COMPELLED

Of poverty I am a priest,
and will probably always be.
Who nothing has can dare the most,
for deed and thought set free.

I hear the evil voice's scorn:
'Virtue you make of need.
What have you then to abstain from?
What if you had your bread?'

Yes, it is true that I have stood
and begged at happiness' door
and wept when I was given nought
and all was empty as before.

Yes, it is true that all's compelled.
But is it worth less then?
One meaning in our song is held:
to make our fate a friend.


Translated into English by David McDuff in "Karin Boye: Complete poems".

Swedish original



Copyright © 2005:
Translation from Swedish into English: David McDuff

Published with the permission of:
David McDuff, translation.
May and Hans Mehlin, Layout.

For more information, please visit the website of David McDuff and his own pages with the translations.