Baby's Seaside Grave.

A poem by Victor Marie Hugo

("Vieux lierre, frais gazon.")

[XXXVIII., 1840.]


Brown ivy old, green herbage new;
Soft seaweed stealing up the shingle;
An ancient chapel where a crew,
Ere sailing, in the prayer commingle.
A far-off forest's darkling frown,
Which makes the prudent start and tremble,
Whilst rotten nuts are rattling down,
And clouds in demon hordes assemble.

Land birds which twit the mews that scream
Round walls where lolls the languid lizard;
Brine-bubbling brooks where fishes stream
Past caves fit for an ocean wizard.
Alow, aloft, no lull - all life,
But far aside its whirls are keeping,
As wishfully to let its strife
Spare still the mother vainly weeping
O'er baby, lost not long, a-sleeping.

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