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XV. Epitaphe
Victor Hugo
translated by Geoffrey Barto

He lived, he played, a laughing creature.
How did it serve you to take this child, nature?
Did you not have the birds painted a thousand colors,
The stars, the great woods, the blue sky, the bitter wave?
How did it serve you to take this child from its mother
And to hide it under bunches of flowers?

For want of this one child you no longer are anything,
You are no longer joyous, starry nature!
And the mother's heart in prey to so many cares,
This heart where all joy engenders torture,
This abyss as great as yourself, nature,
Is empty and desolate for this one child less!

Copyright Geoffrey Barto, 2002

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