The Trumpets Of The Mind.

A poem by Victor Marie Hugo

("Sonnez, clairons de la pensée!")

[Bk. VII. i., March 19, 1853.]


Sound, sound for ever, Clarions of Thought!

When Joshua 'gainst the high-walled city fought,
He marched around it with his banner high,
His troops in serried order following nigh,
But not a sword was drawn, no shaft outsprang,
Only the trumpets the shrill onset rang.
At the first blast, smiled scornfully the king,
And at the second sneered, half wondering:
"Hop'st thou with noise my stronghold to break down?"
At the third round, the ark of old renown
Swept forward, still the trumpets sounding loud,
And then the troops with ensigns waving proud.
Stepped out upon the old walls children dark
With horns to mock the notes and hoot the ark.
At the fourth turn, braving the Israelites,
Women appeared upon the crenelated heights -
Those battlements embrowned with age and rust -
And hurled upon the Hebrews stones and dust,
And spun and sang when weary of the game.
At the fifth circuit came the blind and lame,
And with wild uproar clamorous and high
Railed at the clarion ringing to the sky.
At the sixth time, upon a tower's tall crest,
So high that there the eagle built his nest,
So hard that on it lightning lit in vain,
Appeared in merriment the king again:
"These Hebrew Jews musicians are, meseems!"
He scoffed, loud laughing, "but they live on dreams."
The princes laughed submissive to the king,
Laughed all the courtiers in their glittering ring,
And thence the laughter spread through all the town.

At the seventh blast - the city walls fell down.

TORU DUTT.

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