by Johan Ludvig Runeberg (1804 - 1877)
Translation © by Laura Prichard

Sommarnatten
Language: Swedish (Svenska) 
Available translation(s): ENG FIN FRE
På den lugna skogssjöns vatten
Satt jag hela sommarnatten,
Och för böljans tropp, ur båten,
Slängde tanklös ut försåten.
Men en talltrast sjöng på stranden,
Att han kunnat mista anden,
Tills jag halvt förtörnad sade:
"Bättre, om din näbb du lade
Under vingen, och till dagen
Sparde tonerna och slagen."
Men den djärve hördes svara:
"Gosse, låt ditt metspö vara.
Såg du opp kring land och vatten,
Kanske sjöng du själv om natten."
Och jag lyfte opp mitt öga,
Ljus var jorden, ljust det höga,
Och från himlen, stranden, vågen
Kom min flicka mig i hågen.
Och, som fågeln spått i lunden,
Sjöng jag denna sång på stunden.

Authorship

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:

  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Ture Rangström (1884 - 1947) , "Die Sommernacht" ENG FIN FRE ; composed by Ture Rangström.

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

  • ENG English (Laura Prichard) , "Summer night", copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FIN Finnish (Suomi) (Erkki Pullinen) , "Kesäyö", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Nuit d'été", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: John Versmoren

This text was added to the website: 2004-07-05
Line count: 20
Word count: 108

Summer night
Language: English  after the Swedish (Svenska) 
Upon the calm forest-lake’s surface
I floated the whole summer night,
And over the troop of waves, from the boat,
I dangled my bait, devoid of thought.
But a thrush sang from the shore,
As if he could lose himself,
Until I, half-despondent, said:
“Better to hide your beak
Under your wing, and until morning
Save your tones and rhythms.”
But the bold voice was heard in answer:
“Boy, let your fishing rod be.
If you really looked at the land and water,
You'd probably sing at night too.”
And I lifted up my eyes,
Earth was full of light, the heavens were bright,
And from the sky, the shore, the waves,
My girl appeared in my mind.
And, as the bird in the grove had foretold,
I burst into song at that moment.

Translator's notes: Although J. L. Runeberg wrote exclusively in Swedish, he wrote the text for the Finnish national anthem (Swedish: “Vårt land”; Finnish: “Maamme”) and is considered to be the Finnish national poet.

Line 1: more literally, vatten = water
Line 4: or "cast my bait"

Authorship

  • Translation from Swedish (Svenska) to English copyright © 2018 by Laura Prichard, (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.
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Based on

 

This text was added to the website: 2018-12-18
Line count: 20
Word count: 134