Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson

Our language

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Thou, who sailest Norse mountain-air,
And Denmark's songs by the cradle singest,
Who badest in Hald the war-flames flare,
And, heard in our children's joy, gently ringest,--
Thou treasure of treasures,
Our mother-tongue,
In pains as in pleasures
Our home and our tower,
With God our power,--
We hallow thee!

Whispering secrets that Holberg stored,
Thou borest him home to a brighter morning,
Didst serve him with armor and whet his sword
For satire's assaults and for laughter's warning.
Thou spirit all knowing,
Our mother-tongue,
The ages foregoing,
The future now growing,
The present glowing,--
We hallow thee!

Kierkegaard thou to the deeps didst bring,
Where life's full currents in God he sounded.
For Wergeland wert thou the eagle's wing,
That lifted him sunward to heights unbounded.
Thou treasure of treasures,
Our mother-tongue,
In pain as in pleasures
Our home and our tower,
With God our power,--
We hallow thee!

Radiant warmth of a May-day
Thou to the spring of our freedom gavest.
In thy clearness our Norse flags aye
With song and honor afar thou wavest.
Thou spirit all knowing,
Our mother-tongue,
The ages foregoing,
The future now growing,
The present glowing,--
We hallow thee!

O'er the ocean unrollest thou
Thy carpet of flowers, a bridge that nigher
Can bring dear friends to meet even now,--
While faith grows greater and heaven higher.
Thou treasure of treasures,
Our mother-tongue,
In pain as in pleasures
Our home and our tower,
With God our power,--
We hallow thee!

Best of friends that I found wert thou;
Thou waitedst for me in the eyes of mother.
And leave me last of them all wilt thou,
Who knewest me better than any other.
Thou spirit all knowing,
Our mother-tongue,
The ages foregoing,
The future now growing,
The present glowing,--
We hallow thee!

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Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson