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Carl Michael Bellman

Epistle No. 36

Our Ulla lay one morning and slept,
A hand beneath her ear;
Her key alone the taverner kept
Or through its hole might peer.
Outside in the tavern, sir,
All was nocturnally quiet;
Beer was none, nor, I'll aver,
Scarce water to supply it.
On tip-toes
He comes and goes
About her bedside, brothers;
Lifts a bit
Of coverlet,
And whispers with the others.
Ulla quivers,
Snores and shivers,
O'er her head the blanket piles;
Snuggles under,
With a thunder;
Turns about and smiles.

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Epistle No. 39

Storm and wave their tumult cease.
See, the heav'nly galaxies,
Fainter, even dimmer
Is their golden glimmer
As the morning
Softly dawning
Of the sun's wan ray gives warning.
Asp and maple sighing,
Stream and marsh replying,
Woodcock buzzes,
Peasant passes
Round his filly's neck her harness.
Now in our stove
When it is lit,
Grasses and twigs
Crackle and spit,
Soon our porridge will be boiling.
Now with tousled brow
Cottager, I trow,
Seeks to light his pipe,

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Cradle-Song For My Son Carl

Little Carl, sleep soft and sweet:
Thou'lt soon enough be waking;
Soon enough ill days thou'lt meet,
Their bitterness partaking.
Earth's an isle with grief o'ercast;
Breathe our best, death comes at last,
We but dust forsaking.

Once, where flowed a peaceful brook
Through a rye-field's stubble,
Stood a little boy to look
At himself; his double.
Sweet the picture was to see;
All at once it ceased to be;
Vanished like a bubble!

And thus it is with life, my pet,
And thus the years go flying;
Live we wisely, gaily, yet
There's no escape from dying.

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Drink Out Thy Glass

Drink out thy glass! See, on thy threshold, nightly,
Staying his sword, stands Death, awaiting thee.
Be not alarmed; the grave-door, opened slightly,
Closes again; a full year it may be
Ere thou art dragged, poor sufferer, to the grave.
Pick the octave!
Tune up the strings! Sing of life with glee!

Golden's the hue thy dull, wan cheeks are showing;
Shrunken's thy chest, and flat each shoulder-blade.
Give me thy hand! Each dark vein, larger growing,
Is, to my touch, as if in water laid.
Damp are these hands; stiff are these veins becoming.
Pick now, and strumming,
Empty thy bottle! Sing! drink unafraid.

. . . . .

Skal, then, my boy! Old Bacchus sends last greeting;
Freya's farewell receive thou, o'er thy bowl.

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Amaryllis

Up, Amarylis! Darling, awaken!
Through the still bracken
Soft airs swell;
Iris, all dightly,
Vestured so brightly,
Coloreth lightly
Wood and dell.

Amaryllis, thy sweet name pronouncing,
Thee in Neptune's cool embrace announcing.
Slumber's god the while his sway renouncing,
O'er your eyes sighs, and speech yields his spell.

Now comes the fishing! The net we fasten;
This minute hasten!
Follow me!
Don your skirt and jacket
And veil, or you'll lack it;
Pike and trout wait a racket;
Sails flap free.

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Fredman's song no. 10

Drink till after twelve or more,
Live it up with madmen !
Earth is but my chamber floor
And the sun my lantern.
Nothing else is worth a pin
If my head but giddy spin,
Giddy spin, giddy spin,
Giddy spin, giddy spin,
Until it's so drowsy
Nothing more can rouse me.


In my grandad's overcoat,
Torn and out at elbows,
Here I stand, on brandy dote,
'Mid the queerest fellows;
Out of pretty goblets bright
Tipple morning noon and night,
Noon and night, noon and night,
Noon and night, noon and night,

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To Ulla

Ulla, mine Ulla, tell me, may I hand thee
Reddest of strawberries in milk or wine?
Or from the pond a lively fish? Command me!
Or, from the well, a bowl of water fine?
Doors are blown open, the wind gets the blaming.
Perfumes exhale from flower and tree.
Clouds fleck the sky and the sun rises flaming,
As you see!
Isn't it heavenly--the fish market? So?
'Heavenly, oh heavenly!'
'See the stately trees there, standing row on row,--
Fresh, green leaves show!
And that pretty bay
Sparkling there?' 'Ah yes!'
'And, seen where sunbeams play,
The meadows' loveliness?
Are they not heavenly--those bright fields?--Confess!'--
Heavenly!
Heavenly!

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Art And Politics

'Good servant Mollberg, what's happened to thee,
Whom without coat and hatless I see?
Bloody thy mouth--and thou'rt lacking a tooth!
Where have you been, brother?--tell me the truth.'
'At Rostock, good sir,
Did the trouble occur.
Over me and my harp
An argument sharp
Arose, touching my playing--pling plingeli plang;
And a bow-legged cobbler coming along
Struck me in the mouth--pling plingeli plang.

'I sat there and played--no carouse could one see--
The Polish Queen's Polka--G-major the key:
The best kind of people were gathered around,
And each drank his schoppen 'down to the ground.'
I don't know just how
Began freshly the row,
But some one from my head
Knocked my hat, and thus said:

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