The original, of which this is a translation, is universally considered one of the very best among many beautiful poems written by the same illustrious author. The sublime didactic thoughts therein expressed, in language majestic and yet so simple, have won for it a constantly increasing popularity; and, during half a century, in a language so rich in literary beauties as the Swedish, have maintained it among the foremost of poetical productions of its kind. Translated by A. W. Almqvist.
place doth fly,
Where not a sound to the ear is creeping,
Where not a tongue moves to make reply.
My foot meanders--
And kings and heroes,
And wicked Neros,
And princes, lofty in might and lust,
Are all transformed to--a handful dust.
In lowly earth, upon which they bother
And beg and wrangle for rank and gift,
I mix the races among each other,
I lay the centuries, drift on drift.
Forlorn and friendless
Exists no pleasure;
In shadows endless
No pomp, or treasure.
Their owners left them when on came night--
Now others claim them, with lawful right.
There is no stronghold on earth erected,
No guarded fort, that can save you, known.
Though by recorded transfer protected,
Your gained possession is not your own:
The purple hems
Of your silk-robed neighbor,
The crape, the gems,
And the yoke of labor,
Lo, other mortals their folds adorn,
On other shoulders their loads are bo