Henrik Ibsen: Burnt Ships

TO skies that were brighter
Turned he his prows;
To gods that were lighter
Made he his vows.

The snow-land’s mountains
Sank in the deep;
Sunnier fountains
Lulled him to sleep.

He burns his vessels,
The smoke flung forth
On blue cloud-trestles
A bridge to the north.

From the sun-warmed lowland
Each night that betides,
To the huts of the snow-land
A horseman rides.


Originally written in 1871. Translation by Fydell Edmund Garrett.

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