Wanderers Love- AR Holst

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This poem , written by the Dutch poet A Ronald Holst ( 1888-1976), is one of my favorite poems. Holst is one of our famous poets and his first poems were published when he was 20. Next to his own poetry, he was also known as a translator of works from Yeats and Shakespeare. I could not find the English version of this poem, so I decided to translate the poem for you.

Wanderers Love

Let us be gentle to each other, child
because, o, the abysmal abandonment,
which over our weary wandered limbs
beneath the stars drifts in the old wind.

O, let us just be gentle, and not speak
the haughty word, the lofty word of love,
because so many hearts were broken
beneath the wind in helpless grief.

We are just as leaves in the wind
rustling along the edge of old forests,
and everything is uncertain, and how would
we know what only the wind knows, child –

And let us now, because we are lonely,
bend our heads towards each other,
and while we both keep silent in the old drifting
let us be as one in one last dream.

So much love was lost in the wind,
and what the wind wants, we shall never know;
and so – before we forget each other again –
let us be gentle to each other, child.

Zwerversliefde by A Ronald Holst – Published in Dutch in 1920
Translation : Francina Hartstra


Laten wij zacht zijn voor elkander, kind
want o, de maatloze verlatenheden,
die over onze moegezworven leden
onder de sterre waaie’ in de oude wind.

O, laten wij maar zacht zijn, en maar niet
het trotsche woord hooge woord van liefde spreken,
want hoeveel harten moesten daarom breken
onder den wind in hulpeloos verdriet.

Wij zijn maar als de blaren in de wind
ritselend langs de zoom van oude wouden,
en alles is onzeker, en hoe zouden
wij weten wat alleen de wind weet, kind-

En laten wij omdat wij eenzaam zijn
nu onze hoofden bij elkander neigen,
en wijl wij same’ in ‘t oude waaien zwijgen
binnen een laatste droom gemeenzaam zijn.

Veel liefde ging verloren in den wind,
en wat de wind wil zullen wij nooit weten;
en daarom – voor we elkander weer vergeten-
laten wij zacht zijn voor elkander, kind.

Zwerversliefde by A Ronald Holst – Published in Dutch in 1920

22 Replies to “Wanderers Love- AR Holst”

    1. You’re welcome, Lauren, it was my pleasure. Not to worry about being late. See I ‘m responding to you too late as well. Just was not behind the computer this week due to the beautiful and warm weather we had this last week. And when you live here you know to enjoy such weather when it is there, because the sun is gone again before you know it. Summer is only one day long is a favourite expression over here.:-)

      Have a great weekend!
      Ciao, Francina xoxox

    1. Thank you, B 🙂 It’s was my pleasure to share this poem. The reason you mentioned is the same reasons why I love this poem.
      Ciao, Francina 🙂

  1. Francina, this is an absolutely gorgeous poem, I love it – and thank you so much for your wonderful translation so that we can all enjoy it. Have a wonderful day, love Julie xoxox

    1. Thank you once again, Julie! Your kind comment is much appreciated! And you’re welcome, it was my pleasure to translate one of my favourite Dutch poems and share it with you all.
      Have a peaceful day!
      Ciao, Francina xox

    1. Thank you, Cynthia! There are some real great poems in Dutch which were never translated in another language and that is a pity , I think .
      Ciao, Francina

    1. You are welcome , Wendell. as usual my pleasure to share.
      Have a great weekend.
      Ciao, Francina

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