August Strindberg (1849-1912)

from Exile (1876)

Open sea since yester morning,
Chronometer aid declined
Since in blind depths hides a warning
And the right course we will find.

Lead has tallow, line is leaping,
Steamer makes a gradual turn,
Down at seabed, lead is steaping
Precious findings in its churn.

In the hand a proof is lying,
Smeary, yellow little clot,
With the sand-writ answer, drying,
That our course led to this spot.

In the past, they steered by stargaze,
Stared at heavens to sight land;
Now, the mighty brains in our days
Have been taught to follow sand.

(English version and music copyright © 2018 Maria E Ljungdahl)