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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
The Work-Girl
By Johan Ludvig Runeberg (1804–1877)
 
Translation of Eiríkr Magnússon and Edward Henry Palmer

OH, if with church bells ringing clear,
I did but stand in feast-day gear,
And saw the night and darkness fly,
And Sunday’s lovely dawn draw nigh!
 
For then my weekly toil were past;        5
To matins I might go at last,
And meet him by the church-yard, too,
Who missed his friend the whole week through.
 
There long beforehand does he bide
Alone upon the church bank’s side,        10
And scans across the marshes long
The sledges’ and the people’s throng.
 
And she for whom he looks am I;
The crowds increase, the troop draws nigh,
When ’midst them I am seen to stand,        15
And gladly reach to him my hand.
 
Now, merry cricket, sing thy lay
Until the wick is burnt away,
And I may to my bed repair
And dream about my sweetheart there.        20
 
I sit and spin, but cannot get
Half through the skein of wool as yet;
When I shall spin it out, God knows,
Or when the tardy eve will close!
 
 
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