Victor Marie Hugo

(26 February 1802 – 22 May 1885 / Besancon / France)

Hymne Des Transportés (Hymn Of The Transported) - Poem by Victor Marie Hugo

Prions ! voici l'ombre sereine.
Vers toi, grand Dieu, nos yeux et nos bras sont levés.
Ceux qui t'offrent ici leurs larmes et leur chaîne
Sont les plus douloureux parmi les éprouvés.
Ils ont le plus d'honneur ayant le plus de peine.

Souffrons ! le crime aura son tour.
Oiseaux qui passez, nos chaumières,
Vents qui passez, nos soeurs, nos mères
Sont là-bas, pleurant nuit et jour. !
Oiseaux, dites-leur nos misères !
Ô vents, portez-leur notre amour !

Nous t'envoyons notre pensée,
Dieu ! nous te demandons d'oublier les proscrits,
Mais de rendre sa gloire à la France abaissée ;
Et laisse-nous mourir, nous brisés et meurtris,
Nous que le jour brûlant livre à la nuit glacée !

Souffrons ! le crime -

Comme un archer frappe une cible,
L'implacable soleil nous perce de ses traits
Après le dur labeur, le sommeil impossible ;
Cette chauve-souris qui sort des noirs marais,
La fièvre, bat nos fronts de son aile invisible.

Souffrons ! le crime -

On a soif, l'eau brûle la bouche
On a faim, du pain noir ; travaillez, malheureux !
A chaque coup de pioche en ce désert farouche
La mort sort de la terre avec son rire affreux,
Prend l'homme dans ses bras, l'étreint et se recouche.

Souffrons ! le crime -

Mais qu'importe ! rien ne nous dompte ;
Nous sommes torturés et nous sommes contents.
Nous remercions Dieu vers qui notre hymne monte
De nous avoir choisis pour souffrir dans ce temps
Où tous ceux qui n'ont pas la souffrance ont la honte.

Souffrons ! le crime -

Vive la grande République !
Paix à l'immensité du soir mystérieux !
Paix aux morts endormis dans la tombe stoïque !
Paix au sombre océan qui mêle sous les cieux
La plainte de Cayenne au sanglot de l'Afrique !

Souffrons ! le crime aura son tour.
Oiseaux qui passez, nos chaumières,
Vents qui passez, nos soeurs, nos mères
Sont là-bas, pleurant nuit et jour.
Oiseaux, dites-leur nos misères !
Ô vents, portez-leur notre amour !

Hymn of the Transported

Let us pray! Lo, the shadow serene!
God, towards thee our arms are upraised and our eyes.
They who proffer thee here their tears and their chain
Are the most sorrowful thy sorrow tries.
Most honour have they, being possessed of most pain.

Let us suffer! The crim will take flight.
Birds passing our cottages;
Winds passing,—on weary knees
Mothers, sisters, weep there day and night!
Winds, tell them our miseries!
Birds, bear our heart's love to their sight!

Our thought is uplifted to thee,
God! The proscribed we beseech thee forget,
But give back her old glory to France, whom we see
Shame-smitten; ay! slay us,—us sorrow-beset;
Hot day but consigns to chill night's agony!


Let us suffer! The crim will take flight.
Birds passing our cottages;
Winds passing,—on weary knees
Mothers, sisters, weep there day and night!
Winds, tell them our miseries!
Birds, bear our heart's love to their sight!
As a bowman striketh a mark,
The fierce sun smites us with shafts of fire;
After dire day-labour, no sleep in night dark;
The bat that takes wing from the marish-mire—
Fever—flaps noiseless our brows and leaves stark.


Let us suffer! The crim will take flight.
Birds passing our cottages;
Winds passing,—on weary knees
Mothers, sisters, weep there day and night!
Winds, tell them our miseries!
Birds, bear our heart's love to their sight!
Athirst! The scant water-drop burns!
An-hungered,—black bread! Work, work, ye accurst!
At each stroke of the pick wild laughter returns
Loud echoed; lo! from the soil Death hath burst,
Round a man folds arms, and to sleep anew turns.


Let us suffer! The crim will take flight.
Birds passing our cottages;
Winds passing,—on weary knees
Mothers, sisters, weep there day and night!
Winds, tell them our miseries!
Birds, bear our heart's love to their sight!
What matters it! Nothing can tame
Us; we are tortured, and we are content.
And we thank high God, towards whom like flame
Our hymn burneth, that unto us suffering is sent,
When all they that endure not suffering bear shame.


Let us suffer! The crim will take flight.
Birds passing our cottages;
Winds passing,—on weary knees
Mothers, sisters, weep there day and night!
Winds, tell them our miseries!
Birds, bear our heart's love to their sight!
Live the Republic world-great!
Peace to the vast mysterious even!
Peace to the dead sweet slumber doth sate!
To wan ocean peace, that blends beneath heaven
Africa's sob with Cayenne's wail of hate!


Let us suffer! The crim will take flight.
Birds passing our cottages;
Winds passing,—on weary knees
Mothers, sisters, weep there day and night!
Winds, tell them our miseries!
Birds, bear our heart's love to their sight!


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Poem Submitted: Saturday, April 3, 2010



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