Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Scotland
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Scotland: Vols. VI–VIII.  1876–79.
 
Norway: Hardanger
A Bridal Party on the Hardanger-Fjord
Andreas Munch (1811–1884)
 
Translated by Rasmus B. Anderson

THERE quivers a glittering summer air
Warm o’er Hardanger Fjord’s fountains,
Where high ’gainst the heavens, so blue and bare,
Are towering the mighty mountains;
The glacier shines bright,        5
The hillside is green,
The people are clad in their Sunday clothes clean;
For look! o’er the blue billows rowing,
The wedding-folks home are going.
 
A beautiful princess from times of old,        10
With crown and with scarlet and crimson,
Sits high on the boat-stern so fair to behold,
Than fjord and the daylight more winsome.
The hat of the bridegroom, how happy it flies!
For home he is bringing his loveliest prize;        15
He sees in her eyes reflected
The hopes of his life perfected.
 
Hardanger’s weird instruments now pour forth
Strange tunes o’er the billows resounding,
The mountains give back every gun’s report,        20
And echoes of joy are rebounding.
The maids of the bride of sport get their lot;
The man of the feast, he has not forgot
To serve unending potations
And honor the bride’s relations.        25
 
And thus they row onward with music gay,
Their way o’er the bright waters wending;
And boat after boat makes up the array,
The guests all in gladness contending.
The clefts all look blue, the mountain-tops shine,        30
Sweet fragrance comes down from the apple and pine;
The bells in the church-tower ringing
Rich blessings from God are bringing.
 
And just at this moment, so soon to depart,—
The drops on the oars are still gleaming,—        35
The artist has caught with his loving heart
This picture with beauty beaming.
He shows to the world the work of his hand,
That all may observe our glorious land,
And learn the wonderful stories        40
That add to our Norse fjords’ glories.
 
 
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