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And his words soon found a hearing,
Peace of heart flowed from his music

All the land thrilled to the nearing
Of a great prophetic choir.

In his manhood he defended

All that greatness has and beauty;

Later he the stars attended
In their silent course to God.

Northern flowers were his pleasure,
As an aged genial gardener,

From his nation's springtime treasure
Culling seed for deathless growth.

Now with humor, now sedately,
He kept planting or uprooting,

While the Danish beech-tree stately
Gave his soul its evening peace.

There the tree we saw him under,
And the garden gate is open,

While we cast a glance and wonder
Whether some one sits there still.

(from Arnljot Gelline)

. . . Oceanward I am ever yearning,
Where far it rolls in its calm and grandeur,
The weight of mountain-like fogbanks bearing,
Forever wandering and returning.
The skies may lower, the land may call it,
It knows no resting and knows no yielding.
In nights of summer, in storms of winter,
Its surges murmur the self-same longing.

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,
To thee abandon my weak devices,
To thee let fly all my anxious longings:
May thy cool breath to my heart bring healing!
Let Death now follow, his booty seeking:
The moves are many before the checkmate!
Awhile I 'll harass thy love of plunder,
As on I scud 'neath thy angry eyebrows;
Thou only fillest my swelling mainsail,
Though Death ride fast on thy howling tempest
Thy billows raging shall bear the faster
My little vessel to quiet waters.

Ah! Thus alone at the helm in darkness,
By all forsaken, by Death forgotten,
When sails unknown far away are wafted
And some swift-coursing by night are passing,
To note the ground-swell's resistless current,
The sighing heart of the breathing ocean —
Or small waves plashing along the planking,
Its quiet pastime amid its sadness.

Then glide my lingering longings over
Into the ocean-deep grief of nature,
The night's, the water's united coldness
Prepares my spirit for death's dark dwelling.

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!

(to A Friend Since Deceased)

A Friend I possess, whose whispers just said,
"God's peace!" to my night-watching mind.
When daylight is gone and darkness brings dread,
He ever the way can find.

He utters no word to smite and to score;

He, too, has known sin and its grief.
He heals with his look the place that is sore,

And stays till I have relief.

He takes for his own the deed that is such

That sorrows of heart increase.
He cleanses the wound with so gentle a touch,

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."

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