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Best Famous Victor Hugo Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Victor Hugo poems. This is a select list of the best famous Victor Hugo poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Victor Hugo poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Victor Hugo poems.

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Written by Algernon Charles Swinburne | |

Eurydice - To Victor Hugo

 Orpheus, the night is full of tears and cries,
And hardly for the storm and ruin shed
Can even thine eyes be certain of her head
Who never passed out of thy spirit's eyes,
But stood and shone before them in such wise
As when with love her lips and hands were fed,
And with mute mouth out of the dusty dead
Strove to make answer when thou bad'st her rise.
Yet viper-stricken must her lifeblood feel The fang that stung her sleeping, the foul germ Even when she wakes of hell's most poisonous worm, Though now it writhe beneath her wounded heel.
Turn yet, she will not fade nor fly from thee; Wait, and see hell yield up Eurydice.


Written by Henry Van Dyke | |

Victor Hugo

 Heart of France for a hundred years,
Passionate, sensitive, proud, and strong,
Quick to throb with her hopes and fears,
Fierce to flame with her sense of wrong!
You, who hailed with a morning song
Dream-light gilding a throne of old:
You, who turned when the dream grew cold,
Singing still, to the light that shone
Pure from Liberty's ancient throne,
Over the human throng!
You, who dared in the dark eclipse,--
When the pygmy heir of a giant name
Dimmed the face of the land with shame,--
Speak the truth with indignant lips,
Call him little whom men called great,
Scoff at him, scorn him, deny him,
Point to the blood on his robe of state,
Fling back his bribes and defy him!

You, who fronted the waves of fate
As you faced the sea from your island home,
Exiled, yet with a soul elate,
Sending songs o'er the rolling foam,
Bidding the heart of man to wait
For the day when all should see
Floods of wrath from the frowning skies
Fall on an Empire founded in lies,
And France again be free!
You, who came in the Terrible Year
Swiftly back to your broken land,
Now to your heart a thousand times more dear,--
Prayed for her, sung to her, fought for her,
Patiently, fervently wrought for her,
Till once again,
After the storm of fear and pain,
High in the heavens the star of France stood clear!

You, who knew that a man must take
Good and ill with a steadfast soul,
Holding fast, while the billows roll
Over his head, to the things that make
Life worth living for great and small,--
Honour and pity and truth,
The heart and the hope of youth,
And the good God over all!
You, to whom work was rest,
Dauntless Toiler of the Sea,
Following ever the joyful quest
Of beauty on the shores of old Romance,
Bard of the poor of France,
And warrior-priest of world-wide charity!

You who loved little children best
Of all the poets that ever sung,
Great heart, golden heart,
Old, and yet ever young,
Minstrel of liberty,
Lover of all free, winged things,
Now at last you are free,--
Your soul has its wings!
Heart of France for a hundred years,
Floating far in the light that never fails you,
Over the turmoil of mortal hopes and fears
Victor, forever victor, the whole world hails you!


Written by Victor Hugo | |

A Sunset

 I love the evenings, passionless and fair, I love the evens, 
Whether old manor-fronts their ray with golden fulgence leavens, 
In numerous leafage bosomed close; 
Whether the mist in reefs of fire extend its reaches sheer, 
Or a hundred sunbeams splinter in an azure atmosphere 
On cloudy archipelagos.
Oh, gaze ye on the firmament! a hundred clouds in motion, Up-piled in the immense sublime beneath the winds' commotion, Their unimagined shapes accord: Under their waves at intervals flame a pale levin through, As if some giant of the air amid the vapors drew A sudden elemental sword.
The sun at bay with splendid thrusts still keeps the sullen fold; And momently at distance sets, as a cupola of gold, The thatched roof of a cot a-glance; Or on the blurred horizon joins his battle with the haze; Or pools the blooming fields about with inter-isolate blaze, Great moveless meres of radiance.
Then mark you how there hangs athwart the firmament's swept track, Yonder a mighty crocodile with vast irradiant back, A triple row of pointed teeth? Under its burnished belly slips a ray of eventide, The flickerings of a hundred glowing clouds in tenebrous side With scales of golden mail ensheathe.
Then mounts a palace, then the air vibrates--the vision flees.
Confounded to its base, the fearful cloudy edifice Ruins immense in mounded wrack; Afar the fragments strew the sky, and each envermeiled cone Hangeth, peak downward, overhead, like mountains overthrown When the earthquake heaves its hugy back.
These vapors, with their leaden, golden, iron, bronzèd glows, Where the hurricane, the waterspout, thunder, and hell repose, Muttering hoarse dreams of destined harms,-- 'Tis God who hangs their multitude amid the skiey deep, As a warrior that suspendeth from the roof-tree of his keep His dreadful and resounding arms! All vanishes! The Sun, from topmost heaven precipitated, Like a globe of iron which is tossed back fiery red Into the furnace stirred to fume, Shocking the cloudy surges, plashed from its impetuous ire, Even to the zenith spattereth in a flecking scud of fire The vaporous and inflamèd spaume.
O contemplate the heavens! Whenas the vein-drawn day dies pale, In every season, every place, gaze through their every veil? With love that has not speech for need! Beneath their solemn beauty is a mystery infinite: If winter hue them like a pall, or if the summer night Fantasy them starre brede.


More great poems below...

Written by Victor Hugo | |

Boaz Asleep

 Boaz, overcome with weariness, by torchlight 
made his pallet on the threshing floor 
where all day he had worked, and now he slept 
among the bushels of threshed wheat.
The old man owned wheatfields and barley, and though he was rich, he was still fair-minded.
No filth soured the sweetness of his well.
No hot iron of torture whitened in his forge.
His beard was silver as a brook in April.
He bound sheaves without the strain of hate or envy.
He saw gleaners pass, and said, Let handfuls of the fat ears fall to them.
The man's mind, clear of untoward feeling, clothed itself in candor.
He wore clean robes.
His heaped granaries spilled over always toward the poor, no less than public fountains.
Boaz did well by his workers and by kinsmen.
He was generous, and moderate.
Women held him worthier than younger men, for youth is handsome, but to him in his old age came greatness.
An old man, nearing his first source, may find the timelessness beyond times of trouble.
And though fire burned in young men's eyes, to Ruth the eyes of Boaz shone clear light.


Written by Victor Hugo | |

Letter

 You can see it already: chalks and ochers; 
Country crossed with a thousand furrow-lines;
Ground-level rooftops hidden by the shrubbery; 
Sporadic haystacks standing on the grass;
Smoky old rooftops tarnishing the landscape; 
A river (not Cayster or Ganges, though:
A feeble Norman salt-infested watercourse); 
On the right, to the north, bizarre terrain
All angular--you'd think a shovel did it.
So that's the foreground.
An old chapel adds Its antique spire, and gathers alongside it A few gnarled elms with grumpy silhouettes; Seemingly tired of all the frisky breezes, They carp at every gust that stirs them up.
At one side of my house a big wheelbarrow Is rusting; and before me lies the vast Horizon, all its notches filled with ocean blue; Cocks and hens spread their gildings, and converse Beneath my window; and the rooftop attics, Now and then, toss me songs in dialect.
In my lane dwells a patriarchal rope-maker; The old man makes his wheel run loud, and goes Retrograde, hemp wreathed tightly round the midriff.
I like these waters where the wild gale scuds; All day the country tempts me to go strolling; The little village urchins, book in hand, Envy me, at the schoolmaster's (my lodging), As a big schoolboy sneaking a day off.
The air is pure, the sky smiles; there's a constant Soft noise of children spelling things aloud.
The waters flow; a linnet flies; and I say: "Thank you! Thank you, Almighty God!"--So, then, I live: Peacefully, hour by hour, with little fuss, I shed My days, and think of you, my lady fair! I hear the children chattering; and I see, at times, Sailing across the high seas in its pride, Over the gables of the tranquil village, Some winged ship which is traveling far away, Flying across the ocean, hounded by all the winds.
Lately it slept in port beside the quay.
Nothing has kept it from the jealous sea-surge: No tears of relatives, nor fears of wives, Nor reefs dimly reflected in the waters, Nor importunity of sinister birds.


Written by Victor Hugo | |

More Strong Than Time

 Since I have set my lips to your full cup, my sweet, 
Since I my pallid face between your hands have laid, 
Since I have known your soul, and all the bloom of it, 
And all the perfume rare, now buried in the shade; 

Since it was given to me to hear on happy while, 
The words wherein your heart spoke all its mysteries, 
Since I have seen you weep, and since I have seen you smile, 
Your lips upon my lips, and your eyes upon my eyes; 

Since I have known above my forehead glance and gleam, 
A ray, a single ray, of your star, veiled always, 
Since I have felt the fall, upon my lifetime's stream, 
Of one rose petal plucked from the roses of your days; 

I now am bold to say to the swift changing hours, 
Pass, pass upon your way, for I grow never old, 
Fleet to the dark abysm with all your fading flowers, 
One rose that none may pluck, within my heart I hold.
Your flying wings may smite, but they can never spill The cup fulfilled of love, from which my lips are wet; My heart has far more fire than you can frost to chill, My soul more love than you can make my soul forget


Written by Victor Hugo | |

The Genesis of the Butterfly

 The dawn is smiling on the dew that covers 
The tearful roses; lo, the little lovers 
That kiss the buds, and all the flutterings 
In jasmine bloom, and privet, of white wings, 
That go and come, and fly, and peep and hide, 
With muffled music, murmured far and wide.
Ah, the Spring time, when we think of all the lays That dreamy lovers send to dreamy mays, Of the fond hearts within a billet bound, Of all the soft silk paper that pens wound, The messages of love that mortals write Filled with intoxication of delight, Written in April and before the May time Shredded and flown, playthings for the wind's playtime, We dream that all white butterflies above, Who seek through clouds or waters souls to love, And leave their lady mistress in despair, To flit to flowers, as kinder and more fair, Are but torn love-letters, that through the skies Flutter, and float, and change to butterflies


Written by Victor Hugo | |

The Grave and The Rose

 The Grave said to the Rose, 
"What of the dews of dawn, 
Love's flower, what end is theirs?" 
"And what of spirits flown, 
The souls whereon doth close 
The tomb's mouth unawares?" 
The Rose said to the Grave.
The Rose said, "In the shade From the dawn's tears is made A perfume faint and strange, Amber and honey sweet.
" "And all the spirits fleet Do suffer a sky-change, More strangely than the dew, To God's own angels new," The Grave said to the Rose.


Written by Victor Hugo | |

The Oceans Song

 We walked amongst the ruins famed in story 
Of Rozel-Tower, 
And saw the boundless waters stretch in glory 
And heave in power.
O Ocean vast! We heard thy song with wonder, Whilst waves marked time.
"Appear, O Truth!" thou sang'st with tone of thunder, "And shine sublime! "The world's enslaved and hunted down by beagles, To despots sold.
Souls of deep thinkers, soar like mighty eagles! The Right uphold.
"Be born! arise! o'er the earth and wild waves bounding, Peoples and suns! Let darkness vanish; tocsins be resounding, And flash, ye guns! "And you who love no pomps of fog or glamour, Who fear no shocks, Brave foam and lightning, hurricane and clamour,-- Exiles: the rocks!"


Written by Victor Hugo | |

The Poor Children

 Take heed of this small child of earth; 
He is great; he hath in him God most high.
Children before their fleshly birth Are lights alive in the blue sky.
In our light bitter world of wrong They come; God gives us them awhile.
His speech is in their stammering tongue, And his forgiveness in their smile.
Their sweet light rests upon our eyes.
Alas! their right to joy is plain.
If they are hungry Paradise Weeps, and, if cold, Heaven thrills with pain.
The want that saps their sinless flower Speaks judgment on sin's ministers.
Man holds an angel in his power.
Ah! deep in Heaven what thunder stirs, When God seeks out these tender things Whom in the shadow where we sleep He sends us clothed about with wings, And finds them ragged babes that weep!


Written by Sandra Cisneros | |

Cloud

If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this sheet of paper.
-Thich Nhat Hanh
Before you became a cloud, you were an ocean, roiled and murmuring like a mouth.
You were the shadows of a cloud cross- ing over a field of tulips.
You were the tears of a man who cried into a plaid handkerchief.
You were the sky without a hat.
Your heart puffed and flowered like sheets drying on a line.
And when you were a tree, you listened to the trees and the tree things trees told you.
You were the wind in the wheels of a red bicycle.
You were the spidery Mariatattooed on the hairless arm of a boy in dowtown Houston.
You were the rain rolling off the waxy leaves of a magnolia tree.
A lock of straw-colored hair wedged between the mottled pages of a Victor Hugo novel.
A crescent of soap.
A spider the color of a fingernail.
The black nets beneath the sea of olive trees.
A skein of blue wool.
A tea saucer wrapped in newspaper.
An empty cracker tin.
A bowl of blueber- ries in heavy cream.
White wine in a green-stemmed glass.
And when you opened your wings to wind, across the punched- tin sky above a prison courtyard, those condemned to death and those condemned to life watched how smooth and sweet a white cloud glides.


Written by Thomas Hardy | |

From Victor Hugo

 Child, were I king, I'd yield my royal rule, 
 My chariot, sceptre, vassal-service due, 
My crown, my porphyry-basined waters cool, 
My fleets, whereto the sea is but a pool, 
 For a glance from you! 

Love, were I God, the earth and its heaving airs, 
 Angels, the demons abject under me, 
Vast chaos with its teeming womby lairs, 
Time, space, all would I give--aye, upper spheres, 
 For a kiss from thee!