Poem of the Week: Henrik Wergeland – Omen accipio


My house is now a sacred place
A swallow flew inside,
Swift and merry as the thought
Darting through my mind.

They both came down from Heaven,
And could my thought be known
It would be gold blue like the swallow,
Or white as the snow.

Mate and mate together.
One happy omen more.
For nothing good arrives alone,
As has been said before.

Innocence and tenderness
Looking for a home.
A blessing on my dwelling,
They made my house their own!


Nu blev mit Huus velsignet:
en Svale fløj derind,
saa snar og glad som Tanken,
der gjennemfoer mit Sind.

De Begge kom fra Himlen.
Lod sig min Tanke see,
den guldblaa var som Svalen,
eller hvid som Sne.

Og Mage kom med Mage.
Det var et Varsel meer.
Thi noget Godt ei kommer
alene, siges der.

Uskyldighed og Ømhed
just søgte sig et Hjem.
Held dig, min nye Hytte,
at du behagte dem!

Translated by Annabelle Despard.

From Henrik Wergeland (1808–1845), Mindre Digte i udvalg, H. Aschehoug & Co.s Forlag, Kristiania 1897.

Poem of the Week. 52 poems throughout the year

Take part in a weekly journey through 52 poems by authors from Norway throughout 2019 – Norway’s year as Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

From the time when the earliest texts were recorded in runic inscriptions, poetry has had a strong position in Norway. By introducing a new poem each week throughout 2019, we aim to highlight the quality and breadth of Norwegian poetry. «Poem of the Week» presents 52 poems, inspired by the changing seasons and the passing of the year. The selection has been made by Tone Carlsen and Annette Vonberg, and consists of poems from the earliest handwritten manuscripts up until today, with a special emphasis on contemporary poetry.

You can find all poems in this series here. Read more about Norway as Guest of Honour at Frankfurt Book