To Aasmund Olafsen Vinje (Sung At His Wife's Grave)
Your house to guests has shelter lent,
While you with pen were seated.
In silent quest they came and went,
You saw them not, nor greeted.
But when now they
Were gone away,
Your babe without a mother lay,
And you had lost your helpmate.
The home you built but yesterday
In death to-day is sinking,
And you stand sick and worn and gray
On ruins of your thinking.
Your way lay bare
Since child you were,
The shelter that you first could share
Was this that now is shattered.
But know, the guests that to you came
In sorrow's waste will meet you;
Though shy you shrink, they still will claim
The right with love to treat you.
For where you go
To you they show
The world in radiant light aglow
Of great and wondrous visions.
What once you saw, now passing o'er,
Will but be made the clearer;
It is the far eternal shore,
That on your way draws nearer.
Will see in light
All that the clouds have wrapped in night;-
Great doubts will find an answer.
And later when you leave again
The waste of woe thought-pregnant,
Whom you have met shall teach us then.
Your pen in power regnant.
From sorrow's weal
With purer zeal,
Inspiring light, and pain's appeal
Shall shine your wondrous visions.