Lector Thaasen

I read once of a flower that lonely grew,
Apart, with trembling stem and pale of hue;
The mountain-world of cold and strife
Gave little life
And less of color.

A botanist the flower chanced to see
And glad exclaimed: Oh, this must sheltered be,
Must seed produce, renewing birth,
In sun-warmed earth
Become a thousand.

But as he dug and drew it from the ground,
Strange glitterings upon his hands he found;
For to its roots clung dust of golden hue;
The flower grew
On golden treasure!

And from the region wide came all the youth
To see the wonder; they divined the truth:
Here lay their country's future might;
A ray of light
From God that flower!-

This I recall now even while I mourn;
The Lord of life has lifted him and borne
From mountain-cold and wintry air
To fruitage fair
In warmth eternal.

For where the roots were of that life replete,
What gleams and glitters! See, they ran to meet
The shafts of wisdom's goodly mines,
The gold that shines
In veins of God's thought.

Now he is lifted up, to light are brought
The riches he to guard so faithful sought.
The treasures of our past are there,
And glintings rare
Of future riches.

Come, Norway's youth! Unearth to use the hoard
That round this heaven-borne flower's roots was stored!
To you his message! Hear and heed!
Achieve in deed
His dream and longing!

by Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson

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