Fridthjof's Saga, by Esaias Tegnér

VII.

Fridthjof’s Happiness.

King Bele’s sons may go requesting

From dale to dale the peasants’ aid,

In Balder’s grove my world is resting,

For them I will not draw my blade.

Then on king’s vengeance or earth’s sadness,

I will no longer look or think,

But only will the high gods’ gladness,

From out one cup with Ing’borg drink.

While yet the hazy sunshine sendeth

Its purple rays on flowers at rest,

Like rosy gossamer which lendeth

An added charm to Ing’borg’s breast,

With sighs along the strand I wander,

My soul with longing all aflame,

Upon the sand I gaze and ponder

And with my sword write Ing’borg’s name.

How slowly go the lonesome hours!

Thou Delling’s son, why stayest thou?

Hast thou not seen our mountain bowers,

Our lakes and islands until now?

Dwells there in western halls no maiden

Who waits since morn first kissed the sea,

Upon thy breast her joys to unladen,

Whose whole of life is love and thee?

At last thy footsteps grow uncertain,

Thy weary journey thou must close,

Now evening draws the rosy curtain,

Behind whose folds the gods repose.

The brooks and breezes to each other

In softest whispers love express;

O! welcome Night, of gods the mother,

With pearls upon thy wedding dress.

The stars are gliding like a lover

On tiptoe to a maiden true;

Ellide! fly the deep gulf over,

Roll on, roll on, ye billows blue.

Yon sacred grove a temple hideth,

Good Balder’s temple, doubly dear,

For there love’s goddess safe abideth,

Unto the gods our course we steer.

Thy shores I tread with joyous measure,

I kiss thy brown cheek, smiling earth,

And all ye little flowers, with treasure

Of white and red, that edge my path.

I hail thee, moon, with pale light streaming

On temple-grove and flowers at rest,

How beautiful thou sittest dreaming

Like Saga at a wedding feast.

To speak with flowers, O, brook, who taught thee

The feeling in my heart a guest?

Ye northern nightingales, where caught ye

The wailing stolen from my breast?

With evening’s red the fairies playing,

In clouds my Ing’borg’s form disclose,

But Freyja, jealousy displaying.

Away the image quickly blows.

Though changing clouds lose her resemblance,

Like radiant hope herself appears,

As true as childhood’s sweet remembrance,

She comes, my love’s reward she bears.

Come, loved one, come, and let me press thee

Unto the heart that holds thee dear,

My soul’s desire, through life, I’ll bless thee,

Come to my arms, and rest thee here.

Frail as the lily’s stem so slender,

Yet like spring roses fresh and fair,

As Freyja’s troth-plight, warm and tender,

Thou as the will of gods art pure.

Kiss me, and let my burning passion

Kindle thy soul to perfect bliss,

Of earth and heaven I lose the vision,

Enraptured by thy melting kiss.

Fear not, for here can come no stranger,

Without stands Bjorn. his sword in hand,

His champions guarding ns from danger,

If need be, can the world withstand;

And I, if fighting for my treasure,

Whose form I on my bosom bear,

To Valhal now would go with pleasure,

Could’st then be my valkyrie there.

And why fear Balder’s fierce resentment,

The pious god to whom we pray?

He looks on us with calm contentment,

For, loving, we his law obey.

The god whose brow with sunshine beameth,

With whom all truth abideth sure,

His love unto his Nanna seemeth

Like mine to thee, so warm, so pure.

There stands his image, not indignant,

But mild and soft as sunset ray,

Upon this shrine of god benignant,

My heart a sacrifice I lay.

Together let us kneel before him,

No better offering can be found

Than two fond hearts which both adore him,

With love like his together bound.

Scorn not my love, my blossom cherished,

Which more to heaven than earth belongs,

In heaven itself that love was nourished,

And for that glorious home it longs.

Oh! that my weary soul releasing,

The gods would take me up above;

Triumphantly, with joy unceasing,

I’d go, embraced by my dear love.

When bugle-notes the champions rally,

From out the silver gates they ride;

But I alone join not the sally,

I linger gladly by thy side.

When Valhal’s maidens pass me, smiling,

The mead-horn with its rim of gold;

Thee, only thee, my love beguiling,

My tender, loving arms enfold.

A leafy cottage near the meadow

I’d build us by the dark-blue sea,

And there we’d rest us ‘neath the shadow

Of many a golden-fruited tree;

And when bright Valhal’s sun each morning,

With his clear torch in splendor rose, —

We’d hasten to the gods returning,

Yet longing for our home’s repose.

Thy golden locks, with sunshine flushing,

Wreathed with a starry crown should be;

So my pale lily, rosy blushing,

In Vingolf-hall should dance with me.

Then, by my love from danger guarded,

I’d with thee to our home repair, —

Where singeth Brage, silver-bearded,

Our wedding song each evening fair.

How sweet the evening song-bird’s vesper!

It cometh forth from Valhal’s shore;

How soft the moon-beams’ gentle whisper,

From where the dead live evermore!

They tell of light and love unbroken,

In homes devoid of care and pain;

Where joyous words alone are spoken,

There thou my love shalt ever reign.

Oh, weep not, love, those tears regretful,

While through my heart the life-blood streams;

But sweetly sleep, — of grief forgetful

May love and Fridthjof fill thy dreams.

Oh! when thine arms thou foldest round me,

When thy dear eyes but look on me,

How quickly breaks the spell that bound me,

How turn my thoughts from heaven to thee!

“List to the lark’s melodious numbers.”

Nay, ’tis a dove his love-song sings,

The lark on yonder hillock slumbers,

Beside his mate with folded wings.

How happy they, always together,

As free their life as wings that bear

Through cheerless storm or sunny weather,

Above the clouds, that happy pair.

“See, daybreak comes.” Nay, but ascended

From some far beacon is the light;

Our happy talk is not yet ended,

Nor yet so soon the lovely night.

Bright morning stat sleep till tomorrow,

And when night cometh, slumber still,

Your waking brings to Fridthjof sorrow, —

So sleep till doomsday, if you will.

Vain hope! No longer earth reposes,

The morning breeze new pleasure seeks;

Already bud the eastern roses,

As fresh as those on Ing’borg’s checks.

I hear the winged songsters twitter,

A thoughtless throng in the opening sky;

All life’s astir, the wavelets glitter,

And lover must with shadows fly.

Ah! there he comes, in glory beaming;

Forgive, O golden sun, my prayer.

How beautiful, in splendor gleaming!

I feel — I know a god is near.

Oh! who could, in thy path advancing,

With equal grace and power tread,

All hearts with light and joy entrancing,

A life like thine victorious lead!

Here, ‘neath thy watchful eye I leave her —

My peerless beauty of the North!

Let not the rough world’s troubles grieve her,

Thy likeness on the green-clad earth.

Her soul is pure as rays of morning,

Her eyes as blue as thine own sky,

The same rich tints thy crown adorning

Among her golden tresses lie.

Farewell, my love, be not forgetful,

Some longer night again we’ll meet;

I, lingering, kiss thy brow, regretful,

One kiss I give thy lips so sweet.

Sleep now, beloved; in thy slumber,

May dreams of me thy bosom swell,

At mid-day wake, and with me number

Each absent hour: farewell, farewell.

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Last updated Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at 20:12