Ole gabriel ueland

Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson

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Of long toil 't is a matter
Through many a silent age,
Before such power can shatter
Time-hallowed custom's cage.
The soul-fruit of the peasant,
Though seldom seed was sown,
It is our honor present,--
Our future sure foreknown.

The fjords that earnest waited
'Mid mountain-snows around
His childhood's thoughts created
And depth of life profound.
The highlands' sun that played there
On fjord and mountain snow
So wide a vision made there
As one could wish to know.

When he to Ting repairing
Would plead the peasant's right,
Each word a beam was bearing.
To make our young day bright.
It came like ancient story
Or long-lost song's refrain;
What crowned our past with glory
It made our present gain.

Though in his boat a seaman,
A farmer in his field,
Ne'er finer thoughts did freeman
In royal council wield.
His years bear witness ready
That we shall yet achieve
Our people's self-rule steady,
He taught us to believe.

When weary, worn, and aged,
His faith was ever strong;
The people's war he wagèd
For victory erelong.
Beneath the banner dying,
He would not yet give o'er,
And him Valkyries flying
Home to Valhalla bore.

From wintry night and bitter
He was with stately tread
In Saga's hall a-glitter
Before the high-sear led.
Old heroes proud or merry
Rising to greet him went,
But first of all King Sverre,
From whom was his descent.

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