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Victor Hugo Poems

A collection of select Victor Hugo famous poems that were written by Victor Hugo or written about the poet by other famous poets. PoetrySoup is a comprehensive educational resource of the greatest poems and poets on history.

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by Hugo, Victor
 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,...Read More



by Hugo, Victor
 ("Les feuilles qui gisaient.") 


 The leaves that in the lonely walks were spread, 
 Starting from off the ground beneath the tread, 
 Coursed o'er the garden-plain; 
 Thus, sometimes, 'mid the soul's deep sorrowings, 
 Our soul a moment mounts on wounded wings, 
 Then, swiftly, falls again. 


 




...Read More

by Hugo, Victor
 ("Tu domines notre âge; ange ou démon, qu'importe!") 
 
 {I. vii.} 


 Angel or demon! thou,—whether of light 
 The minister, or darkness—still dost sway 
 This age of ours; thine eagle's soaring flight 
 Bears us, all breathless, after it away. 
 The eye that from thy presence fain would stray, 
 Shuns thee in vain; thy...Read More

by Hugo, Victor
 ("O Soleil!") 
 
 {Bk. II. iv., Anniversary of the Coup d'État, 1852.} 


 O Sun! thou countenance divine! 
 Wild flowers of the glen, 
 Caves swoll'n with shadow, where sunshine 
 Has pierced not, far from men; 
 Ye sacred hills and antique rocks, 
 Ye oaks that worsted time, 
 Ye limpid lakes which snow-slide shocks...Read More

by Hugo, Victor
 ("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...Read More



by Hugo, Victor
 ("Oh, quand je dors.") 
 
 {XXVII.} 


 Oh! when I sleep, come near my resting-place, 
 As Laura came to bless her poet's heart, 
 And let thy breath in passing touch my face— 
 At once a space 
 My lips will part. 
 
 And on my brow where too long weighed supreme 
 A vision—haply...Read More

by Hugo, Victor
 ("Ceux-ci partent.") 
 
 {Bk. III. v., February, 1843.} 


 We pass—these sleep 
 Beneath the shade where deep-leaved boughs 
 Bend o'er the furrows the Great Reaper ploughs, 
 And gentle summer winds in many sweep 
 Whirl in eddying waves 
 The dead leaves o'er the graves. 
 
 And the living sigh: 
 Forgotten ones, so...Read More

by Hugo, Victor
 ("L'Avarice et l'Envie.") 
 
 {LE CONSERVATEUR LITÉRAIRE, 1820.} 


 Envy and Avarice, one summer day, 
 Sauntering abroad 
 In quest of the abode 
 Of some poor wretch or fool who lived that way— 
 You—or myself, perhaps—I cannot say— 
 Along the road, scarce heeding where it tended, 
 Their way in sullen, sulky silence wended;...Read More

by Hugo, Victor
 THE KNIGHT ERRANT. 
 
 ("Qu'est-ce que Sigismond et Ladislas ont dit.") 
 
 {Bk. XV. iii. 1.} 


 I. 
 
 THE ADVENTURER SETS OUT. 
 
 What was it Sigismond and Ladisläus said? 
 
 I know not if the rock, or tree o'erhead, 
 Had heard their speech;—but when the two spoke low, 
 Among the...Read More

by Hugo, Victor
 ("Vous êtes singulier.") 
 
 {MARION DELORME, Act I., June, 1829, played 1831.} 
 
 MARION (smiling.) You're strange, and yet I love you thus. 
 
 DIDIER. You love me? 
 Beware, nor with light lips utter that word. 
 You love me!—know you what it is to love 
 With love that is the life-blood in one's...Read More

by Hugo, Victor
 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....Read More

by Hugo, Victor
 ("Nous emmenions en esclavage.") 
 
 {VIII., March, 1828.} 


 We're bearing fivescore Christian dogs 
 To serve the cruel drivers: 
 Some are fair beauties gently born, 
 And some rough coral-divers. 
 We hardy skimmers of the sea 
 Are lucky in each sally, 
 And, eighty strong, we send along 
 The dreaded Pirate Galley. 
...Read More

by Hugo, Victor
 ("Roses et Papillons.") 
 
 {XXVII., Dec. 7, 1834.} 


 The grave receives us all: 
 Ye butterflies and roses gay and sweet 
 Why do ye linger, say? 
 Will ye not dwell together as is meet? 
 Somewhere high in the air 
 Would thy wing seek a home 'mid sunny skies, 
 In mead or mossy...Read More

by Hugo, Victor
 ("Une terre au flanc maigre.") 
 
 {Bk. III. xi., October, 1840.} 


 A clod with rugged, meagre, rust-stained, weather-worried face, 
 Where care-filled creatures tug and delve to keep a worthless race; 
 And glean, begrudgedly, by all their unremitting toil, 
 Sour, scanty bread and fevered water from the ungrateful soil; 
 Made harder by their gloom...Read More

by Hugo, Victor
 ("O vous que votre âge défende") 
 
 {IX., February, 1840.} 


 In youthful spirits wild, 
 Smile, for all beams on thee; 
 Sport, sing, be still the child, 
 The flower, the honey-bee. 
 
 Bring not the future near, 
 For Joy too soon declines— 
 What is man's mission here? 
 Toil, where no sunlight...Read More

by Hugo, Victor
 ("Aveugle comme Homère.") 
 
 {Improvised at the Café de Paris.} 


 Blind, as was Homer; as Belisarius, blind, 
 But one weak child to guide his vision dim. 
 The hand which dealt him bread, in pity kind— 
 He'll never see; God sees it, though, for him. 
 
 H.L.C., "London Society." 


 




...Read More

by Hugo, Victor
 ("Un lion avait pris un enfant.") 
 
 {XIII.} 


 A Lion in his jaws caught up a child— 
 Not harming it—and to the woodland, wild 
 With secret streams and lairs, bore off his prey— 
 The beast, as one might cull a bud in May. 
 It was a rosy boy, a king's own pride, 
...Read More

by Hugo, Victor
 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."...Read More

by Hugo, Victor
 ("Il semblait grelotter.") 
 
 {XXXVI., December, 1837.} 


 He seemed to shiver, for the wind was keen. 
 'Twas a poor statue underneath a mass 
 Of leafless branches, with a blackened back 
 And a green foot—an isolated Faun 
 In old deserted park, who, bending forward, 
 Half-merged himself in the entangled boughs, 
 Half in...Read More

by Hugo, Victor
 ("Enfants! Oh! revenez!") 
 
 {XXII, April, 1837} 


 Children, come back—come back, I say— 
 You whom my folly chased away 
 A moment since, from this my room, 
 With bristling wrath and words of doom! 
 What had you done, you bandits small, 
 With lips as red as roses all? 
 What crime?—what wild and...Read More