Зображення сторінки


As thou sittest there
Skerry-bound and fair,
Mountains high around and ocean's deep before

On thee casts her spell
Saga, that shall tell
Once again the wonders of our land.

Honor is thy due,
"Bergen never new,"
Ancient and unaging as thy Holberg's humor;

Once kings sought thine aid,—

Mighty now in trade,— First to fly the flag of liberty.

Oft in proud array,

As a sunshine-day Breaks forth from thy rain and fog wind-driven,

Thou didst come with men

Or great deeds again,
When the clouds were darkest o'er our land.

Thy soul was the ground,
Wit-enriched and sound,
Whence there sprang stout thoughts to make our
country's harvest,

Whence our arts exist,
In their birth-hour kissed
By thy nature, somber, large, and strong.

In thy mountain-hall

Learned our painter, Dahl; Wand'ring on thy strands our poet dreamed, Welhaven;

All thy morning's gold

Ole Bull ensouled,
Greeted on thy bay by all the world.

With thy sea-wide sway

Thou hast might for aye, Fjords of blue convey thy life-blood through our country.

Norway's spirit thou

Dost with joy endow,—
Great thy past, no less thy future great.



Many forms belong to greatness.
He who now has left us bore it
As a doubt that made him sleepless,
But at last gave revelation,—
As a sight-enhancing power,

That gave visions joined with anguish

Over all beyond our seeing,—

As a flight on labor's pinions

From the thought unto the certain,

Thence aloft to intuition,—

Restless haste and changeful ardor,

God-inspired and unceasing,

Through the wide world ever storming,

Took its load of thoughts and doubtings,

Bore them, threw them off,—and took them,

Never tired, never listless.

Still! for he had one haven of rest:

Family-life peace-bestowing!
Powers of light gave repose to his breast,

Calm 'mid the strife of his knowing.

Softly with music his wife led him in
Unto the sweet-smelling birches!

Unto the flowers and still deeper in
Under the fir-forest's churches!

Daughters drew near him in love secure
Cooling his forehead's hot fever;

Gently their message of innocence pure
Made him a childlike believer.

Or he joined glad in their light-hearted game,
Colors and music surrounding,—

Gone were the clouds, in the heavens came Sparkling of star-light abounding.

But as in an autumn evening

Silent, dreamy, dark, sheet-lightning

Wakens thought and feeling stormward,—

Or as in a boat a sudden

Stroke when gliding as in slumber

On between the cliffs that tower

In a quiet, balmy spring night,—

But a single stroke and soft, then

Echo takes it up and tosses

To and fro 'mid walls of mountains,

Thrush and grouse send forth their wood-calls,

Deer rise up and listen keenly,

Stones are rolling, all are up now,

Dogs are barking, bells are clanging,

Ushering in the strife of daytime,—

Thus could oft a recollection

Down-light falling in that playtime,

Waken all his thought and doubting!

Then it roved the wide world over,
Then it hottest burned within him,—
But it lavished light for others!

Rise of races, spread of language,
Birth of names, all laws' close kinship,
Small and great in equal passion,
Equal haste and doubting goal-ward! —
There where others stones saw only,
He saw precious gems that glistened,
Sunk his shaft the mine to deepen.

And where others thought the treasure
Sure and safe for years a hundred,
Doubt possessed him as he burrowed
Day and night—and saw it vanish!
But the unrest that gave power
Made him oft the goal pass over;
While to others he gave clearness,
Intuitions new deceived him.
Therefore: where he once had striven,
Thither he would turn him never,
Changed his ground and shifted labor,
From his own thought-conquests fleeing.
But his thoughts pursued, untiring,
Followed, growing, as the fire,
Kindled in Brazilian forests,
Storm-wind makes and storm-wind follows!
Where before no foot had trodden,
Ways were burned for many millions!

Northward stretches Scandinavia
'Mid the fog that dims the Ice-sea,
Darkness of the months of winter
Lays its weight on sea and mountain.
Like our lands are too our peoples.
Their beginnings prehistoric
Stretch afar in fog and darkness.
But as through the fog a lighthouse,
Or as Northern Lights o'er darkness,
Gleamed his thought with light and guidance.

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