Nicolaj Frederik Severin Grundtvig

(1783 - 1872 / Denmark)

A simple, cheerful active life on earth


A simple, cheerful, active life on earth,
A cup I’d not exchange for monarch’s chalice,
In noble forebears’ tracks a path since birth,
With equal dignity in hut and palace,
With eye as when created heav’nward turned,
All beauty here and grandness keenly knowing,
Familiar though with those things deeply yearned,
Stilled only by eternity’s bright glowing.

I wished for all my line just such a life,
And zealously I planned for its fruition,
And when my soul grew tired from toil and strife,
The ‘Lord’s Prayer’ was its rest and its nutrition.
Then from truth’s spirit I great comfort gained,
And felt joy hover o’er each garden border,
When dust is placed in its creator’s hand
And all is waited for in nature’s order:

Just fresh, green buds that sprout in early spring,
And in the summer heat the flowers’ profusion;
And when the plants mature and long to bring
Their harvest fruit to autumn’s full conclusion!
The human span assigned is short or long,
It is for common weal, its yield is growing;
The day that started well will end as strong,
And just as sweet will be its afterglowing.

Submitted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010

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