Sunday, July 24, 2011

To youth by Nordahl Grieg

Enemies near and by,
threatening your right!
Under a storm of blood -
You have to fight!

Might you then ask in fear,
unarmed and open:
how shall I combat them,
what is my weapon?

Here is your shelter strong,
here is your sword:
faith in mankind,
and in everyone's worth.

For all the future holds,
seek this and tend it.
Die, if you have to, but:
deepen, extend it!

Silent the bullets glide
all through the night.
Use all your strength and love,
stop deadly flight!

War is contempt for life.
Peace is creating.
Add forces to the strife:
death shall be beaten!

Love - and enrich with dreams -
greatness of old!
Challenge unknown terrain -
truth will be told.

Works not yet being built,
stars never seen -
reveal them through rescued lives,
able and keen!

Noble is everyone,
earth, rich and sweet!
Hunger and suffering,
caused by deceit.

Crush it! In life's own name
injustice shall fall.
Light, bread and love and hope,
birth right of all.

Forcing all weapons down,
warfare shall cease!
Shielding man's dignity
creating true peace.

Who by his right hand's side
carries a burden,
precious and dear to him,
can never murder.

This is our promise,
from kin to kin:
cherish our fragile Earth,
it's ours to win.

We will protect and keep
beauty and grace -
as if we held a child
in tender embrace!


botonzico said...

So graceful poem. I saw in the news it was read on the Funeral for the victims of the attacks in Norway.

Bettina said...

Yes, I know. It was written back in 1936 but who knew it would fit today. Sadly.

Anonymous said...

This is the only translation I've seen that doesn't lose some of the beautiful imagery!

Anonymous said...

Is this your translation by the way? I think the translation on wikipedia is weaker, and maybe should be replaced :)

Bettina said...

Yes, I know, I checked out the Wiki translation and it doesn't do justice to the original. It's poorly translated. This one I found on the Internet, I don't remember where, though. It's beautiful! :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks very much for the translation,which I have copied from your page. (I'm changing some of it, e.g. mankind for humankind etc.