The Exile's Desire.

A poem by Victor Marie Hugo

("Si je pouvais voir, O patrie!")

[Bk. III. xxxvii.]


Would I could see you, native land,
Where lilacs and the almond stand
Behind fields flowering to the strand -
But no!

Can I - oh, father, mother, crave
Another final blessing save
To rest my head upon your grave? -
But no!

In the one pit where ye repose,
Would I could tell of France's woes,
My brethren, who fell facing foes -
But no!

Would I had - oh, my dove of light,
After whose flight came ceaseless night,
One plume to clasp so purely white. -
But no!

Far from ye all - oh, dead, bewailed!
The fog-bell deafens me empaled
Upon this rock - I feel enjailed -
Though free.

Like one who watches at the gate
Lest some shall 'scape the doom├Ęd strait.
I watch! the tyrant, howe'er late,
Must fall!

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