Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson

(8 December 1832 – 26 April 1910 / Kvikne)

During A Journey In Sweden


My boyish heart in thee confided,
For to the great by thee 't was guided.
As man, my waiting is for thee,-

The Northern cause with thee, with thee!


Rich lands and talents are thy dower,
But fallow lie thy wealth and power.

Thou must the North in concord bind,
Or never shalt thy true self find.


There's longing in thy folk arisen,
Poetic hope-but yet in prison.
Though forces great within thee dwell,
Thou art not wholly sound and well.

Too many things are undertaken,
Too oft the task is soon forsaken.
Though rich in promptings of the heart,
In faith and duty faint thou art.

In danger only hast thou thriven,
When something great to guard was given.
When every breast with warmth shall glow
At Sweden's name, thy strength thou'lt know.

What's thine alone lifts not thy feeling,
Till honor's cause the skies are pealing,
Thou hast no joy but daring deed
In fortune's favor or in need.

For thy fair memories inspiring
Are far too great, much more requiring:

The Northern cause! Lead thou the way!
'T will double glory thee repay!


Of all thou canst, this is the greatest,
Thy duty earliest and latest.
Thy future rests in its embrace
With cure for ills that now abase.

Thou land of heart-born fancies thronging,
Thou land of poetry and longing,
Fill now thy heart, thy spirit free!

The Northern banner waits for thee!

Submitted: Wednesday, March 31, 2010

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