For a distant princess. J. Slauerhoff (1898 – 1936).

— one of the most important Dutch language writers. Died in 1936 so his Dutch is older, very similar to Indonesian Dutch. Rich, full vocabulary. Ship’s doctor to Indonesia, China, Japan, Africa, Latin America.


For a distant princess

Never again will we get back together:
The world forced us apart.
At times at night we both stand at the window,
But different stars we see in different times.

Your country is so far removed from mine:
From light to farthest dark– That I
On wings of yearning and in restless journey,
would greet you with my final cry.

However, if it’s true that by great dreams dreamt
The deepest longing can be carried on
all the way to the most distant star: then I will come
Then I will come, every night.

J. Slauerhoff (1898 – 1936)


Voor de Verre Prinses

Wij komen nooit meer saam:
De wereld drong zich tussenbeide.
Soms staan wij beiden ’s nachts aan ’t raam,
Maar andre sterren zien we in andre tijden.

Uw land is zo ver van mijn land verwijderd:
Van licht tot verste duisternis—dat ik
Op vleuglen van verlangen rustloos reizend,
U zou begroeten met mijn stervenssnik.

Maar als het waar is dat door grote dromen
Het zwaarst verlangen over wordt gebracht
Tot op de verste ster: dan zal ik komen,
Dan zal ik komen, iedre nacht.

Jan Jacob Slauerhoff

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