Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson

Halfdan kjerulf

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Winter had sought his life's tree to o'erthrow,
Youthful and strong. But his blood's vernal flow
Saved it from death through the cold and the maiming;
Late in the summer bright flowers were flaming,
Late in the autumn they swelled to completeness,--
Fruits that were few, but of fragrance and sweetness.

Poets received them to endless seed-sowing,
Where for his folk endless summer is glowing,--
While more and more,
Stricken he hung o'er the death-river's shore,
Fighting in weakness the winter abhorred,
Fighting for summer, the singer's reward,
Fighting while failing, with modesty rare,
Soon but in prayer.

Summer received him! He now is victorious!
Now, while they harvest the yellowing corn,
Now, while the hills hear the notes of the horn,
He enters glorious.

Mirrored in him is true poetry's force,
Marked by our winter, in summer its source.
E'en as the air with its quivering sheen,
Leaves of the forests and red peaks serene,
Waters that wander 'mid meadows delaying
Sound with the music the sunshine is playing,--
Poetry also shall leap with new life,
If it, though failing, is faithful in strife:--
Leap from death's thronging:--
Soon comes the summer with summer's pure longing.

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Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson