A Summer without Song (Lauluton kesä), Eino Leino

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Today is the birthday of one of Finland’s greatest poets. This short poem, written in 1908, may be an expression of a despondent yearning for national freedom. That’s my guess, anyway.

Ardour’s diary is God’s cluster,
sprig from sacred thicket!
What, I wonder, is our forest
when the birdsong ceases?
.
Those who woke up earlier
no less from land soon vanish.
Weighted down my heart is weary,
ballading falls silent.
:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Lemmen lehti, Luojan terttu,
pyhän viidan virpi!
Mik’ on meidän metsällämme,
kun ei linnut laula?

Joka varhain valvahti,
se varhain maata menee.
Väsynyt on sydämeni,
lauluni myös mykkä.

Translation by Rupert Moreton

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