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I Lived far more than e'er I sang;
Thought, ire, and mirth unceasing rang

Around me, where I guested;
To be where loud life's battles call
For me was well-nigh more than all

My pen on page arrested.

What's true and strong has growing-room,
And will perhaps eternal bloom,

Without black ink's salvation,
And he will be, who least it planned,
But in life's surging dared to stand,

The best bard for his nation.

A life seventy-seven years long and but two hundred pages of lyrical production, more than half of which was written in about a dozen years! The seeming disproportion is explained by the lines just quoted from the poem Good Cheer, with which Bjornson concluded the first edition of his Poems and Songs. Alongside of these stanzas, in which the cause of his popularity and powerful influence is also unconsciously revealed, may well be placed the following one from The Poet, which discloses to us the larger conception of the mission that Bjornson himself in all his work and life, no less than in his lyrics, so finely fulfilled:

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