Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Scotland
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Scotland: Vols. VI–VIII.  1876–79.
Denmark: Huen, the Island
Tycho Brahe, or the Ruins of Uranienborg
Peter Andreas Heiberg (1758–1841)
Anonymous translation

THOU by the strand dost wander,—
  Yet here, O stranger, stay!
Turn towards the island yonder,
  And listen to my lay:
Thy every meditation        5
  Bid thither, thither haste;
A castle had its station
  On yon banks ages past.
In long-past days in glory
  It stood, and grandeur sheen;        10
Now—’t was so transitory—
  Its ruins scarce are seen.
But it in ancient tide was
  For height and size renowned,
It seen from every side was        15
  Uprising from the ground.
For no sea-king intended,
  I ween, was yonder hold;
Urania! it ascended
  In praise of thee so bold.        20
Close by the ocean roaring,
  Far, far from mortal jars,
It stood towards heaven soaring,
  And towards the little stars.
A gate in the wall eastward        25
  Showed like a mighty mouth;
There was another westward,
  And spires stood north and south.
The castle dome, high rearing
  Itself, a spirelet bore,        30
Where stood, ’fore the wind veering,
  A Pegasus, gilt o’er.
Towers, which the sight astounded,
  In north and south were placed,
Upon strong pillars founded,        35
  And both with galleries graced.
And there they caught attention
  Of all, who thither strolled,
Quadrants of large dimension,
  And spheres in flames that rolled.        40
One, from the castle staring,
  Across the island spied
The woods, green foliage bearing,
  And ocean’s bluey tide.
The halls the sight enchanted,        45
  With colors bright of blee;
The gardens they were planted
  With many a flower and tree.
When down came night careering,
  And vanished was the sun,        50
The stars were seen appearing
  All heaven’s arch upon.
Far, far was heard the yelling
  (When one thereto gave heed)
Of those who watched the dwelling,        55
  Four hounds of mastiff breed.
The good knight ceased to walk on
  The fields of war and gore;
His helm and sword the balk on
  He hung, to use no more.        60
From earth, its woe and riot,
  His mind had taken flight,
When in his chamber quiet
  He sat at depth of night.
Then he his eye erected        65
  Into the night so far,
And keen the course inspected
  Of every twinkling star;
The stars his fame transported
  Wide over sea and land;        70
And kings his friendship courted,
  And sought his islet’s strand.
But the stars pointed serious
  To other countries’ track;
His fate called him imperious;        75
  He went, and came not back.
The haughty walls, through sorrow,
  Have long since sunken low;
The heavy ploughshares furrow
  Thy house, Urania! now.        80
Each time the sun is sinking,
  It friendly looks on Hveen;
Its rays there linger, thinking
  On what that place has been.
The moon hastes, melancholy,        85
  Past, past her coast so dear;
And in love’s pleasure holy
  Shines Freya’s starlet clear:
Then suddenly takes to heaving
  Of that same ruin old        90
The basis deep, believing,
  Some evening,—’t is oft told,—
For many moments, gladly,
  ’T would rise up from the mould;—
It may not; so it sadly        95
  Sinks in Death’s slumber cold.

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