Oh, transient dream
Of island eternal in time’s rushing stream!
Of joy’s sacred temple in life’s vale of tears,
Of life half-divine in this hall’s mortal years!
The land of the living with you melts away
              From those made of clay.

              Oh, hope-dashing dream!
You glittering bubble on time’s rushing stream!
In vain would the poet, with voice and with pen,
From bright-gleaming shadows create you again;
Where shadow comes closest, the small will all weep
              Who on it gaze deep.

              Oh, spell-binding dream
Of pearl that’s eternal in time’s rushing stream!
You fool those poor persons who all seek in vain
In image and art what the heart would retain,
And make them call lasting what just disappears
              Like days, months and years.

              Oh, spirit of love!
Your hand let me kiss, reaching down from above
From heaven’s fair skies to this earth’s murky hold
And touching our eyes with its fingers of gold,
So blue-tinged there climbs behind surf-roaring strand
              The wonderful land!

              Oh, heavenly name,
Whose sacred embrace does our nature enflame,
So spirit can mingle with dust without grief
And bring back to life every dead withered leaf!
Oh, deep in my clay let me fall on my knee
              So God may see me!

              Oh, faith beyond bliss,
Whose high-vaulted bridge spans the gaping abyss
When drifting ice threatens in surf-roaring strand
From poor mortal dwelling to far promised land!
Come farther down to me, you high-honoured guest!
              That pleases you best.

              Oh, hope fleet of wing!
Oh, brother reborn through divine christening!
For all journeys made to the land o’er the sea,
Good tidings and comfort you’ve lavished on me,
May I ever thank you, so joy is in store
              When hope is no more!

              Oh, love perfect love!
Quiet source of fierce torrents that mightily move!
He calls you his father who ransoms our plight
Your spirit all soul’s vital force does ignite;
Your kingdom is there where man death does defy;
              May us it be nigh!

              Our father sublime!
You willingly reign in earth’s temple of grime,
Who builds up the spirit in Jesu’s sweet name,
In human embrace with an altar aflame,
With heaven-bright dwelling of faith dearly won,
              For you and your son.

              Oh, Christian faith sweet!
You grant every heart what the world cannot greet;
What barely we glimpse while our eye is still blue,
Is living within us, we know this is true;
Both heaven and earth are my land, life confides
              Where love e’er resides.

Monday 3 July 2017

Grundtvig - Enlightenment


Er lyset for de lærde blot
til ret og galt at stave?
Nej, himlen under flere godt,
og lys er himlens gave,
og solen står med bonden op,
slet ikke med de lærde,
oplyser bedst fra tå til top,
hvem der er mest på færde.

Er lyset i planeter kun,
som ej kan se og mæle?
Er ikke ordet i vor mund
et lys for alle sjæle!
Det giver os for ånder syn,
som solens skin for kroppe,
det slår i sjælen ned som lyn
fra skyerne hist oppe.

Er lys på visse vilkår blot
så halvvejs at ophøje?
Gør det ej alle vegne godt!
Er lys ej livets øje!
Skal for misbrugens skyld måske
på åndens himmelbue
vi heller mulm og mørke se
end solens blanke lue!

Nej, aldrig spørges det fra Nord,
vi lyset vil fordunkle!
Som nordlys i fribårne ord
det sås på himlen funkle,
og ses det skal ved nordens pol,
ej blot i kroppens rige:
midsommerens den bolde sol
vil ej for midnat vige!

Oplysning være skal vor lyst,
er det så kun om sivet,
men først og sidst med folkerøst
oplysningen om livet;
den springer ud af folkedåd
og vokser, som den vugges,
den stråle i vort folkeråd,
til aftenstjernen slukkes!


Is light but for the learnèd few
to try and spell unstriven?
No, heav’n would bless all others too
and light’s a gift from heaven,
the sun will with the farmer go
the learnèd few eschewing,
it best lights up from top to toe
the one who’s up and doing.

Is light the planets’ sole domain
no sight and speech possessing?
Is not the word our mouth can frame
a light where souls find blessing!
Thereby all spirits we behold,
as sun’s rays bodies brighten,
it strikes like lightning in the soul
and does from clouds enlighten.

Does light on certain terms alone
deserve our praise so poorly?
Is light not everywhere a boon!
For it is life’s eye surely!
Shall we because of errant ways
in spirit’s vault of heaven
on pitch-black darkness rather gaze
than on sun’s blazing beacon!

No, from the North was never heard
that light we would be dimming!
like northern lights in free-born word
’twas seen in heaven gleaming,
and shall at northern pole be seen
not only here ’mongst mortals;
midsummer’s valiant sun’s bright sheen
defies black midnight’s portals!

Enlightenment shall be our joy,
though reeds alone be brightened,
but first and last with common voice
may all life be enlightened;
it has its source in common deed
and grows as it is tended,
may it our common council feed
till evening star is ended!