DANSK

Årets historie

ENGLISH

The story of the year


Det var sidst i januar; en frygtelig snestorm var det; sneen fløj i fygende hvirvel gennem gader og stræder; ruderne udenpå var som overklistrede med sne, fra tagene styrtede den i dynger, og så var der en flugt i folk, de løb, de fløj og fór hinanden i armene, holdt hinanden fast et øjeblik og havde så længe fodfæste. Kareter og heste var ligesom overpudrede, tjenerne stod med ryggen mod kareten og kørte baglæns imod vinden, fodgængeren holdt sig stadigt i læ af vognen, der kun langsomt gled af sted i den dybe sne; og da endelig stormen lagde sig og der blev kastet en smal sti langs husene, så stod dog folk stille der, når de mødtes; ingen af dem havde lyst til at gøre det første skridt, med at træde op i den dybe sne, for at den anden kunne slippe forbi. Tavse stod de, til endelig, efter ligesom en stille overenskomst, hver af dem gav et ben til pris og lod dette gå ind i snedyngen.
It was near the end of January, and a terrible fall of snow was pelting down, and whirling through the streets and lanes; the windows were plastered with snow on the outside, snow fell in masses from the roofs. Every one seemed in a great hurry; they ran, they flew, fell into each other's arms, holding fast for a moment as long as they could stand safely. Coaches and horses looked as if they had been frosted with sugar. The footmen stood with their backs against the carriages, so as to turn their faces from the wind. The foot passengers kept within the shelter of the carriages, which could only move slowly on in the deep snow. At last the storm abated, and a narrow path was swept clean in front of the houses; when two persons met in this path they stood still, for neither liked to take the first step on one side into the deep snow to let the other pass him. There they stood silent and motionless, till at last, as if by tacit consent, they each sacrificed a leg and buried it in the deep snow.


Mod aften var det blikstille, himlen så ud, som om den var fejet og gjort mere høj og gennemsigtig, stjernerne syntes splinternye, og nogle var så blå og klare, – og det frøs så det knagede efter, – sagtens kunne da det øverste snelag blive så stærkt, at det i morgenstunden bar gråspurvene; de hoppede om snart oppe snart nede, hvor der var skovlet, men megen æde var der ikke at finde, og de frøs ordentligt.
Towards evening, the weather became calm. The sky, cleared from the snow, looked more lofty and transparent, while the stars shone with new brightness and purity. The frozen snow crackled under foot, and was quite firm enough to bear the sparrows, who hopped upon it in the morning dawn. They searched for food in the path which had been swept, but there was very little for them, and they were terribly cold.


"Pip!" sagde den ene til den anden, "det kalder man det nye år! – det er jo værre, end det gamle! så kunne vi lige så godt have beholdt det. Jeg er misfornøjet og det har jeg grund til!"
"Tweet, tweet," said one to another; "they call this a new year, but I think it is worse than the last. We might just as well have kept the old year; I'm quite unhappy, and I have a right to be so."


"Ja, der løb nu menneskene om og skød nytår ind," sagde en lille forfrossen spurv, "de slog potter på døre og var rent ellevilde af glæde over at nu gik det gamle år væk! og det var jeg også glad over, for jeg ventede, at vi da ville få varme dage, men det er der ikke blevet noget af; det fryser meget strengere end før! Menneskene har taget fejl af tidsregningen!"
"Yes, you have; and yet the people ran about and fired off guns, to usher in the new year," said a little shivering sparrow. "They threw things against the doors, and were quite beside themselves with joy, because the old year had disappeared. I was glad too, for I expected we should have some warm days, but my hopes have come to nothing. It freezes harder than ever; I think mankind have made a mistake in reckoning time."


"Det har de!" sagde en tredje, der var gammel og hvid i toppen; "de har nu noget, som de kalder almanakken, den er sådan deres egen opfindelse, og så skal alt gå efter den! men det gør det ikke. Når foråret kommer, så begynder året, det er naturens gang, og den regner jeg efter!"
"That they have," said a third, an old sparrow with a white poll; "they have something they call a calendar; it's an invention of their own, and everything must be arranged according to it, but it won't do. When spring comes, then the year begins. It is the voice of nature, and I reckon by that."


"Men, når kommer foråret?" spurgte de andre.
"But when will spring come?" asked the others.


"Det kommer når storken kommer, men det er meget ubestemt med ham, og herinde i byen er der ingen, der ved noget derom, det ved de bedre ude på landet; skal vi flyve derud og vente? Dér er man da foråret nærmere."
"It will come when the stork returns, but he is very uncertain, and here in the town no one knows anything about it. In the country they have more knowledge; shall we fly away there and wait? we shall be nearer to spring then, certainly."


"Ja, det kan være meget godt!" sagde en af dem, der længe havde gået og pippet uden egentlig at sige noget. "Jeg har herinde i byen nogle bekvemmeligheder, som jeg er bange, at jeg vil komme til at savne derude. Heromme i en gård er der en menneskefamilie, der meget fornuftigt har fundet på at slå fast i væggen tre, fire urtepotter med den store åbning ind og bunden udad, i den er der skåret et hul så stort, at jeg kan flyve ud og ind; der har jeg og min mand rede, og derfra er alle vore unger fløjet ud. Menneskefamilien har naturligvis indrettet det hele for at have den fornøjelse at se på os, ellers havde de nok ikke gjort det. De strør brødkrummer ud, også for deres fornøjelse, og vi har da føden! der er ligesom sørget for en; – og så tror jeg, at jeg bliver og min mand bliver! skønt vi er meget misfornøjede, – men vi bliver!"
"That may be all very well," said another sparrow, who had been hopping about for a long time, chirping, but not saying anything of consequence, "but I have found a few comforts here in town which, I'm afraid, I should miss out in the country. Here in this neighborhood, there lives a family of people who have been so sensible as to place three or four flower-pots against the wall in the court-yard, so that the openings are all turned inward, and the bottom of each points outward. In the latter a hole has been cut large enough for me to fly in and out. I and my husband have built a nest in one of these pots, and all our young ones, who have now flown away, were brought up there. The people who live there of course made the whole arrangement that they might have the pleasure of seeing us, or they would not have done it. It pleased them also to strew bread-crumbs for us, and so we have food, and may consider ourselves provided for. So I think my husband and I will stay where we are; although we are not very happy, but we shall stay."


"Og vi flyver ud på landet, for at se om ikke foråret kommer!" og så fløj de.
"And we will fly into the country," said the others, "to see if spring is coming." And away they flew.


Og der var ordentlig vinter ude på landet; det frøs dér et par grader stærkere end inde i byen. Den skarpe vind blæste hen over de snelagte marker. Bonden, med store bælgvanter på, sad i sin slæde og slog sig med sine arme for at få kulden af dem, pisken lå på skødet, de magre heste løb, så de dampede, sneen knagede, og spurvene hoppede i hjulsporene og frøs; "pip! når kommer våren? Det varer så længe!"
In the country it was really winter, a few degrees colder than in the town. The sharp winds blew over the snow-covered fields. The farmer, wrapped in warm clothing, sat in his sleigh, and beat his arms across his chest to keep off the cold. The whip lay on his lap. The horses ran till they smoked. The snow crackled, the sparrows hopped about in the wheel-ruts, and shivered, crying, "Tweet, tweet; when will spring come? It is very long in coming."


"Så længe!" klang det hen over markerne fra den højeste banke, belagt med sne; og det kunne være ekko man hørte, men det kunne også være tale af den underlige gamle mand, som sad der øverst på snedriven i vind og vejr; han var ganske hvid, ligesom en bonde i hvid vadmelskofte, med langt hvidt hår, hvidt skæg, ganske bleg og med store klare øjne.
"Very long indeed," sounded over the field, from the nearest snow-covered hill. It might have been the echo which people heard, or perhaps the words of that wonderful old man, who sat high on a heap of snow, regardless of wind or weather. He was all in white; he had on a peasant's coarse white coat of frieze. He had long white hair, a pale face, and large clear blue eyes.


"Hvem er den gamle der henne?" spurgte spurvene.
"Who is that old man?" asked the sparrows.


"Det ved jeg!" sagde en gammel ravn, der sad på ledpælen, og var nedladende nok til at erkende, at vi alle er småfugle for Vorherre, og derfor også indlod sig med spurvene og gav forklaring. "Jeg ved, hvem den gamle er. Det er Vinteren, den gamle mand fra det forrige år, han er ikke død, som almanakken siger, nej han er såmænd formynder for den lille prins Forår, der kommer. Jo, Vinteren fører regimentet. Hu! det knager nok i jer, I små!"
"I know who he is," said an old raven, who sat on the fence, and was condescending enough to acknowledge that we are all equal in the sight of Heaven, even as little birds, and therefore he talked with the sparrows, and gave them the information they wanted. "I know who the old man is," he said. "It is Winter, the old man of last year; he is not dead yet, as the calendar says, but acts as guardian to little Prince Spring who is coming. Winter rules here still. Ugh! the cold makes you shiver, little ones, does it not?"


"Ja, er det ikke det jeg siger!" sagde den mindste, "den almanak er bare menneskepåfund, den er ikke lempet efter naturen! det skulle de lade os om, vi, som er finere skabt!"
"There! Did I not tell you so?" said the smallest of the sparrows. "The calendar is only an invention of man, and is not arranged according to nature. They should leave these things to us; we are created so much more clever than they are."


Og der gik en uge, der gik næsten to; skoven var sort, den frosne indsø lå så tung og så ud som størknet bly; skyerne, ja det var ikke skyer, der var våde, iskolde tåger, der hang hen over landet; de store sorte krager fløj i flokke, uden skrig, det var som om alt sov. – Der gled en solstråle hen over søen, og den skinnede som smeltet tin. Snelaget hen over marken og oppe på banken glimrede ikke som før, men den hvide skikkelse, Vinteren selv, sad der endnu med blikket stadigt mod syden; han mærkede slet ikke, at snetæppet ligesom sank ind i jorden, at hist og her en lille græsgrøn plet kom frem, og der myldrede det da med spurve.
One week passed, and then another. The forest looked dark, the hard-frozen lake lay like a sheet of lead. The mountains had disappeared, for over the land hung damp, icy mists. Large black crows flew about in silence; it was as if nature slept. At length a sunbeam glided over the lake, and it shone like burnished silver. But the snow on the fields and the hills did not glitter as before. The white form of Winter sat there still, with his un-wandering gaze fixed on the south. He did not perceive that the snowy carpet seemed to sink as it were into the earth; that here and there a little green patch of grass appeared, and that these patches were covered with sparrows.


"Kvivit! Kvivit! kommer nu våren?"
"Tee-wit, tee-wit; is spring coming at last?"


"Våren!" klang det hen over mark og eng og igennem de sortbrune skove, hvor mosset skinnede friskt grønt på træstammerne; og gennem luften kom flyvende, sydfra, de to første storke; på ryggen af hver sad der et lille dejligt barn, en dreng og en pige; og de kyssede jorden til hilsen, og hvor de satte deres fødder, voksede hvide blomster frem under sneen; hånd i hånd gik de op til den gamle ismand, Vinteren, lagde sig ved hans bryst til ny hilsen og i samme stund var de alle tre skjulte og hele landskabet skjult; en tyk, våd tåge, så tæt og tung, indhyllede alt. – Lidt efter luftede det, – vinden fór af sted, den kom med stærke kast og jog tågen bort, solen skinnede så varmt; – vinteren selv var forsvunden, forårets dejlige børn sad på årets trone.
Spring! How the cry resounded over field and meadow, and through the dark-brown woods, where the fresh green moss still gleamed on the trunks of the trees, and from the south came the two first storks flying through the air, and on the back of each sat a lovely little child, a boy and a girl. They greeted the earth with a kiss, and wherever they placed their feet white flowers sprung up from beneath the snow. Hand in hand they approached the old ice-man, Winter, embraced him and clung to his breast; and as they did so, in a moment all three were enveloped in a thick, damp mist, dark and heavy, that closed over them like a veil. The wind arose with mighty rustling tone, and cleared away the mist. Then the sun shone out warmly. Winter had vanished away, and the beautiful children of Spring sat on the throne of the year.


"Det kalder jeg nytår!" sagde spurvene. "Nu får vi vel igen vore rettigheder og erstatning for den strenge vinter!"
"This is really a new year," cried all the sparrows, "now we shall get our rights, and have some return for what we suffered in winter."


Hvorhen de to børn vendte sig, der skød grønne knopper frem på buske og træer, der blev græsset højere, sædemarken mere og mere liflig grøn. Og rundt om kastede den lille pige blomster; hun havde af dem i overflødighed i sit skørt, de syntes der at myldre frem, altid var det fuldt, i hvor ivrig hun var med at kaste, – i sin ilfærdighed rystede hun en hel blomstersne hen over æble- og ferskentræer, så at de stod i fuld pragt før de endnu rigtig havde grønne blade.
Wherever the two children wandered, green buds burst forth on bush and tree, the grass grew higher, and the corn-fields became lovely in delicate green. The little maiden strewed flowers in her path. She held her apron before her: it was full of flowers; it was as if they sprung into life there, for the more she scattered around her, the more flowers did her apron contain. Eagerly she showered snowy blossoms over apple and peach-trees, so that they stood in full beauty before even their green leaves had burst from the bud.


Og hun klappede i hænderne og drengen klappede, og da kom der fugle frem, man vidste ikke hvorfra, og alle kvidrede og sang: "Våren er kommen!"
Then the boy and the girl clapped their hands, and troops of birds came flying by, no one knew from whence, and they all twittered and chirped, singing "Spring has come!" How beautiful everything was!


Det var dejligt at se. Og mangen gammel morlille kom uden for sin dør i solskinnet, skuttede sig, så hen på de gule blomster, der prangede over hele engen, akkurat ligesom i hendes unge dage; verden blev ung igen, "det er velsignet i dag herude!" sagde hun.
Many an old dame came forth from her door into the sunshine, and shuffled about with great delight, glancing at the golden flowers which glittered everywhere in the fields, as they used to do in her young days. The world grew young again to her, as she said, "It is a blessed time out here to-day."


Og skoven var endnu brungrøn, knop ved knop, men skovmærken var fremme, så frisk og så duftende, violerne stod i en fylde, og der var anemoner, kodriver og oksedriver, ja i hvert græsstrå var saft og kraft, det var rigtignok et pragttæppe at sidde på, og der sad forårets unge par og holdt hinanden i hænderne og sang og smilede og voksede mere og mere.
The forest already wore its dress of dark-green buds. The thyme blossomed in fresh fragrance. Primroses and anemones sprung forth, and violets bloomed in the shade, while every blade of grass was full of strength and sap. Who could resist sitting down on such a beautiful carpet? and then the young children of Spring seated themselves, holding each other's hands, and sang, and laughed, and grew.


En mild regn faldt fra himlen over dem, de mærkede det ikke, regndråben og glædeståren blev en og samme dråbe. Brud og brudgom kyssede hinanden, og i det nu sprang skoven ud. – Da solen stod op, var alle skove grønne!
A gentle rain fell upon them from the sky, but they did not notice it, for the rain-drops were their own tears of joy. They kissed each other, and were betrothed; and in the same moment the buds of the trees unfolded, and when the sun rose, the forest was green.


Og hånd i hånd gik brudeparret under det friske hængende løvtag, hvor kun sollysets stråler og slagskyggerne gav farveveksel i det grønne. En jomfruelig renhed og en forfriskende duft var i de fine blade! klar og levende rislede å og bæk mellem de fløjlsgrønne siv og over de brogede sten. "Fuldt op evigt og altid er det og bliver det!" sagde hele naturen. Og kukkeren sang og lærken slog, det var det dejlige forår; dog piletræerne havde uldvanter om sine blomster, de var nu så gruelig forsigtige, og det er kedeligt!
Hand in hand the two wandered beneath the fresh pendant canopy of foliage, while the sun's rays gleamed through the opening of the shade, in changing and varied colors. The delicate young leaves filled the air with refreshing odor. Merrily rippled the clear brooks and rivulets between the green, velvety rushes, and over the many-colored pebbles beneath. All nature spoke of abundance and plenty. The cuckoo sang, and the lark carolled, for it was now beautiful spring. The careful willows had, however, covered their blossoms with woolly gloves; and this carefulness is rather tedious.


Og så gik dage og så gik uger, varmen ligesom væltede ned; hede luftbølger gik gennem kornet, der mere og mere gulnede. Nordens hvide lotus på skovsøerne spredte sine store grønne blade ud over vandspejlet og fiskene søgte skygge under dem; og på skovens læside, hvor solen brændte på bondehusets væg og ordentlig gennemvarmede de udsprungne roser, og kirsebærtræerne hang fulde med saftige, sorte, næsten solhede bær, sad sommerens dejlige kvinde, hende vi så som barn og som brud; og hun så mod de stigende mørke skyer, der i bølgeformer, som bjerge, sortblå og tunge, løftede sig højere og højere; fra tre sider kom de; mere og mere, som et forstenet omvendt hav, sænkede de sig mod skoven, hvor alt, som ved en trolddom, var tavst; hver luftning havde lagt sig, hver fugl tav, der var en alvor, en forventning i hele naturen; men på veje og stier skyndte sig af sted kørende, ridende og gående, for at komme under tag. – Da lyste det med et, som om solen brød frem, blinkende, blændende, alt opbrændende, og der blev mulm igen i et rullende brag; vandet styrtede i strømme ned; det blev nat og det blev lys, det blev stilhed og det blev bulder. De unge brunfjerede rør i mosen bevægede sig i lange bølger, skovens grene skjultes i vandtåger, mørket kom og lyset kom, stilhed og bulder. – Græs og korn lå som slået ned, som skyllet hen, som skulle det aldrig rejse sig. – Pludselig blev regnen til enkelte dråber, solen skinnede, og fra strå og fra blad blinkede vanddråberne som perler, fuglene sang, fiskene slog op fra å-vandet, myggene dansede, og ude på stenen i det salte piskede havvand sad Sommeren selv, den kraftige mand, med de fyldige lemmer, med drivvådt hår, – forynget af det friske bad, sad han i det varme solskin. Al naturen var forynget rundt om, alt stod frodigt, kraftigt og skønt; det var sommer, den varme dejlige sommer.
Days and weeks went by, and the heat increased. Warm air waved the corn as it grew golden in the sun. The white northern lily spread its large green leaves over the glossy mirror of the woodland lake, and the fishes sought the shadows beneath them. In a sheltered part of the wood, the sun shone upon the walls of a farm-house, brightening the blooming roses, and ripening the black juicy berries, which hung on the loaded cherry-trees, with his hot beams. Here sat the lovely wife of Summer, the same whom we have seen as a child and a bride; her eyes were fixed on dark gathering clouds, which in wavy outlines of black and indigo were piling themselves up like mountains, higher and higher. They came from every side, always increasing like a rising, rolling sea. Then they swooped towards the forest, where every sound had been silenced as if by magic, every breath hushed, every bird mute. All nature stood still in grave suspense. But in the lanes and the highways, passengers on foot or in carriages were hurrying to find a place of shelter. Then came a flash of light, as if the sun had rushed forth from the sky, flaming, burning, all-devouring, and darkness returned amid a rolling crash of thunder. The rain poured down in streams,– now there was darkness, then blinding light,– now thrilling silence, then deafening din. The young brown reeds on the moor waved to and fro in feathery billows; the forest boughs were hidden in a watery mist, and still light and darkness followed each other, still came the silence after the roar, while the corn and the blades of grass lay beaten down and swamped, so that it seemed impossible they could ever raise themselves again. But after a while the rain began to fall gently, the sun's rays pierced the clouds, and the water-drops glittered like pearls on leaf and stem. The birds sang, the fishes leaped up to the surface of the water, the gnats danced in the sunshine, and yonder, on a rock by the heaving salt sea, sat Summer himself, a strong man with sturdy limbs and long, dripping hair. Strengthened by the cool bath, he sat in the warm sunshine, while all around him renewed nature bloomed strong, luxuriant, and beautiful: it was summer, warm, lovely summer.


Og liflig og sød var den duft, der kom fra den frodige kløvermark, bierne summede der om det gamle tingsted; brombærranken snoede sig op om alterstenen, der, vasket af regnen, skinnede i sollyset; og derhen fløj bidronningen med sin sværm og satte voks og honning. Ingen så det uden Sommeren og hans kraftige viv; for dem stod alterbordet dækket med naturens offergave.
Sweet and pleasant was the fragrance wafted from the clover-field, where the bees swarmed round the ruined tower, the bramble twined itself over the old altar, which, washed by the rain, glittered in the sunshine; and thither flew the queen bee with her swarm, and prepared wax and honey. But Summer and his bosom-wife saw it with different eyes, to them the altar-table was covered with the offerings of nature.


Og aftenhimlen strålede som et guld, ingen kirkekuppel har det så rigt, og månen skinnede mellem aftenrøde og morgenrøde. Det var sommertid.
The evening sky shone like gold, no church dome could ever gleam so brightly, and between the golden evening and the blushing morning there was moonlight. It was indeed summer.


Og der gik uger og der gik dage. – Høstfolkenes blanke leer blinkede i kornmarkerne, æbletræets grene bøjede sig med røde og gule frugter; humlen duftede dejligt og hang i store kopper og under hasselbuskene, hvor nødderne sad i tunge klaser, hvilede mand og viv, Sommeren med sin alvorsfulde kvinde.
And days and weeks passed, the bright scythes of the reapers glittered in the corn-fields, the branches of the apple-trees bent low, heavy with the red and golden fruit. The hop, hanging in clusters, filled the air with sweet fragrance, and beneath the hazel-bushes, where the nuts hung in great bunches, rested a man and a woman– Summer and his grave consort.


"Hvilken rigdom!" sagde hun, "rundt om velsignelse, hjemligt og godt, og dog, jeg ved ikke selv, jeg længes efter – hvile, – ro! jeg ved ikke ordet derfor! – Nu pløjer de alt igen på marken! Mere og altid mere vil menneskene vinde! – Se storkene komme i flokke og gå i afstand efter ploven; Ægyptens fugl, som bar os gennem luften! Husker du, da vi begge som børn kom herind i Nordens lande? – Blomster bragte vi, dejligt solskin og grønne skove, dem har nu vinden faret ilde med, de brunes og mørknes, som sydens træer, men bærer ikke, som de, gyldne frugter!"
"See," she exclaimed, "what wealth, what blessings surround us. Everything is home-like and good, and yet, I know not why, I long for rest and peace; I can scarcely express what I feel. They are already ploughing the fields again; more and more the people wish for gain. See, the storks are flocking together, and following the plough at a short distance. They are the birds from Egypt, who carried us through the air. Do you remember how we came as children to this land of the north; we brought with us flowers and bright sunshine, and green to the forests, but the wind has been rough with them, and they are now become dark and brown, like the trees of the south, but they do not, like them, bear golden fruit."


"Dem vil du se?" sagde Sommeren, "så glæd dig da!" og han løftede sin arm og skovens blade farvedes med rødt og med guld, der kom en farvepragt over alle skove; rosenhækken skinnede med ildrøde hyben, hyldegrenene hang med store tunge sortbrune bær, de vilde kastanjer faldt modne ud af de sortgrønne skaller, og inde i skoven blomstrede violerne anden gang.
"Do you wish to see golden fruit?" said the man, "then rejoice," and he lifted his arm. The leaves of the forest put on colors of red and gold, and bright tints covered the woodlands. The rose-bushes gleamed with scarlet hips, and the branches of the elder-trees hung down with the weight of the full, dark berries. The wild chestnuts fell ripe from their dark, green shells, and in the forests the violets bloomed for the second time.


Men årets dronning blev mere og mere stille, mere bleg. "Det lufter koldt!" sagde hun, "natten har våde tåger! – jeg længes efter – barndomslandet!" –
But the queen of the year became more and more silent and pale. "It blows cold," she said, "and night brings the damp mist; I long for the land of my childhood."


Og hun så storkene flyve bort, hver en! og hun strakte hænderne efter dem. – hun så op til rederne, der stod tomme, og der voksede op i en den langstilkede kornblomst og i en anden den gule kiddike, som om reden kun var til som værn og gærde om den; og spurvene kom derop.
Then she saw the storks fly away every one, and she stretched out her hands towards them. She looked at the empty nests; in one of them grew a long-stalked corn flower, in another the yellow mustard seed, as if the nest had been placed there only for its comfort and protection, and the sparrows were flying round them all.


"Pip! hvor er herskabet blevet af! de kan nok ikke tåle at det blæser på dem, og så er de taget ud af landet! Lykke på rejsen!"
"Tweet, where has the master of the nest gone?" cried one, "I suppose he could not bear it when the wind blew, and therefore he has left this country. I wish him a pleasant journey."


Og mere og mere gul blev skovens blade og løv faldt på løv, efterårets storme suste, det var sent på høstens tid. Og på det gule løvfald lå årets dronning og så med milde øjne mod den blinkende stjerne, og hendes husbond stod hos hende. Et vindstød hvirvlede i løvet – det faldt igen, da var hun borte, men en sommerfugl, årets sidste, fløj gennem den kolde luft.
The forest leaves became more and more yellow, leaf after leaf fell, and the stormy winds of Autumn howled. The year was now far advanced, and upon the fallen, yellow leaves, lay the queen of the year, looking up with mild eyes at a gleaming star, and her husband stood by her. A gust of wind swept through the foliage, and the leaves fell in a shower. The summer queen was gone, but a butterfly, the last of the year, flew through the cold air.


Og de våde tåger kom, den isnende blæst og de mørke, længste nætter. Årets drot stod med snehvidt hår, men han vidste det ikke selv, han troede, at det var snefnuggene, som faldt fra skyen; et tyndt snelag lå hen over den grønne mark.
Damp fogs came, icy winds blew, and the long, dark nights of winter approached. The ruler of the year appeared with hair white as snow, but he knew it not; he thought snow-flakes falling from the sky covered his head, as they decked the green fields with a thin, white covering of snow.


Og kirkeklokkerne ringede til juletid.
And then the church bells rang out for Christmas time.


"Fødselsklokkerne ringer!" sagde årets drot, "snart fødes det nye herskerpar; og jeg får hvile, som hun! Hvile i den blinkende stjerne!"
"The bells are ringing for the new-born year," said the ruler, "soon will a new ruler and his bride be born, and. I shall go to rest with my wife in yonder light-giving star."


Og i den friske grønne granskov, hvor sneen lå, stod juleenglen og indviede de unge træer, der skulle til dens fest.
In the fresh, green fir-wood, where the snow lay all around, stood the angel of Christmas, and consecrated the young trees that were to adorn his feast.


"Glæde i stuen og under de grønne grene!" sagde årets gamle drot, uger havde ældet ham til snehvid gubbe; "det stunder for mig til hvile, årets unge par får nu krone og scepter!"
"May there be joy in the rooms, and under the green boughs," said the old ruler of the year. In a few weeks he had become a very old man, with hair as white as snow. "My resting-time draws near; the young pair of the year will soon claim my crown and sceptre."


"Og magten er dog din!" sagde juleenglen, "magten og ikke hvilen! Lad sneen ligge varmende hen over den unge sæd! lær at bære det, at en anden hyldes og du dog er hersker, lær at være glemt og dog at leve! din friheds time kommer, når våren kommer!"
"But the night is still thine," said the angel of Christmas, "for power, but not for rest. Let the snow lie warmly upon the tender seed. Learn to endure the thought that another is worshipped whilst thou art still lord. Learn to endure being forgotten while yet thou livest. The hour of thy freedom will come when Spring appears."


"Når kommer våren?" spurgte Vinteren.
"And when will Spring come?" asked Winter.


"Den kommer når storken kommer!"
"It will come when the stork returns."


Og med hvide lokker og snehvidt skæg sad Vinteren iskold, gammel og bøjet, men stærk, som vinterstormen og isens magt, højt på bankens snedrive og så mod syd, som Vinteren forud havde siddet og set. – Isen knagede, sneen knirkede, skøjteløberne svang sig på de blanke søer, og ravne og krager tog sig godt ud på den hvide grund, ingen vind rørte sig. Og i den stille luft knyttede Vinteren hænderne, og isen blev favne tyk mellem landene.
And with white locks and snowy beard, cold, bent, and hoary, but strong as the wintry storm, and firm as the ice, old Winter sat on the snowdrift-covered hill, looking towards the south, where Winter had sat before, and gazed. The ice glittered, the snow crackled, the skaters skimmed over the polished surface of the lakes; ravens and crows formed a pleasing contrast to the white ground, and not a breath of wind stirred, and in the still air old Winter clenched his fists, and the ice lay fathoms deep between the lands.


Så kom igen spurvene fra byen og spurgte: "Hvem er den gamle mand derhenne?" og ravnen sad der igen, eller en søn af ham, som er lige det samme, og den sagde dem: "Det er Vinteren! den gamle mand fra det forrige år. Han er ikke død, som almanakken siger, men formynder for våren, som kommer!"
Then came the sparrows again out of the town, and asked, "Who is that old man?" The raven sat there still, or it might be his son, which is the same thing, and he said to them,– "It is Winter, the old man of the former year; he is not dead, as the calendar says, but he is guardian to the spring, which is coming."


"Når kommer våren!" sagde spurvene, "så får vi god tid, og bedre regimente! det gamle duede ikke."
"When will Spring come?" asked the sparrows, "for we shall have better times then, and a better rule. The old times are worth nothing."


Og i stille tanker nikkede Vinteren til den bladløse, sorte skov, hvor hvert træ viste grenenes dejlige form og bøjning; og under vinterblundet sænkede sig skyernes iskolde tåger, – herskeren drømte om sin ungdoms og sin manddoms tid, og ved dagningen stod hele skoven dejlig med rimfrost, det var Vinterens sommerdrøm; solskinnet dryssede rimfrost fra grenene.
And in quiet thought old Winter looked at the leafless forest, where the graceful form and bends of each tree and branch could be seen; and while Winter slept, icy mists came from the clouds, and the ruler dreamt of his youthful days and of his manhood, and in the morning dawn the whole forest glittered with hoar frost, which the sun shook from the branches,– and this was the summer dream of Winter.


"Når kommer våren?" spurgte spurvene.
"When will Spring come?" asked the sparrows.


"Våren!" lød det som ekko fra de banker, hvor sneen lå. Og solen skinnede mere og mere varm, sneen smeltede, fuglene kvidrede: "Våren kommer!"
"Spring!" Again the echo sounded from the hills on which the snow lay. The sunshine became warmer, the snow melted, and the birds twittered, "Spring is coming!"


Og højt gennem luften kom den første stork, den anden fulgte; et dejligt barn sad på ryggen af hver, og de dalede ned på den åbne mark og de kyssede jorden, og de kyssede den gamle stille mand, og som Moses på bjerget, svandt han, båret af skytågen.
And high in the air flew the first stork, and the second followed; a lovely child sat on the back of each, and they sank down on the open field, kissed the earth, and kissed the quiet old man; and, as the mist from the mountain top, he vanished away and disappeared.


Årets historie var endt.
And the story of the year was finished.


"Det er meget rigtigt!" sagde spurvene, "og det er også meget kønt, men det er ikke efter almanakken, og så er det galt!"
"This is all very fine, no doubt," said the sparrows, "and it is very beautiful; but it is not according to the calendar, therefore, it must be all wrong."





Sammenligne to sprogene:










Donations are welcomed & appreciated.


Thank you for your support.