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Jersey by Victor Hugo

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Jersey by Victor Hugo
« on: August 06, 2020, 02:27:34 PM »
JERSEY by Victor 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 arms 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.


     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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