In times of yore –

Edvard Søderberg: Poems of the Street

In times of yore, the people had
advise for all, little one;
it’s said in ancient books
if one dares believe thereon:

When pleas of love weren’t heeded
the lover simply went
out into the green woods
to cut in ash and elm –

a splinter, a magic rune
with artful cuttings there-at;
he places it then sneakily
on his beloved’s path.

And then you couldn't resist
when the rune had first been placed;
then even the proudest would sink
to their knees, by love amazed.

- Now is known no magic runes,
which bind the difficult mind;
the ancient wisdom of old
is heeded like weather and wind.

For the woman, the modern one,
is a much changed adversary –
what helps all the world’s runes!
No, more is necessary:

Jewelry and golden cloths
and silk gowns, little one –
see, that was a declaration
you’d understand at once.

And one of them stroked my cheek
and called me dearest friend…
But now my prosperity’s gone
and my love away with it went!