Ladies and gentlemen!
Oh, what am I to do in the presence of such overwhelming generosity? They lift me up, I loose my footing, I am carried away. It is not easy to be me right now. I have become fat with honors and riches tonight, but the last tribute was like a wave, it makes me sway.
It comes to my benefit that also earlier in life, in the days of youth, I have swayed. I am tempted to say that all things in life will turn out to be beneficial.
However, I will be careful not to speak wisdom before so distinguished an assembly, especially after the great science has been speaking. On behalf of my country, I thank the Swedish Academy and all of Sweden for the honor they have bestowed on me. Personally, I have to bow my head under the weight of such great distinction. I am proud that your Academy has judged my neck strong enough to bear it.
I write my books in my small way, but I have learned from everyone, not the least from Swedish poetry, not the least from the poetry of the latest Swedish generation. If I were more conversant with the field of literature, I would develop this matter better, in accordance with the last speech. However, on my part it would have been mere glibness, shallow sound effects without a single bass note. I am no longer young enough for that; I do not have the strength.
What I most of all would like to do right now, in the full blaze of lights, before this illustrious assembly, - is to shower every one of you with flowers and poetry and gifts, to be young once more, to ride the wave. That is what I would like to do – for the sake of a great occasion, for the sake of the last chance. Today I have become fat with riches and honors – yes, but one gift is missing, the most important one, the only one that matters, the gift of youth.
No matter what I ought to do – no matter what might be the right thing to do, I raise my glass to everything young in life, to the youth of Sweden, to all youth!