When you are away,  my soul hungers wildly.
When you are close, I long for you just as much -
in despair I see,
numb, secluded,
how empty and futile
is the minute which goes by.

Your essence of proud and regal perfumes fine
I secretly wanted to drink, a sacred wine -
but I stand heavy as death
as in dreams,
with a thirst like Tantalos
in clear streams.

In times of solitude my tongue has burned
to tell you of the beautiful thing I have dreamt and felt
but when I am near you
my thoughts slumber,
my door is closed,
and my heart is numb.

Translated into English by Jenny Nunn in "To a friend".

Swedish original

Copyright © 1997:
Translation from Swedish into English: Jenny Nunn

Published with the permission of:
Jenny Nunn, translation.
May and Hans Mehlin, Layout.