- Project Runeberg -  A tour through Sweden, Swedish-Lapland, Finland and Denmark. In a series of letters /
77

(1815) Author: Matthew Consett - Tema: Sápmi and the Sami
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“ Not such the sons of Lapland: wisely they
Despise th’ insensate barbarous trade of war;
They ask no more than simple nature gives,
They love their mountains and enjoy their storms.
No false desires, no pride-created wants,
Disturb the peaceful current of their time;
And through the restless ever-tortured maze
Of pleasure or ambition, bid it rage.
Their rein-deer form their riches. These their tents,
Their robes, their beds, and all their homely wealth
Supply, their wholesome fare and cheerful cups.
Obsequious at their call, the docile tribe
Yield to the sled their necks, and whirl them swift
O’er hill and dale, heap’d into one expanse
Of marbled snow, as far as eye can sweep
With a blue crest of ice unbounded glaz’d.
By dancing meteors then, that ceaseless shake,
A waving blaze refracted o’er the heavens,
And vivid moons, and stars that keener play
With doubled lustre from the glossy waste,
Even in the depth of polar night, they find
A wond’rous day; enough to light the chase,
Or guide their daring steps to Finland fairs.
Wished spring returns; and from the hazy south,
While dim Aurora slowly moves before,
The welcome sun, just verging up at first,
By small degrees extends the swelling curve!
Till seen at last for gay rejoicing mouths.
Still round and round his spiral course he winds,
And as he nearly dips his flaming orb,
Wheels up again, and re-ascends the sky.
In that glad season from the lakes and floods,
Where pure Niemi’s
[1]fairy mountains rise,


[1] M. de Maupertuis, in his book on the figure of the earth,
after having described the beautiful lake and mountains of
Niemi in Lapland, says,---“ From this height we had
opportunity several times to see those vapours rise from the lake,
which the people of the country call Haltios, and which they
deem to be the guardian spirits of the mountains. We had
been frighted with stories of bears that haunted this place,
but saw none. It seemed rather a place of resort for fairies
and genii than bears.

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