Childhood (Poem by Victor Hugo)

Old Poem

By Victor Hugo

The small child sang; the mother, outstretched on the low bed,
    With anguish moaned, — fair Form pain should possess not long;
For, ever nigher, Death hovered around her head:
    I hearkened there this moan, and heard even there that song.

The child was but five years, and, close to the lattice, aye
    Made a sweet noise with games and with his laughter bright;
And the wan mother, aside this being the livelong day
    Carolling joyously, coughed hoarsely all the night.

The mother went to sleep 'mong them that sleep alway;
    And the blithe little lad began anew to sing...
Sorrow is like a fruit: God doth not therewith weigh
    Earthward the branch strong yet but for the blossoming.

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