Thursday 9 December 2021

N.F.S. Grundtvig: 'Er lyset for de lærde blot'


Is light but for the learnèd few


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!


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