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The Lover’s Colloquy

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



[HERNANI, Act V.]

One little moment to indulge the sight
With the rich beauty of the summer's night.
The harp is hushed, and, see, the torch is dim,--
Night and ourselves together. To the brim
The cup of our felicity is filled.
Each sound is mute, each harsh sensation stilled.
Dost thou not think that, e'en while nature sleeps,
Some power its amorous vigils o'er us keeps?
No cloud in heaven; while all around repose,
Come taste with me the fragrance of the rose,
Which loads the night-air with its musky breath,
While everything is still as nature's death.
E'en as you spoke--and gentle words were those
Spoken by you,--the silver moon uprose;
How that mysterious union of her ray,
With your impassioned accents, made its way
Straight to my heart! I could have wished to die
In that pale moonlight, and while thou wert by.

HERNANI. Thy words are music, and thy strain of love
Is borrowed from the choir of heaven above.

DONNA SOL. Night is too silent, darkness too profound
Oh, for a star to shine, a voice to sound--
To raise some sudden note of music now
Suited to night.

HERN. Capricious girl! your vow
Was poured for silence, and to be released
From the thronged tumult of the marriage feast.

DONNA SOL. Yes; but one bird to carol in the field,--
A nightingale, in mossy shade concealed,--
A distant flute,--for music's stream can roll
To soothe the heart, and harmonize the soul,--
O! 'twould be bliss to listen.

[_Distant sound of a horn, the signal that_ HERNANI
_must go to_ DON RUY, _who, having saved his
life, had him bound in a vow to yield it up._]

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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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…

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