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Hugo, Victor: The Children of the Poor (Les Enfants Pauvres in English)

Portre of Hugo, Victor

Les Enfants Pauvres (French)

Prenez garde à ce petit ętre;
Il est bien grand, il contient Dieu.
Les enfants sont, avant de naître,
Des lumières dans le ciel bleu.

Dieu nous les offre en sa largesse;
Ils viennent; Dieu nous en fait don;
Dans leur rire il met sa sagesse
Et dans leur baiser son pardon.

Leur douce clarté nous effleure.
Hélas, le bonheur est leur droit.
S’ils ont faim, le paradis pleure.
Et le ciel tremble, s’ils ont froid.

La misère de l’innocence
Accuse l’homme vicieux.
L’homme tient l’ange en sa puissance.
Oh! quel tonnerre au fond des cieux,

Quand Dieu, cherchant ces ętres fręles
Que dans l’ombre où nous sommeillons
Il nous envoie avec des ailes,
Les retrouve avec des haillons!

Source of the quotation

The Children of the Poor (English)

TAKE heed of this small child of earth;
He is great: he hath in him God most high.
Children before their fleshly birth
Are lights alive in the blue sky.

In our light bitter world of wrong
They come; God gives us them awhile.
His speech is in their stammering tongue,
And his forgiveness in their smile.

Their sweet light rests upon our eyes.
Alas! their right to joy is plain.
If they are hungry, Paradise
Weeps, and, if cold, Heaven thrills with pain.

The want that saps their sinless flower
Speaks judgment on sin's ministers.
Man holds an angel in his power.
Ah! deep in Heaven what thunder stirs,

When God seeks out these tender things
Whom in the shadow where we sleep
He sends us clothed about with wings,
And finds them ragged babes that weep!

Source of the quotation