Bjornstjerne Bjornson

Here you will find the Poem Oh, when will you stand forth? of poet Bjornstjerne Bjornson

Oh, when will you stand forth?

Oh, when will you stand forth, who with strength can bring aid,
To strike down the injustice and lies
That my house have beset, and with malice blockade
Every pathway I out for my powers have laid,
And would hidden means find
With deceit and with hate
To set watch on my mind
And defile every plate
In my beautiful home where defenseless we wait?

Oh, when will you stand forth? This detraction through years
For my people has made me an oaf,
Hides my poetry's fount in the fog of its fleers,
So it merely a pool of self-worship appears;
Like a clumsy troll I
Am contemned with affront,
Whom all 'cultured' folk fly,
Or yet gather to hunt,
That their hunger of hate at a feast they may blunt.

When I publish a book: 'It is half like himself;'
If I speak, 't is for vanity's sake.
What I build in the stage-world of fancy's free elf
Is but formed from my fatuous self.
When for faith I contend
And our land's ancient ways,
When the bridge I defend
From our fathers' great days,
'Tis because my poor breast no king's 'Order' displays.

Oh, when will you stand forth, who shall sunder in twain
All this slander so stifling and foul,
And shall sink in the sea all the terror insane
That they have of heart-passion and will-wielding brain,-
And with love shall enfold
A soul's faith wide and deep,
That in want and in cold
Would its morning-watch keep
Undismayed, till the light all the host shall ensweep?

Come, thou Spirit of Norway, God-given of yore
In the stout giant-conquering Thor!
While the lightning thou ridest, thy answer's loud roar
Drowns the din that the dwarfs in defiance outpour;
Thou canst waken with might
All our longings to soar,
Thou canst strengthen in right
What united we swore,
When at Hafur thy standard in honor we bore.

Hail, thou Spirit of Norway! To think but of thee
Makes so small all the small things I felt.
To thy coming I hallow me, wholly to thee,
And I humbly look up to thy face, unto thee,
And I pray for a song
With thy tongue's stirring sound,
That I true may and strong
In the crisis be found,
To rouse heroes for thee on our forefathers' ground.