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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
My Life
By Johan Ludvig Runeberg (1804–1877)
 
Translation of Eiríkr Magnússon and Edward Henry Palmer

STRUGGLING o’er an open grave,
Sailing o’er an angry wave,
Toiling on with aimless aim,
Oh, my life, I name thy name!
 
Longing fills the sailor’s soul,        5
Seas before his eyesight roll,—
“Lo, behind yon purple haze
Higher sights shall meet my gaze.
 
“I shall near a better strand,
Light and freedom’s happy land.”—        10
Swelled the sail, expectance laughed,
Towards the boundless sped the craft.
 
Struggling o’er an open grave,
Sailing o’er an angry wave,
Toiling on with aimless aim,—        15
O my life, I name thy name!
 
Ah, the haven calm and clear,
Peace of heart in bygone year,
Hope’s gold coast, ah! hidden spot,
Never reached, and ne’er forgot!        20
 
Billows check the sailor’s course,
Overhead the tempest hoarse:
Still is yonder purple haze
Far as ever from his gaze!
 
 
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