Synnove's Song


Synnove's Song is from SYNNOVE SOLBAKKEN, translated from Norwegian in the original meters by Arthur Hubbell Palmer, in Poems and Songs by Bjornstjerne Bjornson.
Have thanks for all from our childhood's day,
  Our play together in woodland roaming.
I thought that play would go on for aye,
  Though life should pass to its gloaming.
I thought that play would go on for aye,
  From bowers leading of leafy birches
To where the Solbakke houses lay,
  And where the red-painted church is.
I sat and waited through evenings long
  And scanned the ridge with the spruces yonder;
But darkening mountains made shadows throng,
  And you the way did not wander.
I sat and waited with scarce a doubt:
  He'll dare the way when the sun's descended.
The light shone fainter, was nearly out,
  The day in darkness had ended.
My weary eye is so wont to gaze,
  To turn its look it is slow in learning;
No other landmark it seeks, nor strays,
  Beneath the brow sorely burning.
They name a place where I help may find,
  And fain to Fagerli church would guide me;
But try not thither to move my mind;
  He sits there ever beside me.
—But good it is, that full well I know,
  Who placed the houses both here and yonder,
Then cut a way through the woods so low
  And let my eye on it wander.
But good it is that full well I know,
  Who built the church and to pray invited,
And made them meeting in pairs to go
  Before the altar united.

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