Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Dan Andersson: '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.

To see the original, go to here

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