Katharine Lee Bates

(1859-1929 / United States)

Graves At Christiania - Poem by Katharine Lee Bates

WE bore them their own wild heather
And ash-boughs jeweled red,
There where they sleep together,
Greatest of Norway's dead.
More than the hush of churches
Is the hush where Ibsen lies,
Columned by poplars and birches,
Vaulted by glorious skies.
Over that heart undaunted
Soars a shaft of labrador,
Black yet beauty-haunted,
Marked with the hammer of Thor.
But what memorial lifted
To Björnson, loved of the folk?
We sought till our quest had drifted
Where tender voices spoke,
Where never a rail encloses
That resting-place of fame,
A little plot of roses,
Nameless nor needing name.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 16, 2010

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