by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 - 1882)
Translation © by Lidy van Noordenburg

In the convent of Drontheim
Language: English 
Available translation(s): DUT
In the convent of Drontheim,
Alone in her chamber
Knelt Astrid the Abbess,
At midnight, adoring,
Beseeching, entreating
The Virgin and Mother. 

She heard in the silence
The voice of one speaking,
Without in the darkness,
In gusts of the night-wind,
Now louder, now nearer,
Now lost in the distance. 

The voice of a stranger
It seemed as she listened,
Of some one who answered,
Beseeching, imploring,
A cry from afar off
She could not distinguish. 

The voice of Saint John,
The beloved disciple,
Who wandered and waited
The Master's appearance,
Alone in the darkness,
Unsheltered and friendless. 

"It is accepted
The angry defiance,
The challenge of battle!
It is accepted,
But not with the weapons
Of war that thou wieldest! 

"Cross against corselet,
Love against hatred,
Peace-cry for war-cry!
Patience is powerful;
He that o'ercometh
Hath power o'er the nations! 

"As torrents in summer,
Half dried in their channels,
Suddenly rise, though the
Sky is still cloudless,
For rain has been falling
Far off at their fountains; 

So hearts that are fainting
Grow full to o'erflowing,
And they that behold it
Marvel, and know not
That God at their fountains
Far off has been raining! 

"Stronger than steel
Is the sword of the Spirit;
Swifter than arrows
The light of the truth is,
Greater than anger
Is love, and subdueth! 

"Thou art a phantom,
A shape of the sea-mist,
A shape of the brumal
Rain, and the darkness
Fearful and formless;
Day dawns and thou art not! 

"The dawn is not distant,
Nor is the night starless;
[Love is eternal!
God is still God, and
His faith shall not fail us;
Christ is eternal!"]1

E. Elgar sets stanzas 7-8
C. Donkin sets stanza 11

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 omitted by Donkin.


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

This text (or a part of it) is used in a work

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

Other available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) (Lidy van Noordenburg) , "Als stromen in de zomer", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Virginia Knight

This text was added to the website: 2008-06-23
Line count: 66
Word count: 275

Als stromen in de zomer
Language: Dutch (Nederlands)  after the English 

Als stromen in de zomer, 
half verdroogd in hun bedding,
Plotseling zwellen bij 
een wolkenloze hemel.
Omdat het geregend heeft
Ver weg bij de bron.
Dan zwellen dorstige harten zó
Dat ze overlopen.
Degenen die het aanschouwen
Verbazen zich, maar weten niet
Dat God het bij de bron
Heeft laten regenen.


  • Translation from English to Dutch (Nederlands) copyright © 2008 by Lidy van Noordenburg, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.

Based on


This text was added to the website: 2008-02-23
Line count: 12
Word count: 52