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Draumkvedet (The Dream Poem) is a Norwegian visionary poem, probably dated from the late medieval age.[1][2] It is one of the best known medieval ballads in Norway. The first written versions are from Lårdal and Kviteseid in Telemark in the 1840s.

The protagonist, Olav Åsteson, falls asleep on Christmas Eve and sleeps until the twelfth day of Christmas. Then he wakes, and rides to church to recount his dreams to the congregation, about his journey through the afterlife. The events are in part similar to other medieval ballads like the Lyke Wake Dirge: a moor of thorns, a tall bridge, and a black fire. After these, the protagonist is also allowed to see Hell and some of Heaven. The poem concludes with specific advice of charity and compassion, to avoid the various trials of the afterlife.


  1. ^ Knut Liestøl: "Draumkvedet. A Visionary Poem from the Middle Ages", Studia Norvegica 3, 1946
  2. ^ "The Dream Lay"Listen to Norway, Vol.9 - 2001 No. 1 (Retrieved on February 18, 2008)