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 ("Si j'étais la feuille.") 
 {XXII., September, 1828.} 

 Oh! were I the leaf that the wind of the West, 
 His course through the forest uncaring; 
 To sleep on the gale or the wave's placid breast 
 In a pendulous cradle is bearing. 
 All fresh with the morn's balmy kiss would I haste, 
 As the dewdrops upon me were glancing; 
 When Aurora sets out on the roseate waste, 
 And round her the breezes are dancing. 
 On the pinions of air I would fly, I would rush 
 Thro' the glens and the valleys to quiver; 
 Past the mountain ravine, past the grove's dreamy hush, 
 And the murmuring fall of the river. 
 By the darkening hollow and bramble-bush lane, 
 To catch the sweet breath of the roses; 
 Past the land would I speed, where the sand-driven plain 
 'Neath the heat of the noonday reposes. 
 Past the rocks that uprear their tall forms to the sky, 
 Whence the storm-fiend his anger is pouring; 
 Past lakes that lie dead, tho' the tempest roll nigh, 
 And the turbulent whirlwind be roaring. 
 On, on would I fly, till a charm stopped my way, 
 A charm that would lead to the bower; 
 Where the daughter of Araby sings to the day, 
 At the dawn and the vesper hour. 
 Then hovering down on her brow would I light, 
 'Midst her golden tresses entwining; 
 That gleam like the corn when the fields are bright, 
 And the sunbeams upon it shining. 
 A single frail gem on her beautiful head, 
 I should sit in the golden glory; 
 And prouder I'd be than the diadem spread 
 Round the brow of kings famous in story. 
 V., Eton Observer. 


Poem by Victor Hugo
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