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Nicolaj Frederik Severin Grundtvig

A simple, cheerful active life on earth

A simple, cheerful, active life on earth,
A cup I’d not exchange for monarch’s chalice,
In noble forebears’ tracks a path since birth,
With equal dignity in hut and palace,
With eye as when created heav’nward turned,
All beauty here and grandness keenly knowing,
Familiar though with those things deeply yearned,
Stilled only by eternity’s bright glowing.

I wished for all my line just such a life,
And zealously I planned for its fruition,
And when my soul grew tired from toil and strife,
The ‘Lord’s Prayer’ was its rest and its nutrition.
Then from truth’s spirit I great comfort gained,
And felt joy hover o’er each garden border,
When dust is placed in its creator’s hand
And all is waited for in nature’s order:

Just fresh, green buds that sprout in early spring,
And in the summer heat the flowers’ profusion;

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The bright blessed day with joy we see

The bright blessed day with joy we see
Rise out of the sea at dawning;
It lightens the sky unceasingly,
Our gain and delight adorning!
As children of light we sense that soon
Dark night will give way to morning!

Our Lord chose the blessed midnight hour
To come down without our knowing,
Then clear in the east in dawn’s pale bower
The sun’s hues in strength were growing:
Then light filled the sky, in which the earth
Shall shimmer with inner glowing!

Were each forest tree to come alive,
And each leaf a voice be granted,
The law of God’s mercy they’d contrive
In vain in words to have chanted;
Since Life’s Light now shines for ever more,
In old and young firmly planted!

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The Land Of The Living

I know of a land
Where hair does not grey, and where time’s rule is banned,
Where sun does not burn, and where wave does not ring,
Where autumn embraces the blossoming spring,
Where morning and evening unceasingly dance
In noon’s brightest glance.

Oh, wonderful land,
Where glass does not run full of tear-drops as sand,
Where nothing is wanting that’s worth holding dear,
Where that does not lack which so pained us back here!
With breast filled with longing we seek ever more
Your sweet-smiling shore.

Oh, long-promised land!
We greet you in morning hour’s mirror-clear strand,
When perfect your shadow the child may espy
And dreams that in green woods is where you must lie,
Where too it can share with the rushes and flowers
Its smile and its hours.

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