We, we are older than you,
you earth's children, proud and young.
Chaos' age-old voice are we,
Chaos' formless song we sing.
We, we are wind, we are water,
we are clouds in flight,
lamenting softly, lamenting shyly
far through the black late autumn night.
We, we are falsehood and play,
with tears a restless, playing call.
The moon, our lord, stands piningly pale.
King Ves„ll, he attracts and bewitches us all.
Children of the earth - when the rain grows cruel,
hearths and bright homes you build.
A power you have that frightens us sore,
the hard steel in hands surely held.
Come, taste the pale enchanter's drink,
drink us out of the moon's bowl,
submerge yourselves in Chaos' formless power,
throw by the wayside your firm steel!
But to the sun in storming autumn
you build temples to shield against the night.
We seek woe like a drunken solace -
we are water, we are wind in flight!
into English by David McDuff in "Karin Boye: Complete poems".
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.