Poem of the Week, week 49: Johan Sebastian Welhaven "The Snow's Now Falling Thick and Fast"

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The snow’s now falling thick and fast,
and the boy runs hither and thither.
A great many miles does he slither
and slide now before the day’s past.

Great blocks of snow in the courtyard he rolls,
and into stout soldiers he makes them;
Much effort and toil does it take him.
The soldiers are given eyes made of coal.

He trundles the snow as if in a trance,
while the towering warriors stand gazing;
a breastwork he now works on raising.
The broomstick he gives them serves as a lance.

And now he is done, and his strength is no more;
his hands are both frozen and stinging.
With strong dreams soon to be winging
A restless night the boy has in store.

You hear him exclaim, the tired little one:
‘Tomorrow they all will do battle!’
Then rainclouds the sky shake and rattle,
and his warriors soon are all gone.

Johan Sebastian Welhaven (1807-1873)

Translated by John Irons at http://johnirons.blogspot.com

See the poem in Norwegian

Poem of the Week

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