Posted by: W. E. Poplaski | November 2, 2009

POEM OF THE DAY: In a Heavy Hour

by  Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson (1832 – 1910).

In a Heavy Hour

Be glad when danger presses
Each power your soul possesses!
    In greater strain
    Your strength shall gain,
Till greater vict’ry blesses!
Supports may break in pieces,
Your friends may have caprices,
    But you shall see,
    The end will be,
Your need of crutches ceases.
    –‘T is clear,
    Whom God makes lonely,
To him He comes more near.

(transl. by Arthur Hubbell Palmer)

“Note 13.
IN A HEAVY HOUR.  Written in Italy rather late in 1861, after Björnson received tidings of the sharp criticism of his drama King Sverre and of its lack of success on the stage in Christiania, where it was first performed on October 9.  In a letter from Hans Christian Andersen Björnson wrote on December 10, 1861: ‘At a time when I was in a mood to write the following verses, which perhaps tell so much that I need not tell more [the poem is quoted],–at a time when I, the man, nay, the product of friendship, was in a mood to write this, it came just like a Christmas hymn among strangers, to hear that you had dedicated to me your last four Tales.  You …, you had a heart to remember me, when many friends from tested times did not.’ ” –from Poems and Songs by Bjornstjerne Bjornson (1915)


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