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Jersey

Victor Marie Hugo 1802 (Besançon) – 1885 (Paris)

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 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.

L'ENVOY.

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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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:05 min read
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Victor Marie Hugo

Victor Marie Hugo was a French poet, novelist, and dramatist of the Romantic movement. He is considered one of the greatest and best known French writers. In France, Hugo's literary fame comes first from his poetry but also rests upon his novels and his dramatic achievements. Among many volumes of poetry, Les Contemplations and La Légende des siècles stand particularly high in critical esteem. Outside France, his best-known works are the novels Les Misérables, 1862, and Notre-Dame de Paris, 1831. Though a committed royalist when he was young, Hugo's views changed as the decades passed; he became a passionate supporter of republicanism, and his work touches upon most of the political and social issues and artistic trends of his time. He was buried in the Panthéon. more…

All Victor Marie Hugo poems | Victor Marie Hugo Books

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