Soldier's Song

Poem: Soldier's Song by Verner von Heidenstam

From the poem suite "Ett folk", first published in Svenska Dagbladet on 22 September 1899; later included in the collection Nya dikter from 1915.

Beat the drum, boys! Forward, go on!
Hurray for Sweden and the King!
Hooray for the kingdom, where the old men stand
And knock with the club and the heads knock
and cough and look at the ceiling, the gray,
to let them loose to the scrotum!

But does it matter to the people and the king
and stain with blood a drift,
then you won't be weighed like a purse,
then you're good enough old and young.
That's right, comrades! Stand up and sing!
One people we will be.

We want to become an eagle that dares
safe rest in your own nest.
Let the thunder roll, as the drum is moved,
where among the hills grey our banner is carried!
We want to be a people who are heard
the day it roars in anger.

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