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Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson 1832 (Kvikne) – 1910 (Paris)
Our King is bereft of a trusty friend!
And in dismay
We lower our banners and sad attend
On his burial day.
But Denmark, in sorrow most deep thou waitest,
For fallen the life that was warmest, greatest,
And fallen the tower
Of mightiest power.
Bewailing the death of their kingly chief,
Men voice their grief.
For Denmark's salvation the man was born
Who now is dead.
When banished in youth from the court in scorn,
To his people he fled.
There throve he right well, there grew he together
With peasants and sailors in foul and fair weather,
While fullness of living
Its schooling was giving;
When ready for Denmark was laid the snare,
Then he was there!
Now soon it was plain, he was peasant-skulled
For their tricks; and hence
The traitors' shrewd schemings were all annulled
By his bit of sense.
He knew but one thing;-what his people thought them,
And therefore in danger he freedom brought them.
The whole was his vision,
He would no scission;
His words were but few, and of these the key:
'It shall not be!'
He stood by the helm like a sailor good,
In no storm remiss;
Of praise the tribute he never would,
But he shall have
The ship to the North he unswerving directed,-
In storm or in fog, exposed or protected;-
And fear allaying,
All folk were saying:
'He isn't so stupid as people tell,
For all goes well!'
'On deck every man!' was his last command,
'There's storm again!'
When answered the cry from the mast-head: 'Land!'
Oh, then, just then,
Were loosed from the helm the true hands that were steering,
In death he sank down, while the ship began veering-
No, never veering!
To the course adhering!
Now, Denmark, united, with all thy force
Hold straight his course!
He made it his honor, in line to stand,
No rank to know;
But shoulder to shoulder to lend a hand,
And pride forego.
They gather now fruit of his faithful training:
Well drilled, every man at his post is straining.
The course is steady,
For tried and ready
Is many a helmsman, and all their will
Is 'Northward still!'
Naught else can they do now, but with good cheer
Hold out they must,
Stand guard in the darkness and have no fear,
In God their trust.
It is sultry and silent, and yearning in sorrow
All breathless they listen and wait for the morrow,-
'T is time for waiting,
Till, night abating,
The eastern sky reddens and bright dawn speeds
The day of deeds!
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"King frederik the seventh" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 29 Jul 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/4360/king-frederik-the-seventh>.