Winter rest

Winter rest

From Erik Axel Karlfeldt's collection of poems Flora and Bellona published in 1918.

Now open our gate and shut our door
for the winter winds that blow,
and joy to our heart and warmth to our cheek
with jokes and spiced drinks.

Invite the lions to come! Now woman and man
may rest from herds and flocks
and sit in silence and smile at each other
by the thundering tales of the forests.

I lay me down on the bear's skin
at the foot of the lowering hearth;
you come and go and give me little messages
from the window and life and the world.

"There is a fox in our hazel forest,
and the serpents swing at the knot."
Let the gun hang! We have enough food,
and the chicken coop has been shot.

"It freezes and the ice becomes hard as steel
on the bay in the watch of the Russians."
Tomorrow, my friend, I'll go out and punch a hole
...and bring you bent sheets.

"It glitters on the shear and the storm is over.
In the attic are our skis."
Tomorrow maybe we go out
along the convex sides of the mountain.

Tomorrow, perhaps; now we rest.
I loosen my strength belt
and lay myself at your feet in tribute,
a sleepy and hopeless hero.

I fought for my house, for its people and its fathers
spring, summer and autumn without rest.
Now I want to slumber on your lap,
as Samson slept with Delilah

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