To Johan Dahl, Bookdealer

(On His Sixtieth Birthday)
Our glasses we lift now and drink to our host!
'Hurrah!'
Give heed to our ditty, we sing you our toast!
'Aha!'
The first thing appearing is what he was nearing,
When uproar not fearing he came for a hearing
'Fore skerry-bred eagle
And Wergeland regal.
Oh! Ha!

He came like an innocent spring-lambkin ewe-born,
Oh, woe!
So neat and so fine in his guilelessness new-born
Like snow.
The flesh so delicious was chopped up to farce-meat,
And later by Wergeland found for a farce meet,
And gayly 't was swallowed,
And all the bones hollowed
And strown.

But swift as Thor's he-goats to life again skipping,
He sprang
Whole skinned together, and gave them a whipping
That rang.
This made him seem worthy to join the gay party,
At once they received him in fellowship hearty!
And soon was no other
More loved as a brother
Than Dahl.

The light from his shop spread afar and made brighter
Our day.
His drawing-room gathered so many a fighter
In play.
Our taste there was made and our critical passion,
The shop was a power, new Norway to fashion.
Though little, its story
Shall some time in glory
Be writ.

For what you have kindled, endured, and aspired,
Our thanks!
For hearts you have gladdened and souls you have fired,
Our thanks!
For all your good faith in your fervor and ranting,
Yes, for your whole-heartedness free from all canting,
You whimsical, queer one,
Old fellow, you dear one,
Our thanks!

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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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"To Johan Dahl, Bookdealer" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 19 Oct. 2019. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/4434/to-johan-dahl,-bookdealer>.

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