Norwegian seamen's song

Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson

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Norwegian seamen are
A folk grown strong 'neath sail and spar;
Where boats can find a way,
The best men there are they.
On high seas or at home,
In calm or when the storm-waves comb,
To God their prayer they make,
Their lives they gladly stake.

Incessant is their strife,
They wage with death a war for life,
And dear their souls they sell
In conflicts none can tell.
All that is commonplace
In history seldom leaves its trace,
And often none is there,
The tidings home to bear.

But fishing-boats in need
Have shown so many a daring deed
Of courage fine and skill,
Though unrecorded still.
And many a seaman's head
A wreath of sea-weed wore when dead,
Whose name should shine in gold
Among great heroes bold.

Saint Olaf's Cross's praise
Would on that pilot fitly blaze
Who saved a hundred men,
And hundred once again.
To many a boy so young,
Who riding home to boat's keel clung,
His father set on board,
We honor should accord.

In Norway's mountain-coast
Our land's own mother-breast we boast,
With food for us and tears
For sons whom danger nears.
In it each deed has lot,
And there no brave son is forgot,
From Hafurfjord's great day
To the last castaway.

This each one felt and found
Who homeward came and looked around;
This each one felt who went,
In the last look he sent.
They felt the ocean o'er:
Their ships our country's fortune bore;
Honor and power it sought,--
And these the white sails brought.

Hurrah for them to-day
Who the Norwegian flag display!
Hurrah for pilots true
Who forth to meet them flew!
Hurrah for them who ply
Their fishing-boats 'twixt sea and sky!
Hurrah for all our boast,
Our skerry-skirted coast!

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