Norse nature

(In Ringerike During The Student Meeting Of 1869)

We wander and sing with glee
Of glorious Norway, fair to see.
Let sweetly the tones go twining
In colors so softly shining
On mountain, forest, fjord, and shore,
'Neath heaven's azure arching o'er.

The warmth of the nation's heart,
The depth, the strength, its songs impart,
Here opens its eyes to greet you,
Rejoicing just now to meet you,
And giving, grateful for the chance,
In love a self-revealing glance.

Here wakened our history first,
Here Halfdan dreamed of greatness erst,
In vision of hope beholding
The kingdom's future unfolding,
And
Nore
stood and summons gave,
While forth to conquest called the wave.

Here singing we must unroll
Of our dear land the pictured scroll!
Let calm turn to storm of wildness,
Bring might into bonds of mildness:
Then Norsemen mustering, each shall see
This is our land's whole history.

To them first our way we wing,
The hundred harbors in the spring,
Where follow fond love and yearning,
When sea-ward the ships are turning.
For Norway's weal pure prayers exhale
From sixty thousand men that sail.

See sloping the skerried coasts,
With gulls and whales and fishing-posts,
And vessels in shelter riding,
While boats o'er the sea are gliding,
And nets in fjord and seines in sound,
And white with spawn the ocean's ground.

See Lofoten's tumult grand,
Where tow'ring cliffs in ocean stand,
Whose summits the fogs are cleaving,
Beneath them the surges heaving,
And all is darkness, mystery, dread,
But 'mid the tumult sails are spread.

Here ships of the Arctic sea;
Through snow and gloom their course must be;
Commands from the masthead falling
The boats toward the ice are calling;
And shot on shot and seal on seal,
And souls and bodies strong as steel.

On mountains we now shall guest,
When eventide to all brings rest,
In dairy on highland meadow,
On hay-field 'neath slanting shadow,
While to the alphorn's tender tone
Great Nature's voice responds alone.

But quickly we must away,
If a11 the land we would survey,-
The mines of our metal treasures,
The hills of our hunters' pleasures,
The foam-white river's rush and noise,
The timber-driver's foot-sure poise.

Returning, we linger here,
These valleys broad to us are dear,
Whose men in their faithful living
To Norway are honor giving;
Their fathers, strong in brain and brawn,
Lent luster to our morning-dawn.

We wander and sing with glee
Of glorious Norway fair to see.
Our present to labor binds us,
Each how of the past reminds us,
Our future shall be sure and bright,
As God we trust and do the right.

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Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson

Bjørnstjerne Martinius Bjørnson was a Norwegian writer and the 1903 Nobel Prize in Literature laureate. more…

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