Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson

On a wife's death

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With death's dark eye acquainted she had been made ere this,
When to her son, her first-born, she gave the farewell kiss,
And when afar she hastened beside her mother's bed,
It followed all her faring with warning fraught and dread;
It filled her with foreboding when standing by the bier:
More sheaves to gather hopeth the harvester austere.
So soon she saw her husband, that man of strength, succumb,
She said with sorrow stricken: « I knew that it would come!"
She thought that he was chosen by God from earth to go,
Would check, her hands upthrusting, the harsh behest of woe;
And with her slender body, too weak for such a strife,
Would ward her gallant consort,--and gave for him her life.

She smiled, serene and blissful, as death's dark eye she braved;
Her sacrifice was given, her heart's proud hero saved.
Our love and admiration lifted a starry dome
Of happiness above her in life's last hour of gloam,
And snow-white pure she passed then to her eternal home.
Such tender love and holy to heaven's bounds can bear
The souls that it embraces in sacrifice and prayer.

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Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson