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

Norway: Kleven


By Jörgen Ingebrektsem Moe (1813–1882)

  • Translated by Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen
  • Kleven is a celebrated cliff in Ringerike, and presents the finest view to be found in all Norway. The present poem was written at the great union of all Scandinavian students in the year 1851.

  • TREAD near the brink of the mountain here,

    And let my home’s fair, blooming valley

    With friendly greeting round us rally

    The sons of countries far and near.

    The lofty peaks with brows of snow,

    The darksome woods and plains below,

    The shining lakes,—all chime and sing

    The glory of our Norway’s spring.

    But through this open rocky gate

    Not Nature’s voice alone doth reach thee;

    The legends of the great past teach thee

    Its tales of deeds both bold and great,

    For yonder quivering birches keep

    Their vigils o’er the heroes’ sleep.

    Once walked St. Olaf on this height,

    And here he gained his kingly sight.

    And still on his ancestral farm

    The peasant dwells and proudly glances

    Out o’er the valley’s wide expanses.

    Still keen, large-sighted, strong of arm,

    Amid large memories grew his youth.

    Thou ’lt find him yet the same, forsooth.

    Go there thyself, this summer eve,

    And test him, judge him, and believe.

    Hark, brother, from the far-famed land

    With lakes broad-breasted, pine-clad highlands,

    Hark, brother, from the milder islands,

    E’en here on homelike soil ye stand.

    O North, thou art fore’er the same,

    By rocks embraced, in ocean’s frame.

    When ye have felt it, come, we ’ll hail

    The sturdy dweller of the vale.