DANSK

Fra et vindue i Vartov

ENGLISH

By the almshouse window


Ud til den grønne vold, der går rundt om København, ligger en stor, rød gård med mange vinduer, i dem vokser balsaminen og ambratræet; fattigt ser der ud derindenfor, og fattige gamle folk bor der. Der er Vartov.
Near the grass-covered rampart which encircles Copenhagen lies a great red house. Balsams and other flowers greet us from the long rows of windows in the house, whose interior is sufficiently poverty-stricken; and poor and old are the people who inhabit it. The building is the Warton Almshouse.


Se! op til vindueskarmen læner sig en gammel pige, hun plukker det visne blad af balsaminen og ser ud på den grønne vold, hvor lystige børn tumler sig; hvad tænker hun på? Et livs drama ruller op for tanken.
Look! at the window there leans an old maid. She plucks the withered leaf from the balsam, and looks at the grass-covered rampart, on which many children are playing. What is the old maid thinking of? A whole life drama is unfolding itself before her inward gaze.


De fattige små, hvor lykkeligt de leger! hvilke røde kinder, hvilke velsignede øjne, men hverken sko eller strømper har de på! de danser på den grønne vold der, hvor sagnet fortæller at for mange år tilbage, da jorden der altid sank, blev et uskyldigt barn lokket med blomster og legetøj ind i den åbne grav, som de murede til medens den lille legede og spiste. Da lå volden fast og bar snart et dejligt grønsvær. De små kender ikke sagnet, ellers ville de høre barnet græde endnu dernede under jorden, og duggen på græsset ville synes dem de brændende tårer. De kender ikke historien om Danmarks konge, der da fjenden lå udenfor, red her forbi, og svor, han ville dø i sin rede; da kom kvinder og mænd, de gød kogende vand ned over de hvidklædte fjender, som i sneen kravlede op ad den ydre voldside.
The poor little children, how happy they are– how merrily they play and romp together! What red cheeks and what angels' eyes! but they have no shoes nor stockings. They dance on the green rampart, just on the place where, according to the old story, the ground always sank in, and where a sportive, frolicsome child had been lured by means of flowers, toys and sweetmeats into an open grave ready dug for it, and which was afterwards closed over the child; and from that moment, the old story says, the ground gave way no longer, the mound remained firm and fast, and was quickly covered with the green turf. The little people who now play on that spot know nothing of the old tale, else would they fancy they heard a child crying deep below the earth, and the dewdrops on each blade of grass would be to them tears of woe. Nor do they know anything of the Danish King who here, in the face of the coming foe, took an oath before all his trembling courtiers that he would hold out with the citizens of his capital, and die here in his nest; they know nothing of the men who have fought here, or of the women who from here have drenched with boiling water the enemy, clad in white, and 'biding in the snow to surprise the city.


Lystigt leger de fattige små.
No! the poor little ones are playing with light, childish spirits.


Leg, du lille pige! snart kommer årene - ja, de velsignede år: Konfirmanderne spadserer hånd i hånd, du går i hvid kjole, den har kostet din moder nok, og dog er den syet om af en større, gammel! du får et rødt sjal, det hænger dig for langt ned, men så kan man se, hvor stort det er, hvor alt for stort! du tænker på din stads og på den gode Gud. Dejlig er en vandring på volden! Og årene går med mange mørke dage, men med ungdomssind, og du får en ven, du ved det ikke! I mødes; I vandrer på volden i det tidlige forår, når alle kirkeklokker ringer på store bededag. Der er endnu ikke violer at finde, men ud for Rosenborg står der et træ med de første grønne knopper, dér standser I. Hvert år skyder træet grønne grene, det gør ikke hjertet i menneskets bryst, gennem dette glider flere mørke skyer, end Norden kender. Stakkels barn, din brudgoms brudekammer bliver ligkisten, og du bliver en gammel pige; fra Vartov ser du bag balsaminen ud på de legende børn, ser din historie gentages.
Play on, play on, thou little maiden! Soon the years will come– yes, those glorious years. The priestly hands have been laid on the candidates for confirmation; hand in hand they walk on the green rampart. Thou hast a white frock on; it has cost thy mother much labor, and yet it is only cut down for thee out of an old larger dress! You will also wear a red shawl; and what if it hang too far down? People will only see how large, how very large it is. You are thinking of your dress, and of the Giver of all good– so glorious is it to wander on the green rampart! And the years roll by; they have no lack of dark days, but you have your cheerful young spirit, and you have gained a friend– you know not how. You met, oh, how often! You walk together on the rampart in the fresh spring, on the high days and holidays, when all the world come out to walk upon the ramparts, and all the bells of the church steeples seem to be singing a song of praise for the coming spring. Scarcely have the violets come forth, but there on the rampart, just opposite the beautiful Castle of Rosenberg, there is a tree bright with the first green buds. Every year this tree sends forth fresh green shoots. Alas! It is not so with the human heart! Dark mists, more in number than those that cover the northern skies, cloud the human heart. Poor child! thy friend's bridal chamber is a black coffin, and thou becomest an old maid. From the almshouse window, behind the balsams, thou shalt look on the merry children at play, and shalt see thine own history renewed.


Og det er just det livsdrama, der ruller op for den gamle pige, der ser ud på volden, hvor solen skinner, hvor børnene med røde kinder og uden strømper og sko jubler, som alle de andre himlens fugle.
And that is the life drama that passes before the old maid while she looks out upon the rampart, the green, sunny rampart, where the children, with their red cheeks and bare shoeless feet, are rejoicing merrily, like the other free little birds.





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