Gurre, a Legendary Place

‘If God in heaven will let me have Gurre, then I will let him have Heaven.’
Because of this blasphemy, King Valdemar is doomed to ride in Gurre every night

The romance and mystery associated with Gurre is created by many great poets.
The inspiration is easy to understand when you have wandered in Gurre and experienced the silence at dusk.

GURRESONGS:


The bluish twilight now damper
every sound of sea and land,
the fleeing clouds are encamped
to rest on the edge of heaven.


Compacted to soundless weight
is the forest airy stay
and the lake’s clear waves
have cradled themselves to rest.



In the west, the sun casts
from her radiant purple dress
and pulls over the waves
and dreams of the day’s splendour.

Not the smallest leaf is moving
and call upon my senses,
Not the slightest sound is heard
that seduced the senses to dance.

No, every power is lost
in the river of dreams
and pushes me gently and silent
back to myself…

Jacobsen, J. P., Samlede Værker III, 1924-29

I did a translation of the first verse, Gurresange, despite the risk of violate the treasure from Jens Peter Jacobsen’s pen.

Gurre Castle


NOTE

Gurre Songs is written by the Danish poet; Jens Peter Jacobsen
Rainer Maria Rilke learned Danish and translated Gurre Songs to German
Twelve Tone Music inventor, Arnold Schoenberg, composed music to Jens Peter Jacobsen’s Gurre Songs (Gurrelieder premiered in 1913 in Vienna)

One moment your life is a stone in you, and the next, a star.

Slowly the west reaches for clothes of new colors
which it passes to a row of ancient trees. You look,
and soon these two worlds both leave you,
one part climbs toward heaven, one sinks to earth,
leaving you, not really belonging to either,
not so hopelessly dark as that house that is silent,
not so unswervingly given to the eternal as
that thing that turns to a star each night and climbs-
leaving you (it is impossible to untangle the threads) your own life,
timid and standing high and growing, so that, sometimes blocked in,
sometimes reaching out, one moment your life is a stone in you, and the next, a star.

by Rainer Maria Rilke
Translated by Robert Bly

Before We Die

Before us great Death stands
Our fate held close within his quiet hands.
When with proud joy we lift Life’s red wine
To drink deep of the mystic shining cup
And ecstasy through all our being leaps—
Death bows his head and weeps.
by Rainer Maria Rilke

In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.
Abraham Lincoln

Happy Weekend ❤
_____________________________________

Mariebjerg Kirkegård