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Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson

(8 December 1832 – 26 April 1910 / Kvikne)

Answer From Norway To The Speeches In The Swedish House Of Nobles, 1860


Have you heard what says the Swede now,
Young Norwegian man?
Have you seen what forms proceed now,
Border-watch to plan?
Shades of those from life departed,
Our forefathers single-hearted,
Who, when words like these were said,
Mounted guard and knew no dread.

Says the Swede now: That our cherished
Norseland's banner red,
That which flew when Magnus perished,
As to-day outspread,
Which o'er Fredrikshald victorious
And o'er Adler waved all glorious,
That the Swedish yellow-blue
Must in shame henceforth eschew.

Says the Swede now: Lost their luster
Have our memories,
Brighter honors shall we muster,
If we borrow his.
Bids us forth to Lützen stumble,
Close this straw-thatched cottage humble,
Drag our grandsire's ancient seat
To the Swedes for honor meet.

Let it stand, that poor old lumber,
To us dear for aye;
Sweden's ground it could but cumber,
And it might not pay.
For, we know from history's pages,
Some sat there in former ages,
Sverre Priest and other men,
Who may wish to come again.

Says the Swede now: We must know it,

He
our freedom gave,
But the Swedish sword can mow it,
Send it to its grave.
Yet the case is not alarming,
He must fare with good fore-arming,
For in truth some fell of yore,
There where he would break a door.

Says the Swede now: We a clever
Little boy remain,
Very suitable to ever
Hold his mantle's train.
But would Christie be so pliant,
With his comrades self-reliant,
If they still at Eidsvold stood,
Sword-girt, building Norway's good?

Big words oft the Swede was saying,
Only small were we,
But they never much were weighing,
When the test should be.
On the little cutter sailing,
Wessel and Norse youth prevailing,
Sweden's flag and frigate chased
From the Kattegat in haste.

Sweden's noblemen are shaking
Charles the Twelfth's proud hat;
We, in council or war-making,
Peers are for all that.
If things take the worse turn in there,
Aid from Torgny we shall win there.
Then o'er all the Northland's skies
Greater freedom's sun shall rise.

Submitted: Wednesday, March 31, 2010

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