Edith Södergran: Poems
Theking forbade the word “sorrow” at court,
“Unhappiness”, “love”, “happiness”, which all hurt,
but “she” and “her” were still left.
His queen caressed him like a child,
in the twilight hours he lay by her breast
with eyes wide open with pain.
He listened with anxiety for all steps by the door
and reluctance spread across his face.
If the girls at the farm laugh like silvery grey springs
the king turned pale and changed the subject.
No young women with blonde locks
were anymore allowed to show themselves with uncovered heads
and the little dancers in short dresses
were all expelled from court.
When it turned spring the king didn’t go out into the garden,
he lay in his north-facing room…
The spring peeped pale blue through the glass.