they all sat there in a ring
by the campfire and they listened to his songs.
Songs of wanderers and pedlars
and of most amazing things
with his longing he gave voice to
rights and wrongs:
There is something past the mountains
past the flowers and the songs
yes, there’s something past the galaxies
and past my aching heart.
Listen – something’s there, it’s whispering
with temptations and with pleas:
come with us, because this earthly world
will never bring you ease!
I have listened to the silence
to the waves break on the shore.
I have dreamt of wildest seas at rest
and my spirit onward rushing
ah, the shapeless kingdom toward,
where we can forget all those we’ve loved the best.
To a wild eternal longing
we were born by mothers pale,
from their birthing pains and worries
rose our first laments and wails.
We were tossed to cliffs and meadows
where we tumbled and were awed
making games of moose and lions,
butterflies, beggars, even gods.
I would sit beside her, quiet
she whose heart was so like mine,
and her gentle hands our complex lives unfurled,
I could hear my heart start shouting,
what is yours you do not own,
and abducted was I to another world.
What I love, it is beyond
all concealed from light and words,
while the righteous way is high and wonderous.
And surrounded by the uproar I am tempted
to appeal now to the Lord:
’Take the world from me, I wish to own
What n’er belonged anyone of us!’
Join me, brother, past the mountains,
with their peaceful, cooling brooks,
where they sea relaxes slowly
in its mount-encircled bed.
Some, oh somewhere beyond heaven
Is my home, my mother’s there,
In the golden sprinkled hazes
In a cape with petals spread.
May the dark and salty waters
cool thy red and feverish cheek,
may we be so far past this life
before the dawning breaks!
Not of this world was I ever
and I suffered endless aches
for my worries, for my falseness,
And for my hot lust’s sake.
By a seashell covered sand beach
is a portal where roses grow,
and it covers rotting shipwrecks
where tired sailors are deceased.
Lovely singing not heard elsewhere
like the fiddles’ echoes grow
under vaults where, ever youthful,
all the children, blessed, find peace.
DAN ANDERSSON. BLACK BALLADS 1917
English translation by: Linda Schenck