Over The Lofty Mountains

Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson 1832 (Kvikne) – 1910 (Paris)

Wonder I must, what I once may see
 Over the lofty mountains!
Eyes shall meet only snow, may be;
Standing here, each evergreen tree
 Over the heights is yearning;--
 Will it be long in learning?

Pinions strong bear the eagle away
 Over the lofty mountains
Forth to the young and vigorous day;
There he exults in the swift, wild play,
 Rests where his spirit orders,--
 Sees all the wide world's borders.

Full-leaved the apple-tree wishes naught
 Over the lofty mountains!
Spreading, when summer hither is brought,
Waiting till next time in its thought;
 Many a bird it is swinging,
 Knowing not what they are singing.

He who has longed for twenty years
 Over the lofty mountains,
He who knows that he never nears,
Smaller feels with the lapsing years,
 Heeds what the bird is singing
 Cheerily to its swinging.

Garrulous bird, what will you here
 Over the lofty mountains?
Surely your nest was there less drear,
Taller the trees, the outlook clear;--
 Will you then only bring me
 Longings, but naught to wing me?

Shall I then never, never go
 Over the lofty mountains?
Shall to my thoughts this wall say,--No!
Stand with terror of ice and snow,
 Barring the way unwended,
 Coffin me when life is ended?

Out will I! Out!--Oh, so far, far, far,
 Over the lofty mountains!
Here is this cramping, confining bar,
Baffling my thoughts, that so buoyant are;--
 Lord! Let me try the scaling,
 Suffer no final failing!

Sometime I know I shall rise and soar
 Over the lofty mountains.
Hast Thou already ajar Thy door?--
Good is Thy home! Yet, Lord, I implore,
 Hold not the gates asunder,--
 Leave me my longing wonder!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson

Bjørnstjerne Martinius Bjørnson was a Norwegian writer who received the 1903 Nobel Prize in Literature "as a tribute to his noble, magnificent and versatile poetry, which has always been distinguished by both the freshness of its inspiration and the rare purity of its spirit", becoming the first Norwegian Nobel laureate. Bjørnson is considered to be one of The Four Greats (De Fire Store) among Norwegian writers, the others being Henrik Ibsen, Jonas Lie, and Alexander Kielland. Bjørnson is also celebrated for his lyrics to the Norwegian National Anthem, "Ja, vi elsker dette landet". more…

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