Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Waddington, ed. > The Sonnets of Europe
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Samuel Waddington, comp.  The Sonnets of Europe.  1888.
 
Deep in a Vale
By Gustaf Rosenhane (1619–1684)
 
Translated by Edmund Gosse

DEEP 1 in a vale where rocks on every side
  Shut out the winds, and scarcely let the sun
  Between them dart his rays down one by one,
Where all was still and cool in summer-tide,
And softly, with her whispering waves that sighed,        5
  A little river, that had scarce begun
  Her silver course, made bold to fleet and run
Down leafy falls to woodlands dense and wide,
There stood a tiny plain, just large enow
  To give small mountain-folk right room to dance,        10
  With oaks and limes and maples ringed around;
Hither I came, and viewed its turf askance,
  Its solitude with beauty seemed a-glow,—
  My Love had walked there and ’twas holy ground!
 
Note 1. The following particulars respecting the Swedish poets are given me by Mr. Gosse:—The sonnet was introduced into Sweden by Gustaf Rosenhane, who wrote a hundred sonnets, under the general title of Venerid, in 1648. He was at this time in his thirtieth year, having been born in 1619. Rosenhane, who was of good family, was made a baron in 1654, and attained high honours in the state before his death in 1684. With Stjernhjelm, he divides the honour of having created modern Swedish poetry, and though artificial, he is a writer of very considerable merit. His sonnets were inspired, not by Petrarch, but by Ronsard. In a somewhat pedantic preface to his Venerid, he confesses that he was incited to become a sonneteer, not so much by passion, as by a wish to enrich and improve the stubborn soil of the Swedish language. Rosenhane remained for several years the only Swedish sonneteer.
  Olof Wexionius was born in Dorpat in 1656, and was taken to Abo in Finland as an infant, when the Russians drove the Swedes out of Livonia in 1658. Very little is known of his career, which closed prematurely in 1690, while he was acting as a secretary in Sweden. He published a small volume of poems, now excessively scarce, in 1684; there exists a MS. list of his additional writings, including a great many sonnets, none of which appear to have survived him. The sonnet here translated was written on the occasion of the funeral of a noble and pious lady, the Countess Catharina Rosenfeldt, in the Upsala Cathedral, in September 1689, and it was therefore probably the latest of the poems of Wexionius. [back]
 
 
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