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To Ulla

Carl Michael Bellman 1740 (Stockholm) – 1795 (Stockholm)



Ulla, mine Ulla, tell me, may I hand thee
Reddest of strawberries in milk or wine?
Or from the pond a lively fish? Command me!
Or, from the well, a bowl of water fine?
Doors are blown open, the wind gets the blaming.
Perfumes exhale from flower and tree.
Clouds fleck the sky and the sun rises flaming,
As you see!
Isn't it heavenly--the fish market? So?
'Heavenly, oh heavenly!'
'See the stately trees there, standing row on row,--
Fresh, green leaves show!
And that pretty bay
Sparkling there?' 'Ah yes!'
'And, seen where sunbeams play,
The meadows' loveliness?
Are they not heavenly--those bright fields?--Confess!'--
Heavenly!
Heavenly!

Skal and good-noon, fair one in window leaning,
Hark how the city bells their peals prolong!
See how the dust the verdant turf is screening,
Where the calashes and the wagons throng!
Hand from the window--he's drowsy, the speaker,
In my saddle I nod, cousin mine--
Primo a crust, and secundo a beaker,
Hochlaender wine!
Isn't it heavenly--the fish-market? So?
'Heavenly, oh heavenly!'
'See the stately trees there, standing row on row,--
Fresh, green leaves show!
And that pretty bay
Sparkling there?' 'Ah yes!'
'And, seen where sunbeams play,
The meadows' loveliness?
Are they not heavenly--those bright fields?--Confess!'--
Heavenly!
Heavenly!

Look, Ulla dear! To the stable they're taking
Whinnying, prancing, my good steed, I see.
Still in his stall-door he lifts his head, making
Efforts to look up to thee: just to thee!
Nature itself into flames will be bursting;
Keep those bright eyes in control!
Klang! at your casement my heart, too, is thirsting.
Klang! Your Skal!
Isn't it heavenly--the fish-market? So?
'Heavenly, oh heavenly!'
'See the stately trees there, standing row on row,--
Fresh, green leaves show!
And that pretty bay
Sparkling there?' 'Ah yes!'
'And, seen where sunbeams play,
The meadows' loveliness?
Are they not heavenly--those bright fields?--Confess!'--
Heavenly!
Heavenly!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:37 min read
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Carl Michael Bellman

Carl Michael Bellman was a Swedish songwriter, composer, musician, poet and entertainer. He is a central figure in the Swedish song tradition and remains a powerful influence in Swedish music, as well as in Scandinavian literature, to this day. He has been compared to Shakespeare, Beethoven, Mozart, and Hogarth, but his gift, using elegantly rococo classical references in comic contrast to sordid drinking and prostitution—at once regretted and celebrated in song—is unique. Bellman is best known for two collections of poems set to music, Fredman's songs (Fredmans sånger) and Fredman's epistles (Fredmans epistlar). Each consists of about 70 songs. The general theme is drinking, but the songs "most ingeniously" combine words and music to express feelings and moods ranging from humorous to elegiac, romantic to satirical. Bellman's patrons included King Gustav III of Sweden, who called him a master improviser. Bellman's songs continue to be performed and recorded by musicians from Scandinavia and in other languages, including English, French, German, Italian and Russian. Several of his songs including Gubben Noak and Fjäriln vingad are known by heart by many Swedes. His legacy further includes a museum in Stockholm and a society that fosters interest in him and his work. more…

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    "To Ulla" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 17 Oct. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/4586/to-ulla>.

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