19th Century

Invocation | Victor Hugo

Written by Victor Hugo and published in Les Chants des Crepuscules in 1835

Translated by George W.M. Reynolds and published in Songs of Twilight in 1836.

{V, vi., August, 1832.}[1]

Say, Lord! for Thou alone canst tell

Where lurks the good invisible

Amid the depths of discord’s sea—

That seem, alas! so dark to me!

Oppressive to a mighty state,

Contentions, feuds, the people’s hate—

But who dare question that which fate

    Has ordered to have been?

Haply the earthquake may unfold

The resting-place of purest gold,

And haply surges up have rolled

     The pearls that were unseen!

[1] Original citation: Reynolds, Songs of Twilight and Hapgood, Smith, and Dole, p. 120.