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Childhood by Victor Hugo

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Childhood by Victor Hugo
« on: August 04, 2020, 07:08:21 AM »
CHILDHOOD by Victor Hugo
     ("L'enfant chantait.")

     {Bk. I. xxiii., Paris, January, 1835.}
     The small child sang; the mother, outstretched on the low bed,
       With anguish moaned,—fair Form pain should possess not long;
     For, ever nigher, Death hovered around her head:
       I hearkened there this moan, and heard even there that song.

     The child was but five years, and, close to the lattice, aye
       Made a sweet noise with games and with his laughter bright;
     And the wan mother, aside this being the livelong day
       Carolling joyously, coughed hoarsely all the night.

     The mother went to sleep 'mong them that sleep alway;
       And the blithe little lad began anew to sing...
     Sorrow is like a fruit: God doth not therewith weigh
       Earthward the branch strong yet but for the blossoming.

     NELSON R. TYERMAN.

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