Monday, 25 July 2011

Surrounded by enemies

................... (Flowers and candles in Oslo, picture from

Surrounded by enemies,
go into your time!
Under a bloody storm -
devote yourself to fight!

Maybe you ask in fear,
uncovered, open:
with what shall I fight
what is my weapon?

Here is your defense against violence
here is your sword:
the belief in our life,
the worth of mankind.

For all our future's sake,
seek it and cultivate it,
die if you must - but:
increase it and strengthen it!

Silently goes the grenades'
conveyor belts
Stop their drift towards death
Stop them with spirit!

War is contempt for life.
Peace is to create.
Throw your strength into it:
Death shall lose!

Love and enrich with dreams
all that was great!
Go towards the unknown
wring answers out of it.

Unbuilt power plants,
unknown stars.
Create them, with spared lives'
bold brains!

Noble is mankind,
the earth is rich!
If there is need and hunger
it is by deceit.

Crush it! In the name of life
injustice shall fall.
Sunshine and bread and mind
is possessed by all.

Then the weapons sink
powerless to the ground!
We create human worth
we create peace.

Those who in the right arm
carry a burden,
precious and inalienable,
cannot murder.

This is our promise
from brother to brother:
We will be good to
humanity's earth.

We will take care of
the beauty, the warmth
as if we carried a child
carefully in our arms!

Poem by Nordahl Grieg (1936)
Music by Otto Mortensen (1962)
English literal translation by Morten Årstad (2011)
Sung in many churches in Norway yesterday.


  1. Thank you Nina Lise. I have no words. There are no words big enough. Our nation is broken - but will rise again. Devastated.

  2. No words of mine can say it better than this poem. I pray that you will find new strength after this tragedy.

  3. I saw the gathering on the news this morning outside the will be a long time mourning and remembering. My heart is with you. xox Corrine

  4. My thoughts are with you Nina, and your fellow countrymen. Stay strong.

  5. I don't have words, only my prayers, Lis xx

  6. Ja, vi elsker dette landet!

  7. Thank you for sharing those powerful words. I wish healing for Norway.

  8. My thoughts and prayers are with you and all Norwegians.

  9. My thoughts and prayers have been with Norway since Sunday. Thank YOU for the words. As they said about Americans after 9/11, we are all Norwegians now. STRENGTH!