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Victor Hugo: leading voice of the Romantic movement in France

Author of Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame shares three poems

  • June Nights
  • In summer, when day has fled, the plain covered with flowers
  • Pours out far away an intoxicating scent;
  • Eyes shut, ears half open to noises,
  • We only half sleep in a transparent slumber.
  • The stars are purer, the shade seems pleasanter;
  • A hazy half-day colors the eternal dome;
  • And the sweet pale dawn awaiting her hour
  • Seems to wander all night at the bottom of the sky. 
  • If My Verses Had Wings
  • Songs as sweet as summer brings,
  • To your flowery lawn should fly
  • If my verses had the wings—
  • Wings of birds that haunt the sky. 
  • Like the spark that upward springs,
  • They would seek your smiling hearth,
  • If my verses had the wings—
  • Wings such as a spirit hath. 
  • Near you, close as ivy clings,
  • They would dwell by night and day
  • If my verses had the wings—
  • Wings like love to speed the way. 
  • A Fleeting Glimpse of a Village
  • How graceful the picture! the life, the repose!
  • The sunbeam that plays on the porch stone wide;
  • And the shadow that fleets o’er the stream that flows,
  • And the soft blue sky with the hill’s green side.
Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo (1802-1885) was a French poet, novelist and playwright, and one of the leading voices of the Romantic movement in France. Like Shakespeare and Goethe, Hugo’s work transcends time and tongue – his novels alone have earned him a place of distinction beside these two poets. While most of the world knows him as the author of Les Miserables (1862) and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (1831), within his own country, Hugo was best known during his lifetime for his poetry.

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  • June Nights
  • In summer, when day has fled, the plain covered with flowers
  • Pours out far away an intoxicating scent;
  • Eyes shut, ears half open to noises,
  • We only half sleep in a transparent slumber.
  • The stars are purer, the shade seems pleasanter;
  • A hazy half-day colors the eternal dome;
  • And the sweet pale dawn awaiting her hour
  • Seems to wander all night at the bottom of the sky. 
  • If My Verses Had Wings
  • Songs as sweet as summer brings,
  • To your flowery lawn should fly
  • If my verses had the wings—
  • Wings of birds that haunt the sky. 
  • Like the spark that upward springs,
  • They would seek your smiling hearth,
  • If my verses had the wings—
  • Wings such as a spirit hath. 
  • Near you, close as ivy clings,
  • They would dwell by night and day
  • If my verses had the wings—
  • Wings like love to speed the way. 
  • A Fleeting Glimpse of a Village
  • How graceful the picture! the life, the repose!
  • The sunbeam that plays on the porch stone wide;
  • And the shadow that fleets o’er the stream that flows,
  • And the soft blue sky with the hill’s green side.
Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo (1802-1885) was a French poet, novelist and playwright, and one of the leading voices of the Romantic movement in France. Like Shakespeare and Goethe, Hugo’s work transcends time and tongue – his novels alone have earned him a place of distinction beside these two poets. While most of the world knows him as the author of Les Miserables (1862) and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (1831), within his own country, Hugo was best known during his lifetime for his poetry.

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