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- Poems and Songs - 3/44 -


And made them meeting in pairs to go Before the altar united.

THE HARE AND THE FOX (FROM SYNNOVE SOLBAKKEN)

The fox lay still by the birch-tree's root In the heather. The hare was running with nimble foot O'er the heather. Was ever brighter a sunshine-day, Before, behind me, and every way, O'er the heather!

The fox laughed low by the birch-tree's root In the heather. The hare was running with daring foot O'er the heather.

I am so happy for everything! Hallo! Why go you with mighty spring O'er the heather?

The fox lay hid by the birch-tree's root In the heather. The hare dashed to him with reckless foot O'er the heather. May God have mercy, but this is queer! -- Good gracious, how dare you dance so here O'er the heather?

NILS FINN (FROM HALTE HULDA) (see Note 1)

Now little Nils Finn had away to go; The skis were too loose at both heel and toe. --"That's too bad!" rumbled yonder.

Then little Nils Finn in the snow set his feet: "You ugliest troll, you shall never me cheat!" --"Hee-ho-ha!" rumbled yonder.

Nils Finn with his staff beat the snow till it blew "Your trollship, now saw you how hapless it flew?" --"Hit-li-hu!" rumbled yonder.

Nils Finn pushed one ski farther forward with might; The other held fast,--he reeled left and right. --"Pull it up!" rumbled yonder.

Nils' tears wet the snow, while he kicked and he struck; The more that he kicked there, the deeper he stuck. --"That was good!" rumbled yonder.

The birch-trees, they danced, and the pine-trees said "Hoo!" They more were than one,--were a hundred and two. --"Know your way?" rumbled yonder.

A laugh shook the ridge till it made the snow fly; But Nils clenched his fists and he swore 't was a lie. --"Now beware!" rumbled yonder.

The snow-field yawned wide, and the heavens came low; Nils thought 't was now time for him also to go. --"Is he gone?" rumbled yonder.--

Two skis in the snow looked about everywhere, But saw nothing much; for there was nothing there. --"Where is Nils?" rumbled yonder.

THE MAIDENS' SONG (FROM HALTE HULDA)

Good-morning, sun, 'mid the leaves so green -- Mind of youth in the dales' deep reaches, Smile that brightens their somber speeches, Heaven's gold on our earth-dust seen!

Good-morning, sun, o'er the royal tower! Kindly thou beckonest forth each maiden; Kindle each heart as a star light-laden, Twinkling so clear, though a sad night lower!

Good-morning, sun, o'er the mountain-side! Light the land that still sleep disguises Till it awakens and fresh arises For yonder day in thy warmth's full tide!

THE DOVE (FROM HALTE HULDA)

I saw a dove fear-daunted, By howling storm-blast driven; Where waves their power vaunted, From land it had been riven. No cry nor moan it uttered, I heard no plaint repeated; In vain its pinions fluttered -- It had to sink, defeated.

THE MOTHER'S SONG (FROM ARNE)

Lord! Oh, hold in Thy hand my child, Guard by the river its playing! Send Thou Thy Spirit as comrade mild, Lest it be lost in its straying! Deep is the water and false the ground. Lord, if His arms shall the child surround, Drowned it shall not be, but living, Till Thou salvation art giving.

Mother, whom loneliness befalls, Knowing not where it is faring, Goes to the door, and its name there calls; Breezes no answer are bearing. This is her thought, that everywhere He and Thou for it always care; Jesus, its little brother, Follows it home to mother.

LAMBKIN MINE (FROM ARNE)

Kille, kille, lambkin mine, Though it often be hard to climb Over the rocks upswinging, Follow thy bell's sweet ringing!

Kille, kille, lambkin mine, Take good care of that fleece-coat thine! Sewed to one and another, Warm it shall keep my mother.

Kille, kille, lambkin mine, Feed and fatten thy flesh so fine! Know, you dear little sinner, Mother will have it for dinner!

BALLAD OF TAILOR NILS (FROM ARNE)

If you were born before yesterday, Surely you've heard about Tailor Nils, who flaunts him so gay.

If it's more than a week that you've been here, Surely you've heard how Knut Storedragen got a lesson severe.

Up on the barn of Ola-Per Kviste after a punchin': "When Nils heaves you again, take with you some luncheon."

Hans Bugge, he was a man so renowned, Haunting ghosts of his name spread alarm all around.

"Tailor Nils, where you wish to lie, now declare! On that spot will I spit and lay your head right there."--

"Oh, just come up so near, that I know you by the scent! Think not that by your jaw to earth I shall be bent!"

When first they met, 't was scarce a bout at all, Neither man was ready yet to try to get a fall.

The second time Hans Bugge slipped his hold. "Are you tired now, Hans Bugge? The dance will soon be bold."

The third time Hans fell headlong, and forth the blood did spurt. "Why spit you now so much, man?" -- "Oh my, that fall did hurt!"--

Saw you a tree casting shadows on new-fallen snow? Saw you Nils on a maiden smiling glances bestow?

Have you seen Tailor Nils when the dance he commences? Are you a maiden, then go!--It's too late, when you've lost your senses.

VENEVIL (FROM ARNE) (See Note 2)

Fair Venevil hastened with tripping feet Her lover to meet. He sang, so it rang o'er the church far away: "Good-day! Good-day!"


Poems and Songs - 3/44

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