Was it a dream?

Translation of a poem by the Finnish poet Josef Julius Wecksell (Swedish, 1838-1907), who far too early lost himself in schizophrenia (1862, with the production of his only play, the dramatic masterpiece “Daniel Hjort”). Sibelius put it to music.

Was it just a dream
that I was once your heart’s beloved?
I remember it most like a silenced song
the string of which is trembling still.

I remember that you offered me a briar rose
of shy and tender aspect
and a glistening silver tear of a farewell –
and was it all a dream?

A dream like the short life of an anemone
of the green springfield of a moment,
hastily to sparkle just to wither
and immediately to be replaced and disappear
in vulgar crowds of others.

But methinks I oftentimes at night
hear one voice crying bitterly
in floods of never-ending tears;
– and that’s the memory to hide and keep
in safety deep within your breast,
for that one was your finest dream.


© aurelio 2023
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critique and comments welcome.
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A beautifully written ‘traditional’ poem, the type I enjoy the most. Sue.


An excellent interpretation, Aurelio, much enjoyed. Thanks for bringing to my attention this troubled poet who was unknown to me and, I suspect, many others

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