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The Ladybug:

XV. La Coccinelle (The Ladybug)
Victor Hugo
translated by gib

She told me, "Something is
Bothering me." And I saw
Her snow-white neck and upon it
A little red insect.

I should have - but wise or foolish,
At sixteen one is awkward -
Seen the kiss on her lips
More than the insect on her neck.

One would have said a seashell;
Red back spotted in black.
In order to see us, the warblers
Leaned forward in the leafy branches.

Her cool mouth was there:
I bent around the lovely girl
And I took the ladybug;
But the kiss took off.

"Son, learn from how I'm called,"
Said the insect from the blue sky,
"The beasts belong to God;
But beastly stupidity belongs to man."

Drawn from Contemplations, I (Aurora): XV - La Coccinelle)
Copyright Geoffrey I. Barto, 2003


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