Sunday 12 December 2021

N.F.S. Grundtvig: 'Den signede Dag med Fryd vi ser'



The bright blessed day with joy we see

Rise out of the sea at dawning;

It lightens the sky unceasingly,

Our gain and delight adorning!

As children of light we sense that soon

Dark night will give way to morning!


Our Lord chose the blessed midnight hour

To come down without our knowing,

Then clear in the east in dawn’s pale bower

The sun’s hues in strength were growing:

Then light filled the sky, in which the earth

Shall shimmer with inner glowing!


Were each forest tree to come alive,

And each leaf a voice be granted,

The law of God’s mercy they’d contrive

In vain in words to have chanted;

Since Life’s Light now shines for ever more,

In old and young firmly planted!


Yea, though every blade of grass could speak,

In meadow or field or clearing,

A thanksgiving hymn they could not seek

To sing for our human hearing,

Befitting the day, for light and life,

While eons their course are steering.


In vain would the weak man try who chose

To conquer the mountain summit,

The eagle is wily, though, and knows

The wind will not let it plummet,

And even the small blithe lark can brave

The sky and yet overcome it.


The river so brash with thund’rous noise

From crag-face comes downwards crashing 

The streams down below have no such voice,

Though murmur with gentle plashing,

So gently they wind through grassy lea

Up under the lime trees splashing!


So thank we our God, our father good,

As larks in their dawn-time chorus,

For each day he gave, as so we should

For life he from death won for us,

For all that has nurtured human souls

For thousands of years before us!


As long as we see the golden day,

And woods are the Danes’ own bowers,

We’ll deck every pew with sprigs of may

And forefathers’ graves with flowers

A wonderful feast of life and joy,

A Whitsuntide gift that’s ours!


And then from our eyes will start to flow

Mild tears like a stream now thriving,

And streams join and to a river grow

That fain for Life’s Source is striving

It secretly gains, like some deep sigh,

So early yet late arriving!


And no day can have so long a growth

That evening cannot be sighted,

Its light and its setting sun are both

What God in his church has lighted;

But ever again it dawns anew

For hearts who in morn delighted!


Let day gently glide this Whitsuntide,

With haloing rays full-flashing!

The hours pleasing God as past they slide,

As meadowland stream soft-plashing,

So joyously now the last one winds,

Up under the lime trees splashing!


Like gold is the dawn just moments old,

When day from its death is rising,

Yet we too are kissed with lips of gold

By sunset so sweet-enticing,

Then every dull gaze will glint afresh,

Pale cheeks with new blush surprising!


We’ll journey then to our fatherland,

Where no day lies still thereafter,

Where stands a strong castle, proud and grand,

Whose halls all resound with laughter,

And there we will talk till time is done

In light with our friends hereafter!


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