by Gustaf Fröding (1860 - 1911)
Translation © by David McCleery

Säf, säf, susa
Language: Swedish (Svenska) 
Available translation(s): ENG FIN FRE GER
  [Säf, säf, susa,]1
  Våg, våg, slå, 
  I sägen mig hvar Ingalill 
  den unga månde gå?

Hon skrek som en vingskjuten and, när hon sjönk i sjön,
Det var när sista vår stod grön.

De voro henne gramse vid Östanålid,
Det tog hon sig så illa vid.

De voro henne gramse för gods och gull
Och för hennes unga kärleks skull.

De stucko en ögonsten med tagg,
De kastade smuts i en liljas dagg.

  Så sjungen, sjungen sorgsång,
  I sorgsna vågor små,
  Säf, säf, susa,
  Våg, våg, slå!

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Modern spelling: "Säv, säv, susa"


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

Other available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (David McCleery) , "Reed, reed, rustle", copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FIN Finnish (Suomi) (Erkki Pullinen) , "Suhise, kaisla", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Roseaux, roseaux, soupirez", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , "Schilf, Schilf, rausche", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 16
Word count: 88

Reed, reed, rustle
Language: English  after the Swedish (Svenska) 
Reed, reed, rustle
Wave, wave, crash.
Can you tell me where
Young Ingalill might have gone?

She screamed like a duck with a broken wing, as she sank into the sea;
That was the last spring, when all was green.

They turned against her at Östanålid
She took that to heart so badly.

They begrudged her wealth and her gold
And her young heart full of love.

They stuck thorns in the object of her desire
And threw dirt at the lily dew.

So sing, o sing this song of sorrow
O small waves of sadness
Reed, reed, rustle
Wave, wave, crash!


  • Translation from Swedish (Svenska) to English copyright © 2018 by David McCleery, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.

Based on


This text was added to the website: 2018-02-26
Line count: 16
Word count: 102