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‘Gone!’ by Henrik Ibsen



THE last, late guest

To the gate we followed;

Goodbye -- and the rest

The night-wind swallowed.


House, garden, street,

Lay tenfold gloomy,

Where accents sweet

Had made music to me.


It was but a feast

With the dark coming on;

She was but a guest --

And now, she is gone.


Henrick Ibsen was a Norwegian playwright, known for moving away from the traditional Romantic genre and instead looking at the everyday through his works. Through his plays, Ibsen attempted to show the duty of the individual to himself, writing to Brandes in 1871 "I have really never had a strong feeling for solidarity". Ibsen was very negative towards the idea of a collective. He is celebrated as the founder of modern drama, (i.e. his plays) a statement that is seen through his famous play ‘A Doll’s House’ written in 1879.


  1. How does the poem show how Ibsen feels about Norway? Does the poem reflect the amount of travelling Ibsen has done and his feelings of disenchantment towards his country?
  2. How is the individual vs the collective, a major concern of Ibsen’s, presented through the poem?
  3. Why do you think Ibsen’s poetry is so overlooked in comparison to his plays?

Other Norwegian Literature:

  • Love by Hannah Orstavik
  • Betrayed by Amelie Skram
  • Monster Human by Kjersti Skomsvold
  • Hunger by Knut Hamsun
  • Norwegian Folktales by Peter Christian Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Moe

Now why not discover Gone! in its original language


De sidste gæster
vi fulgte til grinden;
farvellets rester
tog nattevinden.

I tifold øde
lå haven og huset,
hvor toner søde
mig nys berused.

Det var en fest kun,
før natten den sorte;
hun var en gæst kun, —
og nu er hun borte.

With credit to:

Poem original:

Poem found here and was translated by Fydell Edmund Garrett:

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