Tomorrow, at Dawn by Victor Hugo

Translated from the French

by Thomas Banks (September 2021)


The Funeral, Edouard Manet,1867
 


Tomorrow when the fields grow pale with coming dawn,
I shall depart from here, knowing where you abide;
Through forest and past mountains I shall make my path,
Who longer cannot stay far distant from your side.

My eyes upon this thought, my steps shall take their course.
I will hear nothing else, nor look on any sight,
Unknown, unseen, back bent, and with my worn hands crossed,
Sadly enduring day as if the day were night.

Neither shall I regard the golden evening falling,
Nor see the merchant sails descending on Harfleur.
And when I come to you, a garland I shall lay
Upon the tomb where dead you sleep and do not stir.


Demain, Dès l'Aube

Demain, dès l’aube, à l’heure où blanchit la campagne,
Je partirai. Vois-tu, je sais que tu m’attends.
J’irai par la forêt, j’irai par la montagne.
Je ne puis demeurer loin de toi plus longtemps.

Je marcherai les yeux fixés sur mes pensées,
Sans rien voir au dehors, sans entendre aucun bruit,
Seul, inconnu, le dos courbé, les mains croisées,
Triste, et le jour pour moi sera comme la nuit.

Je ne regarderai ni l’or du soir qui tombe,
Ni les voiles au loin descendant vers Harfleur,
Et quand j’arriverai, je mettrai sur ta tombe
Un bouquet de houx vert et de bruyère en fleur.

Table of Contents

 
 

__________________________________
Thomas Banks has taught literature and Latin for many years in Idaho, Montana, and North Carolina, where he currently lives. Other writings of his have appeared in First Things and the St. Austin Review.

Follow NER on Twitter @NERIconoclast
 
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