Jersey.

A poem by Victor Marie Hugo

("Jersey dort dans les flots.")

[Bk. III. xiv., Oct. 8, 1854.]


Dear Jersey! jewel jubilant and green,
'Midst surge that splits steel ships, but sings to thee!
Thou fav'rest Frenchmen, though from England seen,
Oft tearful to that mistress "North Countree";
Returned the third time safely here to be,
I bless my bold Gibraltar of the Free.

Yon lighthouse stands forth like a fervent friend,
One who our tempest buffets back with zest,
And with twin-steeple, eke our helmsman's end,
Forms arms that beckon us upon thy breast;
Rose-posied pillow, crystallized with spray,
Where pools pellucid mirror sunny ray.

A frigate fretting yonder smoothest sky,
Like pauseless petrel poising o'er a wreck,
Strikes bright athwart the dearly dazzled eye,
Until it lessens to scarce certain speck,
'Neath Venus, sparkling on the agate-sprinkled beach,
For fisher's sailing-signal, just and true,
Until Aurora frights her from the view.

In summer, steamer-smoke spreads as thy veil,
And mists in winter sudden screen thy sight,
When at thy feet the galley-breakers wail
And toss their tops high o'er the lofty flight
Of horrid storm-worn steps with shark-like bite,
That only ope to swallow up in spite.

L'ENVOY.

But penitent in calm, thou givest a balm,
To many a man who's felt thy rage,
And many a sea-bird - thanks be heard! -
Thou shieldest - sea-bird - exiled bard and sage.

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