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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Scotland: Vols. VI–VIII. 1876–79.

Introductory to Denmark

King Christian

By Johannes Evald (1743–1781)

A National Song of Denmark

Translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

KING CHRISTIAN stood by the lofty mast

In mist and smoke;

His sword was hammering so fast,

Through Gothic helm and brain it passed;

Then sank each hostile hulk and mast,

In mist and smoke.

“Fly!” shouted they, “fly, he who can!

Who braves of Denmark’s Christian

The stroke?”

Nils Juel gave heed to the tempest’s roar,

Now is the hour!

He hoisted his blood-red flag once more,

And smote upon the foe full sore,

And shouted loud, through the tempest’s roar,

“Now is the hour!”

“Fly!” shouted they, “for shelter fly!

Of Denmark’s Juel who can defy

The power?”

North Sea! a glimpse of Wessel rent

Thy murky sky!

Then champions to thine arms were sent;

Terror and death glared where he went:

From the waves was heard a wail that rent

Thy murky sky!

From Denmark thunders Tordenskiol’,

Let each to Heaven commend his soul,

And fly!

Path of the Dane to fame and might!

Dark-rolling wave!

Receive thy friend, who, scorning flight,

Goes to meet danger with despite,

Proudly as thou the tempest’s might,

Dark-rolling wave!

And amid pleasures and alarms,

And war and victory, be thine arms

My grave!