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And his words soon found a hearing,
All the land thrilled to the nearing
In his manhood he defended
All that greatness has and beauty;
Later he the stars attended
Northern flowers were his pleasure,
From his nation's springtime treasure
Now with humor, now sedately,
While the Danish beech-tree stately
There the tree we saw him under,
While we cast a glance and wonder
. . . Oceanward I am ever yearning,
Yes, oceanward I am ever yearning,
Where far is lifted its broad, cold forehead!
Thereon the world throws its deepest shadow
And mirrors whispering all its anguish.
Though warm and blithesome the bright sun stroke it
With joyous message, that life is gladness,
Yet ice-cold, changelessly melancholy,
It drowns the sorrow and drowns the solace.
The full moon pulling, the tempest lifting,
Must loose their hold on the flowing water.
Down whirling lowlands and crumbling mountains
It to eternity tireless washes.
What forth it draws must the one way wander.
What once is sunken arises never.
No message comes thence, no cry is heard thence;
Its voice, its silence, can none interpret.
Yes, toward the ocean, far out toward ocean,
That knows no hour of self-atonement!
For all that suffer release it offers,
But trails forever its own enigma.
A strange alliance with Death unites it,
That all it give Him,—itself excepting!
I feel, vast Ocean, thy solemn sadness,
Ah! Thus alone at the helm in darkness,
Then glide my lingering longings over
Then comes day's dawning! My soul bounds upward
On beams of light to the vault of heaven;
My ship-steed sniffing its flank is laving
With buoyant zest in the cooling billow.
With song the sailor to masthead clambers
To clear the sail that shall swell more freely,
And thoughts are flying like birds aweary
Round mast and yard-arm, but find no refuge. . . .
Yes, toward the ocean! To follow Vikar!
To sail like him and to sink as he did,
For great King Olaf the prow defending!
With keel unswerving the cold thought cleaving,
But hope deriving from lightest breezes!
Death's eager fingers so near the rudder,
While heaven's clearness the way illumines!
And then at last in the final hour
To feel the bolts and the nails are yielding
And Death is pressing the seams asunder,
That in may stream the absolving water!
Wet winding-sheets shall be folded round me,
And I descend to eternal silence,
While rolling billows my name bear shoreward
In spacious nights 'neath the cloudless moonlight!
ALONE AND REPENTANT
A Friend I possess, whose whispers just said,
He utters no word to smite and to score;
He, too, has known sin and its grief.
And stays till I have relief.
He takes for his own the deed that is such
That sorrows of heart increase.
The pain must give way to peace.
He followed each hope the heights that would scale
Reproached not a hapless descent. He stands here just now, so mild, but so pale; —
In time he shall know what it meant.
The princess looked down from her bower high, The youth blew his horn as he lingered thereby. "Be quiet, O youth, will forever you blow? It hinders my thoughts, that would far away go, Now, when sets the sun."