Posted by: Christina Soldan | June 25, 2010

Näcken (Water Demon) by Erik Johan Stagnelius

Molin's fountain by Johan Peter Molin

Molin's fountain by Johan Peter Molin

Kvällens guldmoln fästet kransa.
Älfvorna på ängen dansa,
och den bladbekrönta Näcken
gigan rör i silverbäcken.Liten pilt bland strandens pilar
i violens ånga vilar,
Klangen hör från källans vatten,
Ropar i den stilla natten:

“Arma Gubbe! Varför spela?
Kan det smärtorna fördela?
Fritt du skog och mark må liva
Skall Guds barn dock aldrig bliva!

Paradisets månskensnätter,
Edens blomsterkrönta slätter,
Ljusets änglar i det höga,
Aldrig skådar dem ditt öga.

“Tårar Gubbens anlet skölja,
Ned han dyker i sin bölja,
Gigan tystnar. Aldrig Näcken
Spelar mer i silverbäcken.

(Source: Wikipedia)

The evening is festooned with golden clouds
the fairies dance in the meadow
and the leaf-crowned Näcken
plays his fiddle in the silvery brook.Little boy in the brush on the bank
resting in the violet vapor
hears the noise fron the chilly water
calls out in the still night:

“Poor old fellow, why do you play?
will it take the pain away?
you bring the woods and the fields to life
but you’ll never be a child of God.

Paradise’s moonlit nights
eden’s flower-crowned plains
angels on the light on high–
never to be beheld by your eye.

“Tears stream down the old man’s face
down he dives into the rapids
the fiddle silences. And the Näcken
will never play again in the silver brook.


// Christina Soldan


  1. Great poem!

    But as far as I can understand Swedish “i violens ånga vilar” translates as ‘rests in the violet meadow’…

    • Sorry, no – ånga means steam, vapour. You are thinking of ‘äng’, whicke means meadow.

  2. No-one is saying nevertheless this is false, but we have to be capable of demonstrate which the ultimate reality is understandable by most individuals within the real world.

    • Näcken is an old Swedish myth. You can check out Wikipedia if you want to know more about the myth. 🙂

Thank you for your comment! // Christin@

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