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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 94 pages of information about A Happy Boy.
entered the house, the father sat down by the window, and gazed out after Ole, with much earnestness in his face; Oyvind’s eyes hung on the slightest change of countenance; for on his father’s first words almost depended the future of the two young people.  If Thore united his refusal with Ole’s, it could scarcely be overcome.  Oyvind’s thoughts flew, terrified, from obstacle to obstacle; for a time he saw only poverty, opposition, misunderstanding, and a sense of wounded honor, and every prop he tried to grasp seemed to glide away from him.  It increased his uneasiness that his mother was standing with her hand on the latch of the kitchen-door, uncertain whether she had the courage to remain inside and await the issue, and that she at last lost heart entirely and stole out.  Oyvind gazed fixedly at his father, who never took his eyes from the window; the son did not dare speak, for the other must have time to think the matter over fully.  But at the same moment his soul had fully run its course of anxiety, and regained its poise once more.  “No one but God can part us in the end,” he thought to himself, as he looked at his father’s wrinkled brow.  Soon after this something occurred.  Thore drew a long sigh, rose, glanced round the room, and met his son’s gaze.  He paused, and looked long at him.

“It was my will that you should give her up, for one should hesitate about succeeding through entreaties or threats.  But if you are determined not to give her up, you may let me know when the opportunity comes, and perhaps I can help you.”

He started off to his work, and the son followed.

But that evening Oyvind had his plan formed:  he would endeavor to become agriculturist for the district, and ask the inspector and the school-master to aid him.  “If she only remains firm, with God’s help, I shall win her through my work.”

He waited in vain for Marit that evening, but as he walked about he sang his favorite song:—­

     “Hold thy head up, thou eager boy! 
      Time a hope or two may destroy,
      Soon in thy eye though is beaming,
      Light that above thee is beaming!

     “Hold thy head up, and gaze about! 
      Something thou’lt find that “Come!” does shout;
      Thousands of tongues it has bringing
      Tidings of peace with their singing.

     “Hold thy head up; within thee, too,
      Rises a mighty vault of blue,
      Wherein are harp tones sounding,
      Swinging, exulting, rebounding.

     “Hold thy head up, and loudly sing! 
      Keep not back what would sprout in spring;
      Powers fermenting, glowing,
      Must find a time for growing.

     “Hold thy head up; baptism take,
      From the hope that on high does break,
      Arches of light o’er us throwing,
      And in each life-spark glowing."[1]

[Footnote 1:  Auber Forestier’s translation.]

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