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.
Introductory to Norway
Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen (1848–1895)
WINTER has its icy crown
  Pressed round Norway’s temples hoary;
Midnight’s sun has poured down
  On her head its glory.
Time’s white waves their power broke        5
  ’Gainst her ancient rocks and bowlders;
Ocean has its misty cloak
  Thrown around her shoulders.
But when ice-enthroned pole
  Blows the mantling mist asunder,        10
Far the gloom-fraught pine-woods roll
  Sun-enriched thereunder.
And when easeful Summer sinks
  O’er the lucid fjords and valleys,
Bursts the wood-lake’s wintry links        15
  And the lily’s chalice,—
O, what throbbing life aglow!
  O, how fair the birch and willow,
And the gulls, that drift like snow
  O’er the rippling billow!        20
Giant-like the glacier looms,
  Seaward throws its branches mazy;
And on Winter’s bosom blooms
  Fearlessly the daisy.
And the wild bright peaks that shine        25
  Through the clouds that veil their bosom,
At whose foot, mid birch and pine,
  Fresh-lipped lilies blossom.
In the airy bath of morn
  Gleams the fjord-like snow-cool river,        30
While the cloud-shades, fancy-born,
  On its mirror quiver.
Here it was where Frithjof gay
  Wooed King Belé’s fair-haired daughter;
Here she sang the sweet, sad lay        35
  Which her love had taught her.
Hence those Vikings sprung whose sword
  Waked the South from idle dalliance;
Who in Vineland’s rivers moored
  Dauntlessly their galleons.        40
Now, alas! that age hath fled,
  Fled the spirit that upbore it.
Ah, but still doth midnight shed
  Flaming splendor o’er it.
And that fame which curbed the sea,        45
  Spanned the sky with runes of fire,
Now but rustles tremblingly
  Through the poet’s lyre.

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