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Of the strength, the tenderness, the lyric grace, the inward and heartfelt devotion-weeping, praying, sympathizing, deprecating the anger, and triumphing in the goodness and the greatness of the Almighty—which pervade the hymns and psalms of Grundtvig, our limits will not allow us to give any adequate conception. No nation has a nobler or more original collection of such sacred poetry than Denmark. From Kingo and Brorson downwards, almost all their chief poets, have contributed to it, and every Sunday their splendid compositions are sung in the churches : amongst them, none are more lively and beautiful than Grundtvig's. We present one of them, and regret that we cannot also add his beautifully touching “Mary Magdalene."
SONG OF PRAISE.
O mighty God! we Thee adore
Holy art Thou, our God !
Jehovah! Sabaoth !
Yes, Father, praise from all bursts forth,
O mighty God! we Thee adore
O holy, mighty God of grace !
In his more general poetry Grundtvig often betrays too much of the oratorical talent, and his words flow like a mountain stream, impetuous and almost without limit; but in his shorter pieces, like the following, he is peculiarly happy. In fact, his poetic genius is essentially lyrical
Our mother's voice was the cradle song
That soothed us beyond all other;
When the first-born lispeth “ Mother !"
Our young souls first found expression ;
To pour out his full heart's passion.
Round whom our homage gathers,
Whom we proudly call our fathers.
With words of power it liveth;
And its echo the green wood giveth.
Our mother-tongue, like a flowery wreath,
Both high and low it enfoldeth ;
And the true heart fast it holdeth.
Our hearts speak only our mother-tongue,
They know no foreign translation ;
Which from sleep can rouse a nation.
Our mother-tongue, by the sea-shore wild,
And in deep woods, summer laden,
But sweetest from the lips of a maiden.
It is only by collecting into one view the great and varied labours of Grundtvig—what he has written and what he has done; his masterly writings on the Ancient Scandinavian Mythology and hero-life; his equally masterly and extensive translations from the Latin, the Icelandic and the Anglo-Saxon ; his sermons and speeches of the most fervent eloquence; and the voluminous mass of his miscellaneous productions, poetic, historic, antiquarian and polemic, that we arrive at a true idea of the intellectual proportions of Grundtvig—one of the most colossal, original and independent minds of the North.
STEEN STEENSEN BLICHER.
STEEN BLICHER, if not one of the greatest writers of Denmark, is one of the most characteristic and original. A cotemporary author of his own country has declared him to be the “most Danish of the poets who have hitherto written in Danish.” He was a clergyman in Jutland, as his father was before him; and he has made his native province the scene of his poetry and his stories, giving and receiving from it that peculiar tone and aspect which make his writings stand out in sharp contrast to that of all other Danish writers, as those of Crabbe do from English ones. They have the same graphic cha
. racter; the same power of scene-painting in words; the same faculty of placing whatever it touches, not only before you, but living, and fresh as in nature. But Blicher has the advantage over Crabbe, that he possesses or at least brings into use, more imagination, and does not confine his topics so much to what is wretched, painful and humiliating. His country is a country of wild
. heaths, sandy and heathery, with its pine woods and its