The death of the virgin

Edith Södergran: The September Lyre

The soul of the pure virgin was never mistaken,

she knew everything about herself,

she knew still more: about other people and about the sea.

Blueberry her eyes, raspberry her lips,

her hands wax.

She danced for the autumn on yellowing carpets,

she shrank, whirled and sank – and died.

When she was gone nobody knew that the corpse lay there in the forest…

They sought her lengthily among the gulls of the beach

who sang of mussels in red shells.

They sought her lengthily among the drinking companions

who fought over shiny knives from the duke’s kitchen.

They sought her lengthily in the field with lilies of the valley

where her shoes were left lyring since the night before.