Intet är som väntanstider/Nothing is like the time of waiting

Intet är som väntanstider,
vårflodsveckor, knoppningstider,
ingen maj en dager sprider
som den klarnande april.
Kom på stigens sista halka,
skogen ger sin dävna svalka
och sitt djupa sus därtill.
Sommarns vällust vill jag skänka
för de första strån som blänka
i en dunkel furusänka,
och den första trastens drill.

Intet är som längtanstider,
väntansår, trolofningstider.
Ingen vår ett skimmer sprider
som en hemlig hjärtanskär.
Sällan mötas, skiljas snarligt,
drömma om allt ljuvt och farligt
livet i sitt sköte bär!
Gyllne frukt må andra skaka;
jag vill dröja och försaka,
i min lustgåd vill jag vaka,
medan träden knoppas där.

There is nothing like expectation,
weeks of spring floods, budding time,
the daylight of May doesn’t diffuse
like that of a brightening April.
Walk down the last slippery path,
the forest gives its damp freshness
and its deep whistling.
I would trade summer’s sensuous pleasure
for the first blades of grass that shine
in a dusky pine hollow,
and the first trill of the nightingale.

Nothing is like longing time,
years of waiting, engagement time.
No spring spreads a shimmer
like a secret heart’s love.
Rare meetings and certain partings,
to dream of all that is sweet and dangerous
life carries in its womb!
Others may seek the gilded fruit of autumn;
I will wait and go without,
in my paradise I will keep vigil,
while the trees bud there.

Jungfrun under lind/Maiden under the Linden tree

I våren knoppas en lind så grön
med rosor och marsviol,
Där under sitter en jungfru skön
och sömmar i klaran sol.

Själv är hon liksom en sol i vår
som äpplet är hennes kind,
när hon vid spegeln slår ut sitt hår,
det faller som blomster från lind.

Som solen fångas av lindens blad
så fängslas hon håg och sinn,
så har hon mig bundit med trolska kvad,
och tagit mitt hjärta, mitt hjärta in.

In the spring a linden tree buds so green
with roses and march violet.
There sits a maiden so pretty
and sewing in the bright sun.

She is like the sun in the spring
like the apple is her cheek,
when she in the mirror lets out her hair,
it falls like flowers from the linden tree.

Like the sun, caught by the linden’s leaves
trapped by mind and thought she gets me,
with sorcerous ways, and has taken my heart,
my heart inside, my heart inside.


Alle de voksende Skygger
Har vaevet sig sammen til en.
Ensom paa Himmelen lyser
En Stjerne saa straalende ren,
Skyerne have saa tunge Drømme,
Blomsternes Øjne I Duggraad svømme,
Underligt Aftenvinden suser I Linden.
The shadows grew longer,
They combine themselves into one.
Alone in the brilliant heaven
One star shines with rays so pure.
The stars have melancholy dreams,
The drops of tears fall from the eyes of the flowers.
The linden tree is stirred by a strange breeze of evening.

När jag för mig själv/When I walk by myself

När jag för mig själv
i mörka skogen går,
tänker jag på vännen,
som jag aldrig får.

Tåren börjar rinna,
hjärtat slå,
aldrig kan man glömma den,
man en gång hållit å’.

Ängar, berg och dal och skog
med fåglar små,
blåa himmelen
med klara stjärnor på,

allt vad havet gömmer,
pärlor och koraller,
svanedun av skum
och klaraste kristaller,

gräs och blommor all
och lindelöv på kvist,
allting gåve jag för vännen,
som jag mist,
lilla vännen kär
från barndomsdagar.

When I walk by myself
In the dark wood,
I think of my friend,
Whom I will never have.

My tears begin to run,
My heart to beat,
Never can you forget
The one you once loved.

Fields, mountain and valley
And wood with little birds,
Blue skies
With clear stars in them,

Everything which the sea conceals,
Pearls and corals,
Swan’s-down of foam
And clearest crystals,

All grasses and flowers
And linden-leaf on the twigs,
Everything I would give
For the friend I have lost,
My dear little friend
From childhood days.


Så kom den stillhet åter,
den sommarskärhet,
som var mig främmande sen barnets tid.
Den bjuder som en lag
och överlåter
åt livet mig och låter dag för dag
tyst växa in och blomma i dess närhet: –

som när den långa dagen
ett tröskverk brummat
och ängslat bygden med sin dova id,
och ljudet plötsligt dör,
och andetagen
av guldsval kväll så trösteligt man hör,
som vore allt till evig tid förstummat.

So stillness returns,
The summer sweetness,
Which has been foreign to me since childhood days.
It commands like a law
And assigns
Me to life, and day by day allows me
Silently to grow and bloom in its vicinity:

As when through the long day
A thresher has been humming
And alarming the countryside with its dull industry,
And the sound suddenly dies,
And we hear the golden-cool evening
Taking a breath, so comforting,
As though all our being had fallen silent for ever.

Margit’s songs

Kom, bukken til gutten,
kom, kalven til mor,
kom, mjauende katten
i snehvide skor,
kom, aellinger gule,
kom frem ifra skjule’,
kom, kyllinger små
som næppe kan gå,
kom, duerne mine
med fjærene fine!
Se græsset er vådt;
men solen gjør godt,
og tidlig, tidlig er det på sommer’n —
men râb på høsten, så kommer’n!
Come little buck to the boy,
Come calf to mother!
Come meouwing cat
In snow-white shoes!
Come yellow ducklings,
Come out from your hiding place,
Come little chicks,
Who can hardly walk,
Come my pigeons
With your fine feathers!
See, the grass is damp,
But the sun will do you good,
And it is early in summer
But call for autumn and it will come!
Solen skinner vakkert om kvælden,
katten ligger doven ud på hællen;
“To små mus,
fløde af et krus,
fire stykker fisk
stjal jeg bag en disk,
og er så god og mæt,
og er så doven og træt,”
siger katten.

Kyllinghønen vingerne sænker,
hanen står på et ben og tænker;
“Den grå gås
styrer høj nok kås,
men se til, om den kan
nå en hane i forstand?
Ind, ind, høner under tag,
solen kan gærne få lov for idag.”
siger hanen.

“Herregud, det er godt at leve
for den, som slipper at stræve,”
siger fuglene.

The sun shines prettily in the evening,
The cat lies lazily out on the flagstone:
“Two little mice,
cream from a jug,
four pieces of fish
I stole from behind a counter,
And now I’m so good and full,
And now I’m so lazy and tired,”
Says the cat.

The hen lowers her wings,
The cock stands on one leg and thinks.
“The grey goose
steers a high enough course,
but see if he can
match a cockerel for brains.
In, in, hens, under the roof!
The sun has had enough for today!”,
Says the cockerel.

“Lord God, it’s good to be alive
for the one who gives up toiling”,
say the birds.

Holder du af mig,
holder jeg af dig
alle mine levedage;
sommeren var kort,
græsset blegner bort,
kommer med vor leg tilbage.

Hvad du sa’ ifjor,
husker jeg i år
sidder som en fugl i karmen,
kakker på og slår,
synger lidt og spår
lykke under solevarmen.

Nu godnat, godnat!
drømmen har mig fat,
den om dine milde øjne
og de tavse ord,
som af krogen fór,
o, de vare så forfløjne!

If you love me,
I shall love you,
All my livelong days;
The summer was short,
The grass fades away,
But they will come back, together with our games.

What you said last year
I remember this year,
It sits like a bird on the window-sill
Who peeks out and beats his wings,
Sings a little and foretells
Joys under the warmth of the sun.

Now goodnight, goodnight,
The dream has taken me,
The one about your gentle eyes,
And the silent words,
As if in a corner,
Oh, they were so giddy!


Bara du går över markerna,
lever var källa,
sjunger var tuva ditt namn.
Skyarna brinna och parkerna
susa och fälla
lövet som guld i din famn.

Och vid de skummiga stränderna
hör jag din stämmas
vaggande vågsorl till tröst
Räck mig de älskade händerna.
Mörkret skall skrämmas.
Kvalet skall släppa mitt bröst.

Bara du går över ängarna,
bara jag ser dig
vandra i fjärran förbi,
darra de eviga strängarna.
Säg mig vem ger dig
makten som blir melodi?

You have only to walk across the meadow
and every spring comes to life,
every tuft calls out your name.
The clouds blaze forth, the trees
sigh and drop their leaves
like gold in your lap.

And by the foamy shore
I hear the comforting sound of your voice
like a whirling wave.
Reach me your beloved hands:
darkness will take flight,
pain will release its hold on my breast.

You have only to walk across the field,
I have only to see you
passing in the distance,
and the eternal strings begin to tremble.
Tell me, who has given you
the power that becomes melody?

Gullebarn’s Lullaby

This is the fifth of the series. We are suddenly transported to the forest, with its heather, ferns and whitened branches. The sun is setting in a blazing ball over the hill crest. The sparkling skein whirs away through space until, finally, it lands on the island of Elysium. Gullebarn beholds the abode of the dead. He meets Diogenes, meets Saladin in ruby-encrusted armour, hears the voice of the hero…
The poem as a whole intimates how intensely the child within the poet can be impulsively, irrationally actualised. Amid the game of fairy tale images and lullaby rhythms comes the stern call of the sibyl: what we are all searching for is the child, which, after growing to manhood, will lift the sun from the mist. Perhaps Gullebarn is that very child!

Beethoven’s Neue Liebe, neues Leben/New Love, New Life

Lehmann and Ulanowsky performed this on their 7 March 1948 Town Hall recital. Despite her 60 years, one hears Lehmann really excited to tell us of the intense emotions of love, and in this particular song, new life. At her tempo, the rapid accompaniment sounds almost unplayable, but somehow Ulanowsky manages it. Lehmann never recorded this in a studio, so this live performance is especially important and in its day preserved in an extra way because it was distributed by the Armed Forces Radio or VOA.

Herz, mein Herz, was soll das geben?
Was bedränget dich so sehr?
Welch ein fremdes neues Leben!
Ich erkenne dich nicht mehr.
Weg ist alles, was du liebtest,
Weg, warum du dich betrübtest,
Weg dein Fleiß und deine Ruh’ –
Ach, wie kamst du nur dazu!
Fesselt dich die Jugendblüte,
Diese liebliche Gestalt,
Dieser Blick voll Treu und Güte
Mit unendlicher Gewalt?
Will ich rasch mich ihr entziehen,
Mich ermannen, ihr entfliehen,
Führet mich im Augenblick,
Ach, mein Weg zu ihr zurück.
Und an diesem Zauberfädchen,
Das sich nicht zerreissen läßt,
Hält das liebe, lose Mädchen
Mich so wider Willen fest;
Muß in ihrem Zauberkreise
Leben nun auf ihre Weise.
Die Verändrung, ach wie groß!
Liebe! Liebe! laß mich los!
Heart, my heart, what does this mean?
What is besieging you so?
What a strange new life!
I don’t know you any longer.
Gone is all that you loved,
Gone is what troubled you,
Gone is your diligence and peace–
Alas! how did you come to this!
Does youthful bloom shackle you,
Of this lovely figure,
Whose gaze is full of truth and goodness
With endless power?
If I rush to escape her,
To take heart and flee her,
I am led in a moment,
Alas, back to her.
And with this magic thread,
That cannot be ripped,
The dear, mischievous maiden
Holds me fast against my will;
In her magic circle I must
Live now in her way.
The change, alas – how great!
Love! Love! let me free!