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The bier of precentor a. reitan

With smiles his soft eyes ever gleamed,
When God and country thinking;
With endless joy, his soul, it seemed,
Faith, fatherland, was linking.
His word, his song,
Like springs flowed strong;
They fruitful made the valley long,
And quickened all there drinking.

Poor people and poor homes among
In wintry region saddest,
In Sunday's choir he always sung,
Of all the world the gladdest:
'The axis stout
It turns about,
Falls not the poorest home without,
For thus, O God, Thou badest.'

With sickness came a heavy year
And put to proof his singing,
While helpless children standing near
His trust to test were bringing.
But glad the more,
As soft notes soar
When winds o'er hidden harp-strings pour,
His song his soul was winging.

His life foretold us that erelong
With faith in God unshaken
Shall all our nation stand in song,
And church, home, school, awaken,
In Norway's song,
In gladness' song,
In glory of the Lord's own song,
From life's low squalor taken.

Fair fatherland, do not forget,
The children of his bower!
He, poor as is the rosebush, yet
Gave gladness till death's hour-
With failure's smart
Let not depart
From this thy soil so glad a heart,-
His garden, let it flower!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:05 min read

Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson

Bjørnstjerne Martinius Bjørnson was a Norwegian writer who received the 1903 Nobel Prize in Literature "as a tribute to his noble, magnificent and versatile poetry, which has always been distinguished by both the freshness of its inspiration and the rare purity of its spirit", becoming the first Norwegian Nobel laureate. Bjørnson is considered to be one of The Four Greats (De Fire Store) among Norwegian writers, the others being Henrik Ibsen, Jonas Lie, and Alexander Kielland. Bjørnson is also celebrated for his lyrics to the Norwegian National Anthem, "Ja, vi elsker dette landet". more…

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