Edvard Søderberg: Poems of the Street
A poor room; a door creaking loudly;
on the stair a mass assembled;
a candle is lifted in air whose glow
falls shiftily on him – the hanged man.
There he hangs! – With stiff and broken glance
he stares down into deprivation’s scene.
And at his feet: trembling with fear
a sobbing, penitent Mary Magdalene.
Yes, cry now girl! Pound your chest;
the filthy breast, and pull out your hair;
promise and swear that you’ll be good
and now at last stay faithful.
There he hangs. – Peace be with the fool
and forgetfulness on his sins!
But no peace be on you, faithless woman
who drove him to death. – Monstrous being.
You will yell and you will scream out your pain;
declaim that you walk over thorns
and fumble in darkness, rage against
the Heaven’s god - over and over again. -
Yeah but! Conscience… You have it? Stop right now,
and don’t be foolish! – Don’t you forget
sweet one, that tonight at nine o’clock
you’ve arranged with your lover to meet.