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Poems and Songs

Part III
IVAR INGEMUNDSON'S LAY
(FROM SIGURD SLEMBE)
(See Note 15)
Wherefore have I longings,
When to live them strength is lacking?
And wherefore see I,
If I see but sorrow?
Flight of my eye to the great and distant
Dooms it to gales of darkening doubt;
But fleeing backward to the present,
It's prisoned in pain and pity.
For I see a land with no leader,
I see a leader with no land.
The land how heavy-laden
The leader how high his longing!
Might the men but know it,
That he is here among them!
But they see a man in fetters,
And leave him to lie there.
Round the ship a storm is raging,
At the rudder stands a fool. Who can save it?
He, who below the deck is longing,
Half-dead and in fetters.
(Looking upward)
Hear how they call Thee
And come with arms uplifted!
They have their savior at hand,
And Thou sayest it never?
Shall they, then, all thus perish,
Because the one seems absent?
Wilt Thou not let the fool die,
That life may endure in many?
What means that solemn saying:
_One_ shall suffer for many?
 
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