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The firmament is full with brightness vast
Victor Hugo
translated by gib

rhyming Alexandrin couplets (AA BB ... )

The firmament is full with brightness vast;
All is joy, innocence, hope, happiness, goodness,.
The beautiful lake shines at the bottom of the surrounding valley;
All brims with sap and life and noise,
From green branches, shivering azure, water that glimmers,
And little birds in search of quarrels.
What's with the butterfly? What's with the grasshopper?
The grasshopper has the gras, and the butterfly the air;
And both have April laughing in the clear sky.
A joyous refrain comes from nature entire,
Song that sweetly rises and becomes a prayer.
The chick runs, the child plays and dances, the lamb
Jumps, and, letting its water drip, drop by drop,
The old lair, softened, weeps as though a face;
The wind reads to someone invisible a passage
From the unheard poem of creation;
The bird speaks to scents, the flower speaks to rays:
The pines of the marshes put forth their green needle clusters;
The nests are warm. The azure finds the lovely earth;
Wave and earth; at once all floating climates;
Here autumn, here summer, there sprint.
O hills! o furrows! gasps, sighs, breaths!
The hosanna of the forests, the rivers, the plains,
Rise up gravely toward God, father of the day;
And all the lights are stanzas of love;
The swan says: Light! And the lily says: Clemency!
The sky opens up itself to this song like an immense ear

Drawn from Contemplations: I (Aurora): IV - Le firmament est plein de la vaste clarte
Copyright Geoffrey Barto, 2003

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