Terje Vigen, written probably during 1861,first published 1862. Terje rowed across to Denmark for his supplies. Fjære, where his grave still exists, is on the south cost of Norway, not far from Grimstad. Prisoners such as he were kept on hulks in Chatham. Lyngør is a harbour north of Grimstad where in 1812 British ships sank Norway's last frigate. Though ostensibly historically epic, the poem may well express Ibsen's own sense of having survived, with self respect, the personal difficulties which burdened his stay in Christiania.


Therie Wiighen


Henrik Ibsen



There lived a remarkably grizzled man

on the uttermost, barren isle;-

he never harmed, in the wide world's span,

a soul by deceit or by guile

his eyes, though, sometimes would blaze and fret,-

most when a storm was nigh,-

and then people sensed he was troubled yet

and then there were few that felt no threat

with Terje Vigen by.



Distant the day, and that only day

I saw him with fish by the quay;

his hair was white, but he sang as gay

and blithe as a boy may be.

The lasses he used as a light banter toward,

he joined in the town-lads' talk,

he waved his sou-wester, and leaped aboard;

then homeward he sailed with the jib set broad

in sunshine, the agèd hawk.



And now, all I've heard about Terje I'll try

to tell from the first to last,

and if it should sometimes strike you as dry

at least it is truly cast;

it came to me not as a firsthand piece

but from others, his intimates then,-

from those who stood by at his last release

and closed up his eyes in the sleep of peace

when he died at near three-score and ten.



He proved quite a scamp in his early days,

his family soon outgrew,

he learned about hardship's chastening ways

as youngest lad in the crew.

Later, jumped ship once in Amsterdam

but pined, in the end, for home,

and came on the 'Union', captain Pram;

but home there was no-one to care a damn,

he'd left it so young to roam.



Now he'd filled out, and he fairly shone

as a chap who would dress with pride.

But father and mother both were gone

and all of his kin beside.

He drooped for a while, but his miseries

where shed in a day or so.

With land underfoot he was never at ease;

no, better by far then to dwell on the seas,

on the mighty ebb and the flow.



The year that followed saw Terje wed,

the die seemed hastily cast.

Folk thought he repented the thing he'd sped

that suddenly bound him fast.

So under a roof of his own he stayed

one winter in wild carouse

though clear as daylight the windows displayed

their little curtains and blooms arrayed

in the tine red-painted house.



When thaw-winds ended the ice's drouth

then Terje's brig took to the main;

in autumn, when wild-geese were winging south

he met with their flying skein.

A heaviness fell on the sailor's breast;

he knew himself strong, in bloom,

he came from shores that sunlight blessed,

life lay astern with its fire and zest

and ahead lay a winter's gloom.



They anchored, and off his crewmen went

with leave for a wild carouse.

He watched them with envy and discontent

while he stood by his silent house.

He stooped to peer through the curtain of white,

indoors there were two bestowed,

his wife sat and span in the peaceful light,

but in the crib held a rosy, healthy mite,

a baby girl, and it crowed.



That instant, and Terje's mind, men say,

turned sober upon the spot.

He toiled and he slaved, but at end of day

would be rocking his baby's cot.

On Sunday evenings, when the dance-tunes blare

wild from the nearest-by farm,

he would sing his happiest ditties there

where little Anna tugged his brown hair

and lay in his folding arm.



Life ambled along till the year of war

in eighteen-hundred and nine.

The tale's still told of what people bore,

where want and distress combine.

Cruisers from England blockaded each port,

by land there was dearth far and wide,

the poor people starved, and the wealthy went short,

two powerful arms were no longer support

with death and disease outside.



Then Terje drooped for a day or two

but his miseries quickly go;

he thought of a comrade, ancient and true,

the sea's great ebb and it's flow.

Out west men are still by his deeds beguiled,

his daring the legends still quote:

"When winds stopped blustering quite so wild

Terje Vigen roved for his wife and child,

crossed the sea in an open boat!



The smallest dory there was to hand

he chose for his Skagen trip.

Sail and mast he left home on land,

such gear he thought best not ship.

He reckoned, did Terje, the boat would steer

though seas ram a bit a-beam;

the Jutland reef was the devil to clear,

but worse, he'd the English blockade to fear,

its look-out's eagle-eyed gleam.



Then trusting to fortune's grace profound

he smartly took on the oars.

At Fladstrand, reaching there safe and sound,

he gathered his precious stores.

God knows his cargo was nothing grand:

three casks of barley, that's all;

but Terje came from a wretched land,

and here was the staff of life to hand;

and his wife and baby call.




He slaved on the thwart for three nights and


that brave and powerful man;

the fourth, at dawn, by sun's first rays,

a blurred, misty line to scan.

It wasn't the skeltering clouds he spied,

it was mountain and summit and brae:

but high above the ridges' pride,

Imenes-Saddle, blue and wide.

He knew then just where he lay.



Near home at last; a wretched time

he'd weathered with strength unflawed!

In hope and in trust his spirits climb,

he was ready to thank his Lord.

That instant the phrases froze on his lip;

he stared but his sighting was true,

he could see, as the mist had relaxed its grip,

in Hesnes-sound lay an English ship

with canvas a-back and hove-to.



The boat was sighted; a challenged was heard,

and the handiest route was barred;

the dawn-breeze flickered and barely stirred

so Terje went westwards, hard.

They lowered the jolly-boat over the side

he heard how the sailor men sang,--

he pressed on the ribs with his feet braced wide,

he rowed till the waters seethed to the stride,

and blood from his fingernails sprang.



Gjæsling's the shoal with hidden top

just east of the Hombor sound.

An onshore wind makes an ugly chop,

and but two feet under, there's ground.

Its spraying foaming white, its spray flashing gold

the deadest of calms won't soothe;

but heavy swells, run they never so bold,

shatter and break and lose their hold;

inshore it is most times smooth.




Inshore Terje Vigen's dory sped

like an arrow, through surf and spray;

but there on his track, by wake-waters led,

the jollyboat held its way.

'Twas then that he cried through the thunderous roar

to God in the depths of his dread;

'there on the most innermost beach a-shore

watches my wife at our pitiful door

and waits with our baby for bread!



The crew's yell, of course, drowned the prayer

one voice cried;

it was Lyngør, happening once more.

Fortune preferred the Englishman's side

who preyed upon Norway's shore.

Then Terje rammed on the shelving top,

the jollyboat grounded as well;

the English officer shouted 'stop'!

He hoisted an oarbutt and let it drop

and stove in the dory's shell.



Rib was parted from shattered plank,

torrents of water gushed through;

in two feet depth all that treasure sank,

but Terje's defiance grew.

He hurled him self at the armed men

and cleared the far side with one bound,

he dived and he swam and he dived yet again;

the jollyboat cleared; though he struggled like ten,

the sabres and muskets sound.



They lifted him out, and over the side,

the victory salvo rolled;

there on the poop-deck, stiff with pride,

the captain, an eighteen-year-old.

His first sea-encounter was Terje's boat,

his arrogance knew no check:

but Terje knew any help was remote,

that strong man collapsed, with sobbing throat

to plead on his knees on deck.



He offered his sorrow, they sold him their Glee,

they bartered with scorn for prayer.

It blew from the east, so with speed to sea

stood England's conquering heir.

Then Terje fell silent; all hope was past,

he locked up his grief in his soul.

Yet non of his captors but marked how fast,

like warning of storm before the blast,

the clouds on his brow would roll.



He languished in prison for many a day,

for all five years, say some;

his shoulders rounded, his hair it turned grey

from dreaming about his home.

Something he brooded but hid like some hoard,

his only resource, from men's view.

Then eighteen-fourteen came and with it accord;

a Swedish frigate brought home onboard

Norways's prisoners, and Terje too.



Back at the jetty he came ashore,

a pilot by King's decree;

but few recalled in the greybeard they saw

the youngster who braved the sea.

His house was a stranger's; and how they fared

those two,- that was easily found:

'The husband forsook them, and nobody cared,

they came to the plot that the paupers shared

in the parish burial-ground.--



Years went by, and he kept to his trade

as a pilot out there on the isle;

and never in world's wide span he made

foes by deceit or by guile.

His eyes, though, sometimes would blaze and fret,

when the reef to the breakers rang high,

and then people sensed he was troubled yet,

and then there were few that felt no threat

with Terje Vigen by.



One moonlit night, with onshore wind,

there was stir where the pilots sit;

an English yacht being carried in

with mainsail torn and jib split.

The foretop dispatched with a flag of red

its wordless appeal abroad.

Close-reached to the weather, a cutter sped,

it tacked and it tacked, but it still drew ahead

till the pilot stood firm on board.



He seemed so assured, the grey-beard, so grand,

like a hero he seized on the wheel;

the yacht responded, stood out from the land,

the pilot-boat towing at heel.

The lord, with his lady and babe she bore,

uncovered his head and came aft:

'Preserve us alive from the breakers' roar

I'll make you as wealthy as wretched before.

The pilot let og of the craft.



His cheeks, they went white, and his mouth

shaped a sound

like a smile that at last can break free.

They yacht was broached and ran squarely aground,

his lordship's queen of the sea.

'Abandon the ship! To the boats I say!

My lord and my lady, stay near!

We'll shiver to pieces - it's plain as day;

but there just inshore runs a sheltered way;

my wakeline will show where we steer!



Phosphorus blazed as they sped along

towards shore with the precious load.

Aft stood the pilot, tall and strong,

his eyes, they were keen, and glowed.

To leeward he glanced at Gjæslingen's top,

and to windward at Hesnes' swell;

he let go helm and the foresail strop,

he hoisted an oarbutt and let it drop

and stove in the cutter's shell.



Sea rushed in and a foam-white spray -

confusion swept over the wreck-;

but pale, the mother in stark dismay

had snatched up her child from deck.

'Anna, my child!' She cried out in dread;

the greyhaired man started and stared;

he caught up the mainsheet, he turned the boat's head,

it steadied, and trim as a bird it sped,

through surf and through spray it fared.



They grounded and sank; but calmness itself

inshore of the arc of rough seas;

under the surface a shoal of shelf,

the water but reached their knees.

The lord cried out: 'But look! look! - this reef -

it's shifting - it cannot be rock!

The pilot smiled: 'here is no cause for grief;

a sunken dory supplies our relief,

three barleygrain casks our dock!




A deed half-lost in the memory

like a lightning the lord's face swept-,

he knew, now, the sailor that on his knees

had crouched on his deck and wept.

Then cried Terje Vigen 'You held my all

in your hand, it was spent on renown.

One moment longer and vengeance will fall - .

'Twas then that the pilot, the Norseman, stood tall

while the proud English lord knelt down.



But Terje stayed poised with the oarshaft's Length,

as straight as he'd stood years before;

his eyes, they blazed with a frenzy's strength,

the wind at his grey hair tore.

'You sailed at your ease in your mighty corvette,

I rowed in my humble boat;

I toiled for my own in my forehead's sweat,

you robbed them of bread, and could mock me yet

and over my salt griefs gloat.



Your wealthy lady is bright as a Spring

and her hand is as soft as silk fine;

but my wife's hand was a calloused thing,

yet for all that she counted as mine.

Your child is golden, her eyes as blue

as a little guest of our Lord;

my daughter was nothing worth pointing to,

was thin, God help us, and sallow of hue-

what else can the poor afford?




See, those where my riches upon this earth,

it was all that I could reckon my own.

To you it appeared a trifle's worth

but it counted to me a throne.-

It's time for my vengeance to strike, beware,-

for your turn to suffer comes round<br>

to match all the pain of long years' despair

that bowed down my shoulders and whitened my hair

and buried my joy in the ground!



Seizing the child from it's mother's care

while his left grasped her waist in a vice-

'Stand back there, my lord! On step if you dare,-

and your wife and child is the price!

It seemed that the Englishman meant to raise

new war, but his arm lacked might;-

his breath was burning, unsure was his gaze,

and his hair,-it showed in the dawn's first rays-

turned grey in that one single night.




But Terje's forehead showed peaceful and fair,

his breast moved relaxed and free.

He set the child on its feet with care

and kissed its hands solemnly.

he breathed as though freed from a prison den,

his voice calm and level to say:

'And now Terje Vigen's himself again.

Like a rocky stream flowed my blood till then;

for I had to-I had to repay!



The years I spent in the prison's roar,

they bred my hert's sickliness.

And after, I lay like a heathland straw,

I peered in a foul abyss.

But now it is over; we two are quit;

your debtor's not sly or low.

I gave all I had-and you squandered it,

and ask, if you think you've been dealt unfit,

ask God, who fashioned me so.'-



When daylight had broken, then all was well;

long lay the yacht in the port.

The night's events they chose not to tell,

But Terje's great fame still caught.

Vanished the dreamer's clouded grey,

clear by one storm-night swept;

and Terje held straighter than most that day

the shoulders that bowed when, in deep dismay

he knelt on that deck and wept.




One day milord and lady came by

and many, many folk more;

they shook him by hand, bad 'farewell' and 'goodbye'

as they stood by his humble door.

They thanked him for rescue from storm's shrill blare,

for rescue from reef and from sea;

but Terje patted the child's long hair:

'No, rescue came in the nick out there

from this little mite by me!




The yacht the headed for Hesnes-sound,

with Norway's own flag for wear.

And further west, near a foam-washed ground,

it fired a broadside there.

Then teardrops glistened in Terje's eyes;

he watched from the rising shores;

'Great are my losses, but great my prize.

Perhaps it was all for the best, in some wise,-

so thanks, God, are rightly yours!



And such was the man on that only day

I saw him with fish by the quay.

His hair was white, but he sang as gay

and blithe as a boy might be.

The lasses he used a light banter towards,

he joined in the town-lads' talk;

he waived his sou-wester and leaped aboard,

the homeward he sailed with the jib broad

in sunshine, the agèd hawk.



In Fjære churchyard I saw a plot,

that lay in a weathered sward;

it looked all neglected, a mean sunken spot,

but kept still its blackened board.

It read 'Thærie Wiighen' in white, the date

his final repose had been.

He lay to the sun and the winds' keen weight,

and that's why the grass was so stubborn-straight,

but with wild field-flowers between.


Der bode en underlig gråsprængt en

på den yderste nøgne ø; -

han gjorde visst intet menneske mén

hverken på land eller sjø;

dog stundom gnistred hans øjne stygt, -

helst mod uroligt vejr, -

og da mente folk, at han var forrykt,

og da var der få, som uden frykt

kom Terje Vigen nær.



Siden jeg så ham en enkelt gang,

han lå ved bryggen med fisk;

hans hår var hvidt, men han lo og sang

og var som en ungdom frisk.

Til pigerne havde han skæmtsomme ord,

han spøgte med byens børn,

han svinged sydvesten og sprang ombord;

så hejste han fokken, og hjem han foer

i solskin, den gamle ørn.



Nu skal jeg fortælle, hvad jeg har hørt

om Terje fra først til sidst,

og skulde det stundom falde lidt tørt,

så er det dog sandt og visst;

jeg har det just ej fra hans egen mund,

men vel fra hans nærmeste kreds, -

fra dem, som stod hos i hans sidste stund

og lukked hans øjne til fredens blund,

da han døde højt opp' i de tres.



Han var i sin ungdom en vild krabat,

kom tidlig fra far og mor,

og havde alt døjet mang en dravat

som yngste jungmand ombord.

Siden han rømte i Amsterdam,

men længtes nok hjem tilslut,

og kom med "Foreningen", kaptejn Pram;

men hjemme var ingen som kendte ham,

der rejste som liden gut.



Nu var han vokset sig smuk og stor,

og var dertil en velklædt knægt.

Men døde var både far og mor,

ja sagtens hans hele slægt.

Han stured en dag, ja kanhænde to -

men så rysted han sorgen af.

Han fandt ej, med landjorden under sig, ro;

nej, da var det bedre at bygge og bo

på det store bølgende hav !



Et år derefter var Terje gift, -

det kom nokså i en hast.

Folk mente han angred på den bedrift,

som bandt på et sæt ham fast.

Så leved han under sit eget tag

en vinter i sus og dus -

skønt ruderne skinned, som klareste dag,

med små gardiner og blomster bag,

i det lille rødmalte hus.



Da isen løsned for lindvejrs bør,

gik Terje med briggen på rejs;

om høsten, da grågåsen fløj mod sør,

han mødte den undervejs.

Da falt som en vegt på matrosens bryst:

han kendte sig stærk og ung,

han kom fra solskinnets lysende kyst,

agter lå verden med liv og lyst, -

og for bougen en vinter tung.



De ankred og kameraterne gik

med landlov til sus og dus.

Han sendte dem endnu et længselsblik,

da han stod ved sit lille hus.

Han glytted ind bag det hvide gardin, -  

da så han i stuen to, -

hans kone sad still og hespled lin,

men i vuggen lå, frisk og rød og fin,

en liden pige og lo.



Der sagdes, at Terjes sind med et

fik alvor fra denne stund.

Han trelled og sled og blev aldrig træt

af at vugge sit barn i blund.

Om søndagskvelden, når dansen klang

vildt fra den nærmeste gård,

sine gladeste viser hjemme han sang,

mens lille Anna lå på hans fang

og drog i hans brune hår.



Så lakked og led det til krigens år

i attenhundred og ni.

Endu går sagn om de trængsels-kår,

som folket da stedtes i.

Engelske krydsere stængte hver havn,

i landet var misvækst og nød,

den fattige sulted, den rige led savn,

to kraftige arme var ingen til gavn,

for døren stod sot og død.



Da stured Terje en dag eller to,

så rysted han sorgen af;

Han mindtes en kending, gammel og tro:

det store bølgende hav. -

Der vester har endnu hans gjerning liv

i sagnet, som djerveste dåd:

"da vinden kuled lidt mindre stiv,

Terje Vigen rode for barn og viv

over havet i åben båd!"



Den mindste skækte, der var at få,

blev valgt til hans Skagensfart.

Sejl og mast lod han hjemme stå, -

slig tyktes han bedst bevart.

Han mente nok, Terje, at båden bar,

om sjøen kom lidt påtvers;

det jydske rev var vel svært at gå klar, -

men verre den engelske "Man of war"

med ørneøjne fra mers.



Så gav han sig trøstig lykken i vold  

og tog til årene hvast.

Til Fladstrand kom han i god behold

og hented sin dyre last.

Gud véd, hans føring var ikke stor:

tre tønder byg, det var alt;

men Terje kom fra en fattig jord, -

nu havde han livsens frelse om bord;

det var hustru og barn det gjaldt.




Tre nætter og dage til toften bandt

den stærke, modige mand;

den fjerde morgen, da solen randt,

han skimted en tåget rand.

Det var ikke flygtende skyer han så,

det var fjelde med tinder og skar;

men højt over alle åsene lå

Imenæs-sadelen bred og blå.

Da kendte han, hvor han var.




Nær hjemmet var han: en stakket tid

han holder endnu vel ud!

Hans hjerte sig løfted i tro og lid,

han var nær ved en bøn til Gud.

Da var det som ordet frøs på hans mund;

han stirred, han tog ikke fejl, -

gennem skodden, som letted i samme stund,

han så en Engelk korvet i Hestnæs-sund

at duve for bakkede sejl.



Båden var røbet; der lød et signal,

og det nærmeste løb var lukt;

men solgangsvinden blafrede skral, -

mod vester gik Terjes flugt.

Da firte de jollen fra rælingens kant,

han hørte matrosernes sang, - -

med fødderne stemte mod skægtens spant

han rode så sjøen fossed og brandt,

og blodet fra neglerne sprang.



Gæslingen kaldes de blinde skær

lidt østenfor Homborg-sund.

Der bryder det stygt i pålandsvejr,  

under to fod vand er der bund.

Der sprøjter det hvidt, der glittrer det gult,

selv stilleste havbliksdag; -

men går end dønningen aldrig så hult,

indenfor er det som tidest smult,

med brækkede bølgedrag.




Didind Terje Vigens skægte foer

lig en pil mellem brått og brand;  

men bag efter ham, i kølvandets spor,

jog jollen med femten mand.

Da var det han skreg gennem brændingens sus

til Gud i sin højeste nød:

"inderst derinde på strandens grus

sidder min viv ved det fattige hus,

og venter med barnet på brød !"




Dog, højere skreg nok de femten, end han:

som ved Lyngør, så gik det her.

Lykken er med den engelske mand

på rov mellem Norges skær.

Da Terje tørned mod båens top,

da skured og jollen på grund;

fra stavnen bød officeren "stop!"

Han hæved en åre med bladet op

og hug den i skægtens bund.



Spant og planker for hugget brast,

sjøen stod ind som en fos;

på to fod vand sank den dyre last,

dog sank ikke Terjes trods.

Han slog sig gennem de væbnede mænd

og sprang over æsingen ud, -

han dukked og svømmed og dukked igen;

men jollen kom los; hvor han vendte sig hen

klang sabler og rifleskud.



De fisked ham op, han førtes ombord,

korvetten gav sejerssalut;

agter på hytten, stolt og stor,

stod chefen, en attenårs gut.  

Hans første batalje gjaldt Terjes båd,

thi knejste han nu så kæk;

men Terje vidste ei længre råd, -

den stærke mand lå med bøn og gråd

iknæ på korvettens dæk.



Han købte med tårer, de solgte ham smil,

de ågred med spot for bøn.

Det kuled fra øster, tilhavs med il

stod Englands sejrende søn.

Da taug Terje Vigen; nu var det gjort,

nu tog han sin sorg for sig selv.

Men de, som ham fanged, fandt sært hvor fort

et noget var ligesom vejret bort

fra hans pandes skyede hvælv.



Han sad i "prisonen" i lange år,

der siges i fulde fem;

hans nakke bøjed sig, gråt blev hans hår

af drømmene om hans hjem.

Noget han bar på, men gav ej besked, -

det var som hans eneste skat.

Så kom attenhundred og fjorten med fred;

de norske fanger, og Terje med,

førtes hjem på en svensk fregat.



Hjemme ved bryggen han steg i land

med Kongens patent som lods;

men få kun kendte den gråsprengte mand,

der rejste som ung matros.

Hans hus var en fremmeds; hvad der blev av

de to, - han derinde erfor:

Da manden forlod dem og ingen dem gav,

så fik de til slutning en fælles grav

af kommunen i fattigfolks jord. --



Årene gik og han røgted sin dont

som lods på den yderste ø;

han gjorde visst intet menneske ondt,

hverken på land eller sjø;

men stundom gnistred hans øjne stygt, -

når det brød over båer og skær, -

og da mente folk, at han var forrykt,

og da var det få, som uden frykt

kom Terje Vigen nær.



En måneskinskveld med pålandsvind  

kom der liv i lodsernes flok;

en engelsk yacht drev mod kysten ind  

med revnet storsejl og fok.

 Fra fortoppen sendte det røde flag  

et nødskrig foruden ord.

Lidt indenfor gik der en båd over stag,

den vandt sig mod uvejret slag for slag,

og lodsen stod stout ombord.



Han tyktes så tryg, den gråsprengte mand;

lig en kæmpe i rattet han greb; -

yachten lystred, stod atter fra land,

og båden svam efter på slæb.

Lorden, med lady og barn i arm,

kom agter, han tog til sin hat:

"jeg gør dig så rig, som du nu er arm,

hvis frelste du bær os af brændingens larm."

- Men lodsen slap ror og rat.



Han hvidned om kinden, det lo om hans mund,

lig et smil, der omsider får magt.

Indover bar det, og højt på grund

stod lordens prektige yacht.

"Den svigted kommando!

I bådene ned!

Mylord og mylady med mig!  

Den slår sig i splinter, - jeg ved besked -

men indenfor ligger den trygge led;  

mit køl-spor skal vise jer vei!"



Morilden brendte der skægten fløj

mod land med sin dyre last.  

Akter stod lodsen, stærk og høj,  

hans øje var vildt og hvast.

Han skotted i læ mod Gæslingens top,  

og til luvart mod Hestenes-sund;  

da slap han ror og stagsejl-strop,

han svinged en åre med bladet op

og hug den i bådens bund.



Ind stod sjøen med skumhvidt sprøjt - -

der raste på vraget en strid -;

men moderen løftet sin datter højt

på armen, af rædsel hvid.

"Anna, mit barn!" hun skreg i sin ve;

da bævred den gråsprængte mand;

han fatted om skødet, drev roret i læ,

og båden var fast som en fugl at se,

slig foer den i brått og brand.




Den tørned, de sank; men havet var smult

derindenfor brændingens kreds;

opover rak sig en langgrund skjult,

der stod de i vand tilknæs.

Da råbte lorden: "kend - båens ryg -

den svigter, - det er ingen flu!"

Men lodsen smilte: "nej vær De tryg;

en sunken skægte med tre tønder byg

er båen, som bær os nu."



Der jog et minde om halvglemt dåd

lig et lyn over lordens træk -,

han kende matrosen, som lå med gråd

iknæ på korvettens dæk!

Da skreg Terje Vigen: "alt mit du holdt

i din hånd, og du slap det for ros.

Et øjeblik endnu, en gengæld er voldt - - "

da var det den engelske stormand stolt

bøjed knæ for den norske lods.



Men Terje stod støttet til årens skaft,

så rank som i ungdommens år;

hans øjne brandt med ubendig kraft,

for vinden flommed hans hår.

"Du sejled imag på din store korvet,

jeg rode min ringe båd;

jeg trælled for mine til døden træt,

du tog deres brød, og det falt dig så let

at håne min bittre gråd.



Din rige lady er lys som en vår,  

hendes hånd er som silke fin, -

min hustrus hånd den var grov og hård;

men hun var nu alligevel min.

Dit barn har guldhår og øjne blå,

som en liden Vorherres gæst;

min datter var intet at akte på,

hun var, Gud bedre det, mager og grå,

som fattigfolks børn er flest.




Se, det var min rikdom på denne jord,

det var alt, hvad jeg kaldte for mit.

Det tyktes for mig en skat så stor;

men det vejed for dig så lidt. -

Nu er det gengældelsens time slår, -

thi nu skal du friste en stund,

som vel kommer op mod de lange år,

der bøjed min nakke og blegte mit hår  

og sænkte min lykke på grund."




Barnet han greb og svinged det frit,

med den venstre om ladyens liv.

"Tilbage, mylord! Et eneste skridt, -

og det koster dig barn og viv!"

På sprang stod Britten til kamp påny;

men armen var veg og mat; -

hans ånde brændte, hans øjne var sky,

og hans hår - så kendtes ved første gry -  

blev gråt i den eneste nat.



Men Terjes pande bar klarhet og fred,

hans bringe gik frit og stilt.

Ærbødig løfted han barnet ned,

og kyssed dets hender mildt.

Han ånded, som løst fra et fængsels hvælv,

hans stemme lød rolig og jevn:

"Nu er Terje Vigen igen sig selv.

Indtil nu gik mit blod som en stenet elv;

for jeg måtte - jeg måtte ha'e hævn!



De lange år i "prisonens" kvalm,

de gjorde mit hjerte sygt.  

Bagefter lå jeg som hejens halm,

og så i et brådyp stygt.

Men nu er det over; vi to er kvit;

din skyldner foer ej med svig.

Jeg gav det jeg havde, - du tog alt mit,

og kræv, om du tror du uret lidt,

Vor herre, som skapte mig slig." - -



Da dagningen lyste var hvermand frelst;

yachten lå længst i havn.

Med nattens saga taug de nok helst,

men vidt foer dog Terjes navn.  

Drømmenes uvejrskyer grå

fejed en stormnat væk;

og Terje bar atter så rank som få

den nakke, der krøgtes hin dag han lå  

iknæ på korvettens dæk.




Lorden kom, og mylady med,

og mange, mange med dem;

de rysted hans hånd til farvel og Guds fred,

der de stod i hans ringe hjem.

De takked for frelsen da stormen peb,

for frelsen fra sjøgang og skær;

men Terje strøg over barnets slæb:

"nej, den som frelste, da værst det kneb,

det var nok den lille der ?" - -  




Da yachten drejed for Hestnæs-sund,

den heiste det norske flag.

Lidt længre vest er en skumklædt grund, -

der gav den det glatte lag.

Da tindred en tåre i Terjes blik;

han stirred fra hejen ud:

"stort har jeg mistet, men stort jeg fik.

Bedst var det, kanhænde, det gik som det gik, -

og så får du ha'e tak da, Gud!"



Slig var det jeg så ham en enkelt gang,

han lå ved bryggen med fisk.

Hans hår var hvidt, men han lo og sang

og var som en ungdom frisk.

Til pigerne havde han skæmtsomme ord,

han spøgte med byens børn,

han svinged sydvesten og sprang ombord;

så hejste han fokken, og hjem han foer

i solskin, den gamle ørn.



Ved Fjære kirke jeg så en grav,

den lå på en vejrhård plet;

den var ikke skøttet, var sunken og lav,

men bar dog sit sorte bræt.

Der stod "Thærie Wiighen" med hvidmalt skrift,

samt året, han hvile fandt. -

Han lagdes for solbrand og vindes vift,

Og derfor blev græsset så stridt og stivt,

men med vilde blomster iblandt.