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"Dear me, don't you want to be out in this fine weather?"—said mother, who sat on the steps and sang.

It was such a lovely sunshine-day,

The house and the yard couldn't hold me;

A meadow I found, on my back I lay,
And sang what my spirit told mej

Then snakes came crawling, a fathom long,

To bask in the sun, — I fled with my song.

"In such blessed weather we can go barefoot,"—said mother, as she pulled off her stockings.

It was such a lovely sunshine-day,

The house and the yard couldn't hold me;

I loosened a boat, on my back I lay,
While blithely the current bowled me;

But hot grew the sun, and peeled my nose;

Enough was enough, and to land I chose.

"Now these are just the days to make hay in,"—said mother, as she stuck the rake in it.

It was such a lovely sunshine-day,

The house and the yard couldn't hold me;

I climbed up a tree, oh, what bliss to play,
As cooling the breeze consoled me;

But worms soon fell on my neck, by chance,

And jumping, I cried: "'T is the Devil's own dance!"

"Yes, if the cows aren't sleek and shiny to-day, they 'II never be so,"—said mother, gazing up the hillside.

It was such a lovely sunshine-day,

The house and the yard couldn't hold me;

I dashed to the waterfall's endless play,
There only could peace enfold me.

The shining sun saw me drown and die,—

If you made this ditty, 't was surely not I.

"Three more such sunshine-days, and everything will be in,"—said mother, and went to make my bed.

INGERID SLETTEN
(from Arne)

Ingerid Sletten of Sillejond
Neither gold nor silver did own,
But a little hood of gay wool alone,

Her mother had given of yore.

A little hood of gay wool alone,

With no braid nor lining, was here;
But parent love made it ever dear,

And brighter than gold it shone.

She kept the hood twenty years just so:
"Be it spotless," softly she cried,
"Until I shall wear it once as bride,

When I to the altar go."

She kept the hood thirty years just so:
"Be it spotless," softly she cried,
"Then wear it I will, a gladsome bride,

When it to our Lord I show."

She kept the hood forty years just so,
With her mother ever in mind.
"Little hood, be with me to this resigned,
That ne'er to the altar we 'll go."

She steps to the chest where the hood has lain,
And seeks it with swelling heart;
She guides her hand to its place apart,—

But never a thread did remain.

THE TREE
(from Arne)

Ready with leaves and with buds stood the tree.
"Shall I take them ?" the frost said, now puffing with glee.
"Oh my, no, let them stand,
Till flowers are at hand!"
All trembling from tree-top to root came the plea.

Flowers unfolding the birds gladly sung.
"Shall I take them?" the wind said and merrily swung.
"Oh my, no, let them stand,
Till cherries are at hand!"
Protested the tree, while it quivering hung.

The cherries came forth 'neath the sun's glowing eye.
"Shall I take them?" a rosy young girl's eager cry.
"Oh my, yes, you can take,
I've kept them for your sake!"
Low bending its branches, the tree brought them nigh.

THE MELODY
(from Arne)

The youth in the woods spent the whole day long,

The whole day long;
For there he had heard such a wonderful song,

Wonderful song.

Willow-wood gave him a flute so fair,

A flute so fair,—
To try, if within were the melody rare,

Melody rare.

Melody whispered and said: "I am here!"

Said: "I am here!"
But while he was listening, it fled from his ear,

Fled from his ear.

Oft when he slept, it to him crept,

It to him crept;
And over his forehead in love it swept,

In love it swept.

When he would seize it, his sleep took flight,

His sleep took flight;
The melody hung in the pallid night,

In the pallid night.

"Lord, O my God, take me therein,
Take me therein!
The melody rare all my soul doth win,
My soul doth win."

Answered the Lord: "'T is your friend alone,

Your friend alone;
Though never an hour you it shall own,

You it shall own."

OUR COUNTRY
(1859)

A Land there is, lying near far-northern snow,
Where only the fissures life's springtime may know.
But surging, the sea tells of great deeds done,
And loved is the land as a mother by son.

What time we were little and sat on her knee,
She gave us her saga with pictures to see.
We read till our eyes opened wide and moist,
While nodding and smiling she mute rejoiced.

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