Ben Jonson: The pleasures of Heaven
Victor Hugo: Written beneath a crucifix

Victor Hugo: Tomorrow, as soon as it is dawn

Ernst_koerner_1923_sunset

Tomorrow, starting at dawn, at the hour when the land turns white,
I will leave. You see, I know you are waiting for me.
I will go through the forest, I will go past the mountain,
I cannot stay far from you any longer.

I will walk with my eyes fixed on my thoughts,
seeing nothing else, hearing no sound,
alone, unknown, back bent, hands crossed,
sad, and day for me will be like night.

I will not look at the gold of the evening falling,
nor at the sails in the distance going down to Harfleur.
And when I arrive, I will put on your grave
a sprig of green holly and of heather in bloom.

    --Victor Hugo  (1802-1885)

Hugo's beloved oldest daughter drowned in a boat accident in the Seine at age 19. Hugo never got over her death. This is one of the most famous poems in the French language.

Demain, dès l'aube, à l'heure où blanchit la campagne,
Je partirai. Vois-tu, je sais que tu m'attends.
J'irai par la forêt, j'irai par la montagne.
Je ne puis demeurer loin de toi plus longtemps.

Je marcherai les yeux fixés sur mes pensées,
Sans rien voir au dehors, sans entendre aucun bruit,
Seul, inconnu, le dos courbé, les mains croisées,
Triste, et le jour pour moi sera comme la nuit.

Je ne regarderai ni l'or du soir qui tombe,
Ni les voiles au loin descendant vers Harfleur,
Et quand j'arriverai, je mettrai sur ta tombe
Un bouquet de houx vert et de bruyère en fleur.

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