May Seventeenth

written by Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson

May Seventeenth

— Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson

Wergeland's statue on May seventeenth
Saw the procession. And as its rear-guard,
Slow marching masses,
Strong men, and women with flower-decked presence;
Come now the peasants, come now the peasants.

Österdal's forest's magnificent chieftain
Bore the old banner. Soon as we see it
Blood-red uplifted,
Greet it the thousands in thought of its story:
That is our glory, that is our glory!

Never that lion bore crown that was foreign,
Never that cloth was by Dannebrog cloven.
I saw the
future
,
When with that banner by Wergeland's column
Peasants stood solemn, peasants stood solemn.

Most of our loss in the times that have vanished,
Most of our victories, most of our longing,
Most that is vital:
Deeds of the past and the future's bold daring
Peasants are bearing, peasants are bearing.

Sorely they suffered for sins once committed,
But they arise now. Here in the Storting
Stalwart they prove it,
All, as they come from our land's every region,
Peasants Norwegian, peasants Norwegian.

Hold what they won, with a will to go farther;
Whole we must have independence and honor!
All of us know it:
Wergeland's summer bears soon its best flower,-
Power in peasants, peasants in power.

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