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Henrik Johan Ibsen

Gone

THE last, late guest
To the gate we followed;
Goodbye -- and the rest
The night-wind swallowed.

House, garden, street,
Lay tenfold gloomy,
Where accents sweet
Had made music to me.

It was but a feast
With the dark coming on;
She was but a guest --
And now, she is gone.

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Burnt Ships

TO skies that were brighter
Turned he his prows;
To gods that were lighter
Made he his vows.

The snow-land's mountains
Sank in the deep;
Sunnier fountains
Lulled him to sleep.

He burns his vessels,
The smoke flung forth
On blue cloud-trestles
A bridge to the north.

From the sun-warmed lowland
Each night that betides,
To the huts of the snow-land
A horseman rides.

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To The Survivors

NOW they sing the hero loud; --
But they sing him in his shroud.

Torch he kindled for his land;
On his brow ye set its brand.

Taught by him to wield a glaive;
Through his heart the steel ye drave.

Trolls he smote in hard-fought fields;
Ye bore him down 'twixt traitor shields.

But the shining spoils he won,
These ye treasure as your own.--

Dim them not, that so the dead
Rest appeased his thorn-crowned head.

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Thanks

HER griefs were the hours
When my struggle was sore,--
Her joys were the powers
That the climber upbore.

Her home is the boundless
Free ocean that seems
To rock, calm and soundless,
My galleon of dreams.

Half hers are the glancing
Creations that throng
With pageant and dancing
The ways of my song.

My fires when they dwindle
Are lit from her brand;
Men see them rekindle
Nor guess by whose hand.

[...] Read more

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With A Water-Lily

SEE, dear, what thy lover brings;
'Tis the flower with the white wings.
Buoyed upon the quiet stream
In the spring it lay adream.

Homelike to bestow this guest,
Lodge it, dear one, in thy breast;
There its leaves the secret keep
Of a wave both still and deep.

Child, beware the tarn-fed stream;
Danger, danger, there to dream!
Though the sprite pretends to sleep,
And above the lilies peep.

Child, thy bosom is the stream;
Danger, danger, there to dream!
Though above the lilies peep,
And the sprite pretends to sleep.

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Wildflowers And Hot-House Plants

'GOOD Heavens, man, what a freak of taste!
What blindness to form and feature!
The girl's no beauty, and might be placed
As a hoydenish kind of creature.'

No doubt it were more in the current tone
And the tide today we move in,
If I could but choose me to make my own
A type of our average woman.

Like winter blossoms they all unfold
Their primly maturing glory;
Like pot-grown plants in the tepid mould
Of a window conservatory.

They sleep by rule and by rule they wake,
Each tendril is taught its duties;
Were I worldly-wise, yes, my choice I'd make
From our stock of average beauties.

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In the Picture Gallery

With palette laden
She sat, as I passed her,
A dainty maiden
Before an Old Master.

What mountain-top is
She bent upon? Ah,
She neatly copies
Murillo's Madonna.

But rapt and brimming
The eyes' full chalice says
The heart builds dreaming
Its fairy-palaces.

* * *

The eighteenth year rolled
By, ere returning,
I greeted the dear old

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The Miner

Beetling rock, with roar and smoke
Break before my hammer-stroke!
Deeper I must thrust and lower
Till I hear the ring of ore.

From the mountain's unplumbed night,
Deep amid the gold-veins bright,
Diamonds lure me, rubies beckon,
Treasure-hoard that none may reckon.

There is peace within the deep--
Peace and immemorial sleep;
Heavy hammer, burst as bidden,
To the heart-nook of the hidden!

Once I, too, a careless lad,
Under starry heavens was glad,
Trod the primrose paths of summer,
Child-like knew not care nor cummer.

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Mountain Life

IN summer dusk the valley lies
With far-flung shadow veil;
A cloud-sea laps the precipice
Before the evening gale:
The welter of the cloud-waves grey
Cuts off from keenest sight
The glacier, looking out by day
O'er all the district, far away,
And crowned with golden light.

But o'er the smouldering cloud-wrack's flow,
Where gold and amber kiss,
Stands up the archipelago,
A home of shining peace.
The mountain eagle seems to sail
A ship far seen at even;
And over all a serried pale
Of peaks, like giants ranked in mail,
Fronts westward threatening heaven.

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A Brother In Need

NOW, rallying once if ne'er again,
With flag at half-mast flown,
A people in dire need and strain
Mans Tyra's bastion.

Betrayed in danger's hour, betrayed
Before the stress of strife!
Was this the meaning that it had--
That clasp of hands at Axelstad
Which gave the North new life?

The words that seemed as if they rushed
From deepest heart-springs out
Were phrases, then! -- the freshet gushed,
And now is fall'n the drought.
The tree, that promised rich in bloom
Mid festal sun and shower,
Stands wind-stript in the louring gloom,
A cross to mark young Norway's tomb,
The first dark testing-hour.

[...] Read more

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