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- Poems and Songs - 4/44 -


And all the little birds sang right merrily their lay: "Midsummer Day Brings us laughter and play; But later know I little, if she twines her wreath so gay!"

She twined him a wreath of the flowers blue: "My eyes for you!" He tossed it and caught it and to her did bend: "Good-by, my friend!" And loudly he exulted at the field's far distant end: "Midsummer Day Brings us laughter and play; But later know I little, if she twines her wreath so gay!"

She twined him a wreath: "Do at all you care For my golden hair?" She twined one, and gave in life's hour so rare Her red lips' pair; He took them and he pressed them, and he blushed as she did there.

She twined one all white as a lily-band: "'T is my right hand." She twined one blood-red, with her love in each strand: "'T is my left hand." He took them both and kept them both, but would not understand.

She twined of the flowers that bloomed around "Every one I found!" She gathered and twined, while tears would her eyes fill: "Take them you will!" In silence then he took them, but to flight he turned him still.

She twined one so large, of discordant hue: "My bride's-wreath true!" She twined it and twined, till her fingers were sore: "Crown me, I implore!" But when she turned, he was not there, she never saw him more.

She twined yet undaunted without a stay At her bride's-array. But now it was long past the Midsummer Day, All the flowers away: She twined it of the flowers, though they all were now away! "Midsummer Day Brings us laughter and play; But later know I little, if she twines her wreath so gay!"

OVER THE LOFTY MOUNTAINS (FROM ARNE) (See Note 3)

Wonder I must, what I once may see Over the lofty mountains! Eyes shall meet only snow, may be; Standing here, each evergreen tree Over the heights is yearning;-- Will it be long in learning?

Pinions strong bear the eagle away Over the lofty mountains Forth to the young and vigorous day; There he exults in the swift, wild play, Rests where his spirit orders,-- Sees all the wide world's borders.

Full-leaved the apple-tree wishes naught Over the lofty mountains! Spreading, when summer hither is brought, Waiting till next time in its thought; Many a bird it is swinging, Knowing not what they are singing.

He who has longed for twenty years Over the lofty mountains, He who knows that he never nears, Smaller feels with the lapsing years, Heeds what the bird is singing Cheerily to its swinging.

Garrulous bird, what will you here Over the lofty mountains? Surely your nest was there less drear, Taller the trees, the outlook clear;-- Will you then only bring me Longings, but naught to wing me?

Shall I then never, never go Over the lofty mountains? Shall to my thoughts this wall say,--No! Stand with terror of ice and snow, Barring the way unwended, Coffin me when life is ended?

Out will I! Out!--Oh, so far, far, far, Over the lofty mountains! Here is this cramping, confining bar, Baffling my thoughts, that so buoyant are;-- Lord! Let me try the scaling, Suffer no final failing!

_Sometime_ I know I shall rise and soar Over the lofty mountains. Hast Thou already ajar Thy door?-- Good is Thy home! Yet, Lord, I implore, Hold not the gates asunder,-- Leave me my longing wonder!

THE DAY OF SUNSHINE (FROM ARNE)

It was such a lovely sunshine-day, The house and the yard couldn't hold me; I roved to the woods, on my back I lay, In cradle of fancy rolled me; But there were ants, and gnats that bite, The horse-fly was keen, the wasp showed fight.

"Dear me, don't you want to be out in this fine weather?" --said mother, who sat on the steps and sang.

It was such a lovely sunshine-day, The house and the yard couldn't hold me; A meadow I found, on my back I lay, And sang what my spirit told me; Then snakes came crawling, a fathom long, To bask in the sun,--I fled with my song.

"In such blessed weather we can go barefoot,"--said mother, as she pulled off her stockings.

It was such a lovely sunshine-day, The house and the yard couldn't hold me; I loosened a boat, on my back I lay, While blithely the current bowled me; But hot grew the sun, and peeled my nose; Enough was enough, and to land I chose.

"Now these are just the days to make hay in,"-- said mother, as she stuck the rake in it.

It was such a lovely sunshine-day, The house and the yard couldn't hold me; I climbed up a tree, oh, what bliss to play, As cooling the breeze consoled me; But worms soon fell on my neck, by chance, And jumping, I cried: "'T is the Devil's own dance!"

"Yes, if the cows aren't sleek and shiny to-day, they'll never be so,"--said mother, gazing up the hillside.

It was such a lovely sunshine-day, The house and the yard couldn't hold me; I dashed to the waterfall's endless play, There only could peace enfold me. The shining sun saw me drown and die,-- If you made this ditty, 't was surely not I.

"Three more such sunshine-days, and everything will be in,"--said mother, and went to make my bed.

INGERID SLETTEN (FROM ARNE)

Ingerid Sletten of Sillejord Neither gold nor silver did own, But a little hood of gay wool alone, Her mother had given of yore.

A little hood of gay wool alone, With no braid nor lining, was here; But parent love made it ever dear, And brighter than gold it shone.

She kept the hood twenty years just so: "Be it spotless," softly she cried, "Until I shall wear it once as bride, When I to the altar go."

She kept the hood thirty years just so: "Be it spotless," softly she cried, "Then wear it I will, a gladsome bride, When it to our Lord I show."

She kept the hood forty years just so, With her mother ever in mind. "Little hood, be with me to this resigned, That ne'er to the altar we'll go."

She steps to the chest where the hood has lain, And seeks it with swelling heart; She guides her hand to its place apart,-- But never a thread did remain.


Poems and Songs - 4/44

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