To His Muse.

A poem by Victor Marie Hugo

("Puisqu'ici-bas tout âme.")

[XL, May 19, 1836.]

Since everything below,
Doth, in this mortal state,
Its tone, its fragrance, or its glow

Since all that lives and moves
Upon the earth, bestows
On what it seeks and what it loves
Its thorn or rose;

Since April to the trees
Gives a bewitching sound,
And sombre night to grief gives ease,
And peace profound;

Since day-spring on the flower
A fresh'ning drop confers,
And the fresh air on branch and bower
Its choristers;

Since the dark wave bestows
A soft caress, imprest
On the green bank to which it goes
Seeking its rest;

I give thee at this hour,
Thus fondly bent o'er thee,
The best of all the things in dow'r
That in me be.

Receive,-poor gift, 'tis true,
Which grief, not joy, endears, -
My thoughts, that like a shower of dew,
Reach thee in tears.

My vows untold receive,
All pure before thee laid;
Receive of all the days I live
The light or shade!

My hours with rapture fill'd,
Which no suspicion wrongs;
And all the blandishments distill'd
From all my songs.

My spirit, whose essay
Flies fearless, wild, and free,
And hath, and seeks, to guide its way
No star but thee.

No pensive, dreamy Muse,
Who, though all else should smile,
Oft as thou weep'st, with thee would choose,
To weep the while.

Oh, sweetest mine! this gift
Receive; - 'tis throe alone; -
My heart, of which there's nothing left
When Love is gone!

Fraser's Magazine.

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