Herman Gorter: "The trees were there and still" (From Dutch)


"The trees were there and still"
By Herman Gorter
Translated by A.Z. Foreman

The trees were there and still.
The air was gray
The hills that had no will
Lay a strange way.

Men toiled on the earth as ever
Out here and there
As if digging for treasure
But calm without care.

Things were likely the same
In every other earthly spot:
The world and the human grain
Alive as not.

I walked to see it through,
Content and in dread.
My feet were good workers too
Walking under my head.


The Original:

"De bomen waren stil"
Herman Gorter

De bomen waren stil,
de lucht was grijs,
de heuvelen zonder wil
lagen op vreemde wijs.

De mannen werkten wat
rondom in de aard,
als groeven ze een schat,
maar kalm en bedaard.

Over de aarde was
waarschijnlijk alles zo,
de wereld en 't mensgewas
ze leven nauw.

Ik liep het aan te zien
bang en tevreden,
mijn voeten als goede liên
liepen beneden.

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