Tuesday, 3 November 2009
A poem by the Danish 19th century writer Grundtvig
Is light but for the learnèd few
to try and spell unstriven?
No, heav’n would bless all others too
and light’s a gift from heaven,
the sun will with the farmer go
the learnèd few eschewing,
it best lights up from top to toe
the one who’s up and doing.
Is light the planets’ sole domain
no sight and speech possessing?
Is not the word our mouth can frame
a light where souls find blessing!
Thereby all spirits we behold,
as sun’s rays bodies brighten,
it strikes like lightning in the soul
and does from clouds enlighten.
Does light on certain terms alone
deserve our praise so poorly?
Is light not everywhere a boon!
For it is life’s eye surely!
Shall we because of errant ways
in spirit’s vault of heaven
on pitch-black darkness rather gaze
than on sun’s blazing beacon!
No, from the North was never heard
that light we would be dimming!
like northern lights in free-born word
’twas seen in heaven gleaming,
and shall at northern pole be seen
not only here ’mongst mortals;
midsummer’s valiant sun’s bright sheen
defies black midnight’s portals!
Enlightenment shall be our joy,
though reeds alone be brightened,
but first and last with common voice
may all life be enlightened;
it has its source in common deed
and grows as it is tended,
may it our common council feed
till evening star is ended!
To see the original Danish poem, go to here.