Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson

(8 December 1832 – 26 April 1910 / Kvikne)

At A Banquet For Professor Ludv. Kr. Daa


Youthful friends here a circle form,
Elder foes now surrender.
Feel among us in safety, warm,
Toward you our hearts are tender.
Once again on a hard-fought day
Hero-like you have led the way,
Smiting all that before you stood;-
But now be good!

With no hubbub, without champagne,
Dress-suit, and party-collar,
We would honor o'er viands plain
Grateful our 'grand old scholar'!
When all quiet are wind and wave,
Seldom we see this pilot brave;-
When storm-surges our ship might whelm,
He takes the helm!

-Takes the helm and through thick and thin
(Clear are his old eyes burning),
Steers the course with his trusty 'grin,'
Straight, where the others are turning!
Thanks gave to him I know not who,
For he scolded the skipper, too!-
Back he went to his home right soon:
We had the boon.

He has felt what it is to go
Hated, till truth gains the battle;
He has felt what it is to know
Blows that from both sides rattle.
He has felt what the cost is, so
Forward the present its path to show:
He, whose strength had such heights attained,
Stood all disdained.

Would that Norway soon grew so great
That it with justice rewarded
Heroes who its true weal create,
Who are no laggards sordid.
Shall we always so slowly crawl,
Split forever in factions small,
Idly counting each ill that ails?-
No! Set the sails!

Set the sails for the larger life,
Whereto our nation has power!
Daily life is with death but rife,
If there's not growth every hour.
Rally to war for the cause of right,
Sing 'neath the standard of honor bright,
Sail with faith in our God secure,
And strong endure

Submitted: Wednesday, March 31, 2010

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