To Sculptor Borch

(On his fiftieth birthday)
With friends you stalwart stand and fair,
To-day of fifty years the heir;
The past your works rejoicing praise,
But forward goes your gaze.
Your childlike faith, your spirit true,
Your hand that never weary grew,
A home's sweet music, love of wife,
Make ever young your life.

You dared believe with heart alive
That here in Norway art can thrive.
You forced the hardness of our stones
To harmony of tones.
You laid our wild world's secrets bare
And caught 'The Hunter' near the lair.
Our nation's moods, of beauty born,
Your 'Girl with Eggs' adorn.

As o'er a slope's snow-covered brow
A youth came swiftly flying now,
You saw him, raised your hand, and lo!
He stood there, chiseled snow.
But your 'Ski-runner's' courage good,
It was your own, when forth you stood
Art's champion by the world unawed,
And with your faith in God.

You won your victory supreme
Through rock-like faith and will's full stream
While with unnumbered hours of rest
Your love has others blessed.
Were all now here from west and east
Whose hearts you own, oh, what a feast!
From Akershus the convicts e'en
Would bear a freeman's mien.

Now we whose lives with good you filled
For you to-day a palace build,
On heights of heart's-ease lifting square
Its golden tower of prayer.
In peace you oft shall dwell in it,
Whene'er you need to rest a bit,
And feel through them who hold you dear
Yourself to heaven near.

Long since our country to you gave
The meed of thanks that most you crave;
It gave a maid with golden hair,
Its springtime's image fair.
She came from where the fairies dwell,
With nixie's charm and wood-nymph's spell,
With peace all holy, sweet, and calm,
To sing of life the psalm.

So may your life yet long endure
To light our gland, your home secure!
May all that from your heart you gave,
Still blossom on your grave!
May God's protecting mercy hold
Your spirit ever fresh and bold,-
May He to genius oft impart
Just such a mind and heart!

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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 Sculptor Borch" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 24 Feb. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/4440/to-sculptor-borch>.

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