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 ("Le parfum d'un lis.") 
 {Bk. V. xiii.} 

 The lily's perfume pure, fame's crown of light, 
 The latest murmur of departing day, 
 Fond friendship's plaint, that melts at piteous sight, 
 The mystic farewell of each hour at flight, 
 The kiss which beauty grants with coy delay,— 
 The sevenfold scarf that parting storms bestow 
 As trophy to the proud, triumphant sun; 
 The thrilling accent of a voice we know, 
 The love-enthralled maiden's secret vow, 
 An infant's dream, ere life's first sands be run,— 
 The chant of distant choirs, the morning's sigh, 
 Which erst inspired the fabled Memnon's frame,— 
 The melodies that, hummed, so trembling die,— 
 The sweetest gems that 'mid thought's treasures lie, 
 Have naught of sweetness that can match HER NAME! 
 Low be its utterance, like a prayer divine, 
 Yet in each warbled song be heard the sound; 
 Be it the light in darksome fanes to shine, 
 The sacred word which at some hidden shrine, 
 The selfsame voice forever makes resound! 
 O friends! ere yet, in living strains of flame, 
 My muse, bewildered in her circlings wide, 
 With names the vaunting lips of pride proclaim, 
 Shall dare to blend the one, the purer name, 
 Which love a treasure in my breast doth hide,— 
 Must the wild lay my faithful harp can sing, 
 Be like the hymns which mortals, kneeling, hear; 
 To solemn harmonies attuned the string, 
 As, music show'ring from his viewless wing, 
 On heavenly airs some angel hovered near. 


Poem by Victor Hugo
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