Brave Lieutenant Zidén

The brave lieutenant Zidén,
He had his own way,
Before the front he wanted to walk alone:
"Forward my soldierboys,
Now's the time to hurry!"

In the first line he wanted to meet the danger,
His people had to walk behind him.
God be merciful on the one who was slow,
Whenever the lieutenant cried:
"Hurrah, my boys, forward!"

And forward he looked, he didn't care to look behind,
When they to battle went forth.
How close to him his soldiers were,
He couldn't care less,
Before he already was in the midst of battle.

Only then, when he had reached the enemy
And started to fight like a lion,
Then he looked how fast they had went,
His dear Vasa boys,
How close they were to him.

And when it happened that they all were with him,
His whole company,
Everything was well, and he cried:
"Hurrah! What a good maneuvre,
We sure are the masters!"

But if his troop should have been slow, when he himself went forth,
And if he arrived to the fighting before them:
"God almighty! What a shame
Now they've been walking like cows,
Now they remained behind again."

(The brave Lieutenant Zidén from Fänrik Stĺls Sägner by Runeberg. Free translation by Göran Frilund)

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