Sunday, February 26, 2012

Happy Birthday Victor Hugo !

Victor Marie Hugo

Today is the birthday of poet, playwright, novelist and exponent of the Romantic movement in France Victor Marie Hugo (26 February 1802 – 22 May 1885). In France, Victor Hugo's literary fame comes first from his poetry but also rests upon his novels and his dramatic achievements. Among many volumes of poetry 'Les Contemplations' and 'La Légende des siècles' stand particularly high in critical esteem. Outside France, his best-known works are the novels Les Misérables and Notre-Dame de Paris (also known in English as The Hunchback of Notre-Dame). Presenting some poems : Being Poet

A Fleeting Glimpse of a Village

How graceful the picture! The life, the repose!
The sunbeam that plays on the porch stone wide;
And the shadow that fleets o'er the stream that flows,
And the soft blue sky with the hill's green side.

The Genesis of Butterflies

HE dawn is smiling on the dew that covers
The tearful roses; lo, the little lovers
That kiss the buds, and all the fluttering
In jasmine bloom, and privet, of white wings,
That go and come, and fly, and peep and hide,
With muffled music, murmured far and wide.
Ah, the Spring time, when we think of all the lays
That dreamy lovers send to dreamy mays,
Of the fond hearts within a billet bound,
Of all the soft silk paper that pens wound,
The messages of love that mortals write
Filled with intoxication of delight,
Written in April and before the May time
Shredded and flown, playthings for the wind's playtime,
We dream that all white butterflies above,
Who seek through clouds or waters souls to love,
And leave their lady mistress in despair,
To flit to flowers, as kinder and more fair,
Are but torn love-letters, that through the skies
Flutter, and float, and change to butterflies.

The Grave and the Rose

HE Grave said to the Rose,
"What of the dews of dawn,
Love's flower, what end is theirs?"
"And what of spirits flown,
The souls whereon doth close
The tomb's mouth unawares?"
The Rose said to the Grave.
The Rose said, "In the shade
From the dawn's tears is made
A perfume faint and strange,
Amber and honey sweet."
"And all the spirits fleet
Do suffer a sky-change,
More strangely than the dew,
To God's own angels new,"
The Grave said to the Rose.

The Ocean’s Song

E walked amongst the ruins famed in story
Of Rozel-Tower,
And saw the boundless waters stretch in glory
And heave in power.
O Ocean vast! We heard thy song with wonder,
Whilst waves marked time.
"Appear, O Truth!" thou sang'st with tone of thunder,
"And shine sublime!
"The world's enslaved and hunted down by beagles,
To despots sold.
Souls of deep thinkers, soar like mighty eagles!
The Right uphold.
"Be born! arise! o'er the earth and wild waves bounding,
Peoples and suns!
Let darkness vanish; tocsins be resounding,
And flash, ye guns!
"And you who love no pomps of fog or glamour,
Who fear no shocks,
Brave foam and lightning, hurricane and clamour,--
Exiles: the rocks!"

The Poor Children

AKE heed of this small child of earth;
He is great; he hath in him God most high.
Children before their fleshly birth
Are lights alive in the blue sky.
In our light bitter world of wrong
They come; God gives us them awhile.
His speech is in their stammering tongue,
And his forgiveness in their smile.
Their sweet light rests upon our eyes.
Alas! their right to joy is plain.
If they are hungry Paradise
Weeps, and, if cold, Heaven thrills with pain.
The want that saps their sinless flower
Speaks judgment on sin's ministers.
Man holds an angel in his power.
Ah! deep in Heaven what thunder stirs,
When God seeks out these tender things
Whom in the shadow where we sleep
He sends us clothed about with wings,
And finds them ragged babes that weep!


The moon was calm, and flecked the ocean streams.
The casement opens freely to the breeze;
While the sultana watches, breaking seas
Weave the black isles below with silver seams.
The lute slips from her fingers as she plays.
She listens:…echoes, dull, from some dull sound.
Is it a Turkish ship, full, homeward bound,
Whose Tartar oars beat the Greek waterways?
Are cormorants plunging successively,
Cleaving the waves, whose pearls roll from their wings?
Perhaps a djinn, with reedy whispers, flings
The tower's battlements into the sea?
Who is thus troubling the seraglio's shores?—
Neither the cormorant cradled on the flow,
Nor the wall's capstones, nor the to-and-fro
Of heavy vessels with their dipping oars.
Merely full sacks emitting muffled screams;
And as they sink, there might perhaps be spied
Something like human forms moving inside.…
The moon was calm, and flecked the ocean streams.

"I picked this flower for you on the hilltop…"

I picked this flower for you on the hilltop.
In the steep scarp that overhangs the tide,
Which only eagles know and only they can reach,
Calmly she grew on the rock's creviced side.
Darkness was bathing all the slopes of the bleak promontory.
In the place where the sun was going down,
I could see— as a roseate triumphal
Arch is raised up in some victorious town—
The somber night erecting a portico of clouds.
Some miniature and distant sails sped by;
A few roofs, lit up in the bottom of a hollow,
Looked half afraid to glint and catch the eye.
I picked this flower there for you, my love—
Pale-colored, and the petals have no scent;
Her root could take in nothing, on those mountains,
Except the green weed's acrid effluent.
"Poor flower," I said, "from the height of this summit
You would have passed into that gaping pit
With the massed clouds, the sailing-ships and seaweed.
Die in a gulf even more infinite;
Fade on a heart in which a world is fluttering.
You were to drop your blossoms in the spray:
For Ocean heaven made you; but to Love I send you."
The wind mingled the swell; nothing of day
Was left beyond a vague gleam, slowly vanishing.
Sad indeed were my reveries, sad and stark,
While I stood dreaming there; the whole black chasm
Entered my soul with every chill of dark.

More Strong than Time

INCE I have set my lips to your full cup, my sweet,
Since I my pallid face between your hands have laid,
Since I have known your soul, and all the bloom of it,
And all the perfume rare, now buried in the shade;
Since it was given to me to hear on happy while,
The words wherein your heart spoke all its mysteries,
Since I have seen you weep, and since I have seen you smile,
Your lips upon my lips, and your eyes upon my eyes;
Since I have known above my forehead glance and gleam,
A ray, a single ray, of your star, veiled always,
Since I have felt the fall, upon my lifetime's stream,
Of one rose petal plucked from the roses of your days;
I now am bold to say to the swift changing hours,
Pass, pass upon your way, for I grow never old,
Fleet to the dark abysm with all your fading flowers,
One rose that none may pluck, within my heart I hold.
Your flying wings may smite, but they can never spill
The cup fulfilled of love, from which my lips are wet;
My heart has far more fire than you can frost to chill,
My soul more love than you can make my soul forget.