Adam Gottlob Oehlenschlaeger

(1779-1850 / Denmark)

Morning Walk - Poem by Adam Gottlob Oehlenschlaeger

To the holy beechwood, gently thou
Hast beckoned me;
O Earth ! where never the heavy plough
Had furrowed thee.

The flowers that cling to the chequered shade,
As I passed them by
Smiled up from the hollows, unafraid,
Toward the open sky.

I crossed through a flat expanse of field
To reach the wood;
By three low hillocks, half-concealed,
A barrow stood.

Grey with the years' encrusted rime,
That oval ring
Recalled from the flat expanse of time
Its court and King.

sparkling field, O virgin glade,
O grass-cool dale,
On you had Flora softly laid
Her bridal veil.

Cornflowers, red and blue, entwined
A diadem;
I had to stop, I had to find
A word for them.

Welcome again this happy year
In the sunny morn !
Gaily you twinkle and disappear
Among the corn.

Blue stars and red, you shine among
Gold lightning gleams,
And in your eyes, so clear, so young,
All summer dreams.

'Ah, Poet, thou dost not know, I fear,
Our sorrowful case;
Thou shouldst but see the master here
And his scowling face.

Each time he looks at us, he swears
We are a thorn
In the flesh, and Hell's predestined tares
In the sacred corn.'

Ah, flowers, I too must share your fate !
A poet grows
Like a random cornflower in the great
Field's ordered rows.

He stands in the way of the useful grain
In idleness,
Lifting his colours to sun and rain
For the Lord's caress.

We belong to one another; we all
Are destitute.
Fair children, wreathe your carnival
Over my lute.

Tremble as in the wind, with clear
Music along
Each vibrant string, and God shall hear
Our morning song.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, September 22, 2010

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