In Memoriam: Ingvald Bjorndal

The lines which follow are a translation into poetic form of a letter written somewhere in the North Atlantic and sent to the Government of Canada by Inspector Ovide Hubert of Cap-aux-Meules, Magdalen Islands. The original letter, addressed to Lovise Stigen, Kalandeendet Fana (?), was written in Norwegian, corked tight in a bottle, and thrown into the sea, where eventually it was found by a fisherman, Hubert Duclos.

WHILE we sail and laugh, joke and fight, comes death
And it is the end. A man toils on board;
His life blows away like a gust of breath:
Who will know his dreams now when the sea roared?
I loved you, my dear, but now I am dead,
So take somebody else and forget me.
My brothers, I was foolish, as you said:
So are most who place their fate in the sea.
Many tears have you shed for me in vain.
Take my pay, Mother, Father; I have come
A long way to die in the blood and rain.
Buy me some earth in the graveyard at home.
Good-bye. Please remember me with these words
To the green meadows and the blue fjords.