Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson

When norway would not help

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When Kattegat now or the Belt you sail,
No more will you sight
The Danish proud frigate, no more will you hail
The red and white;
No more will the ringing command be heard
In Wessel's tongue,
No rollicking music, no jocund word,
'Neath Dannebrog sung.
No dance will you see, no laughter meet,
As the white sails shine,
From mast and from stern no garland you greet,
Of arts the sign.
But all that we owned of the treasures on board
The deeps now hold;
One sad winter night to the sea-waves were poured
Our memories old.

It was that same night, when the frigate nigh
To Norway's land
Distress-guns was firing, the surf running high
With sea-weed and sand.
To help from the harbor men put out boats,
But they turn back, ...
The frigate toward Germany drifting floats,
A broken wrack!
What once had been ours overboard was strown,
Each kinship mark
Was quickly removed, to the sea it was thrown
With curses stark!
The Northern lion, that figure-head gray,
Now had to fall,
In pieces 'twas hewn, and the frigate lay
Like a shattered wall.
Repaired and refitted, its canvas it spread
Near Germany's coast,
With black-yellow flag and an eagle dread
In the lion's post.
When sailing we Kattegat sweep with our eyes,
'T is still evermore.
But a German admiral's frigate lies
Near Scania's shore.

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Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson