A crooked fence —

Edvard Søderberg: Poems of the Street

A crooked fence which wavers;
a glow of sun in green windows;
some worn-out clothes hung out to dry;
a soot-covered wall; a tree that bows –

On the stairs a girl, a beauty
from the streets, in skirt and veil,
a wagon rumbling distantly;
a voice that soothes a child who wails.

Indeed, I know this picture,
I memorize it, dreaming and awake:
the gloomy nooks and creepy gates
where trolls would hide and lurk.

This adventure-land where strange
and wondrous beings as well as dark,
mysterious and strange shadows lurked
and crept behind all sheds and gates.

Where in the darkness it laughed and whispered
with strangely quiet voices,
with evil eyes that alertly gazed through
all the gratings and doors.

Where the knights and dames of the street
and folks from all the world’s corners
partied heartily and happily
with liqueur and musicians. –

Indeed, I know this picture,
the hopeless elend’s kingdom; –
it hits me with a secret fear
and darkens all my visions…