Posts tagged ‘erik johan stagnelius’

Sunday, 3 February 2019

To Putrefaction by Erik Johan Stagnelius

Putrefaction, hasten, Oh beloved bride,
to ready our lonely lover’s couch!
By the world rejected, by God set aside
thou art my only hope, I vouch.
Quick! our chamber now adorn—on bier of somber decorations
the sighing lover to your dwelling shall go.
Quick! prepare the bridal bed—soon springtime’s gift of new carnations
shall over her grow.

Caress in thy womb my body, which yearns!
In thine embraces smother my pain!
My thoughts and my feelings dissolve into worms,
of my burning heart let but ashes remain!
Rich art thou, o maid!—in dowry dost give
the vast, the verdurous earth to me.
Up here do I suffer, but happy shall live
down there with thee.

To stifling, enchanting realms of desire
black-velvet pages lead bridegroom and bride.
Our nuptial hymn chiming bells will attire
and curtains of green will both of us hide.
When out on the oceans tempests prevail,
when terrors will not bloodied earth release,
when battles are raging, in slumber we’ll sail
in aureate peace.

From: Gustafsson, Lars and Rovinsky, Robert T. (transl.), Forays into Swedish Poetry: Bilingual Text Edition, 2012, University of Texas: Austin, Texas, p. 81.

Date: c1818 (original in Swedish); 1978 (translation in English)

By: Erik Johan Stagnelius (1793-1823)

Translated by: Robert T. Rovinsky (1940-)