Happy Iceland Independence Day

For those who have woken oblivious to the importance of the day, let me enlighten you - yes, it's Iceland Independence Day! I still haven't visited, but I intend to travel around Iceland towards the latter part of next year, after a little project should have come to the end with me, whilst finding a life of its own. I once wrote a novella based part in London, and part in the Snaefellsness Peninsula. It didn't come to much, but I still loved it - the prose was very stark, spare, and I'm sure I will return to it as some point. And, whilst I've read many Icelandic fairy tales, still not managed the lion's share of the Icelandic Sagas. Anyway, I found this site, which features Icelandic poetry with English translation. Here's one, from Mar/April 1845:

Drudgery
(An excerpt from a poem by Heine) Strit

The sun climbs
from cool streams
of eastern seas
to oust the night.
What long drudgery
for a light-bringer ---
unpacking this foolish
planet from darkness!

Sun! while your bright
beams are conquering
half of the world
in heaven's service,
loosing legions
of light everywhere ---
in the east the night
always pursues you.

Sturdy Sisyphus
strains at his rock,
the Danaids' jar
drips forever,
and earth whirls herself
endlessly
out of light
and into darkness.

ICELANDIC
(Brot úr kvæði eftir Heine)
Sól rís sæl
úr svölum straumum
austurdjúps,
að eyða dimmu;
leiðinda langverk
á ljósgjafi:
heimskan hnött
úr húmi slíta.

Er þú glöðum
geislum hefir
hálfan heim
himni unnið
og skundar skært
skin margauka,
æ og sí austræn
þig eltir nótt.

Stritar við stein
sterkur Sisýfus,
dætra Danáu
drýpur æ úr keri;
svo veltur sífellt
sér úr ljómi
sjálfri fold
í sorta nætur.

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