So from conquest to conquest unbroken he went, and was safe o’er the high, foaming grave;
And he saw in the south many islands and rocks, till he came to the calm Grecian wave.
When he saw the green groves that stand out from the
waves, and the temple before him uprose,
What he thought Freyja knows, and the poet knows too, and the lover, he knows, ah! he knows!
“Here we ought to have dwelt, here’s the
island and grove, here the fane as my father set
It was here, it was here I invited my love, but the cruel one staid in the North.
“Surely peace has its home in those blissful
green dales,— in the colonnades, memory’s
Like the whisper of love are the murmuring founts, and a bride-song the voice of the birds.
“Where is Ingeborg now? Hath forgotten
me quite for the gray-haired and withered old king?
I can never forget, but my life I would give, if one sight of my love it would bring.
“Now three years have passed by since the land
I beheld where heroic achievement prevails;
Tower the honored mounts yet to the heavenly blue? is it green in my forefathers’ dales?
“On the grave where my father is laid I once
planted a tree; can it be it lives now?
And who cares for the weakling? Thou earth give it moisture, and dew, kindly heaven, give thou.
“But why linger I longer on far distant waves,
taking tribute and striking men down?
For my soul but despises the glittering gold, and I’ve gained quite enough of renown.
“There’s a flag on the mast and it points
to the North, in the North is the land I hold dear;
I will follow the course of the heavenly winds, and back to the Northland I’ll steer.”
Fridthjof and Bjorn.
Bjorn, I am weary of riding the sea,
Turbulent traps are the billowy fountains;
Northland’s firm earth and her long cherished mountains,
Wondrous attractions, are calling to me.
Happy is he by his land unrejected,
No one denies him his father’s green grave;
Too long, alas, have I wandered dejected,
Outlawed, afloat on this wilderness wave.
Good is the sea, your complaining you squander,
Freedom and joy on the sea flourish best;
He never knoweth effeminate rest,
Who on the billows delighteth to wander.
When I am old, to the green growing land
I too will cling, with the grass for my pillow;
Now I will drink and will fight with free hand,
Now I’ll enjoy my own sorrow-free billow.
Now hath the ice indeed chased us to land,
Close round our keel are the stiffened waves dozing;
Let me not waste the long winter reposing
Here among rocks on this desolate strand.
Let me once more keep the Yule banquet olden,
Guest of king Ring and the bride of my choice;
Let me once more see those waving locks golden,
Hear the sweet tones of that well-beloved voice.