Knud Lyne Rahbek

(1760-1830 / Denmark)

Peter Colbiornsen - Poem by Knud Lyne Rahbek

'Fore Fredereksteen King Carl he lay
With mighty host ;
But Frederekshal, from day to day,
Much trouble cost.
To seize the sword each citizen
His tools let fall,
And valiant Peter Colbiornsen
Was first of all.
Thus for Norroway fight the Norsemen.

'Gainst Frederekshal so fierce and grim
Turned Carl his might,
The citizens encountered him
In numbers slight ;
But, ah ! they fought like Northern men
For much-loved land,
And it was Peter Colbiornsen
That led the band.
Thus for Norroway fight the Norsemen.

Such heavy blows the Norsemen deal
Amid the foe,
Like ripe corn 'fore the reaper's steel
The Swedes sink low.
But sturdiest reaper weary will ;
So happ'd it here ;
Though many the Norwegians kill,
More, more appear.
Thus for Norroway fight the Norsemen.

Before superior force they flew,
As Norsemen fly,
They but retired, the fight anew
Unawed to ply.
Now o'er the bodies of his slain
His way Carl makes ;
He thinks he has the city ta'en,
But he mistakes.
Thus for Norroway fight the Norsemen.

A speedy death his soldiers found
Where'er they came ;
For Norse were posted all around,
And greeted them.
Then Carl he sent, but sorely vexed,
To Fredereksteen,
And begged that he might bury next
His slaughtered men.
Thus for Norroway fight the Norsemen.

' No time, no time to squander e'er
Have Norsemen bold,
He came self-bidden 'mongst us here,'
Thus Carl was told ;
' If we can drive him back again,
We now must try,'
And it was Peter Colbiornsen
Made that reply.
Thus for Norroway fight the Norsemen.

Lo ! from the town the flames outburst,
High-minded men !
And he who fired his house the first
Was Colbiornsen.
Eager to quench the fire, the foes
Make quick resort,
But bullets fell as fast as snows
Down from the fort.
Thus for Norroway fight the Norsemen.

Now rose the flames toward the sky,
Red, terrible ;
His heroes' death the king thereby
Could see right well.
Sir Peter's word he then made good,
His host retires ;
But in his path the steen it stood,
And on him fires.
Thus for Norroway fight the Norsemen.

Magnificent 'midst corse and blood
Glowed Frederekshal ;
Illumed its own men's courage proud,
And Swedesmen fall.
Whoe'er saw pile funereal flame
So bright as then ?
Sure never shall expire thy name,
О Colbiornsen !
Thus for Norroway fight the Norsemen.


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Poem Submitted: Friday, October 15, 2010



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