More Strong Than Time

Since I have set my lips to your full cup, my sweet,
Since I my pallid face between your hands have laid,
Since I have known your soul, and all the bloom of it,
And all the perfume rare, now buried in the shade;

Since it was given to me to hear one happy while,
The words wherein your heart spoke all its mysteries,
Since I have seen you weep, and since I have seen you smile,
Your lips upon my lips, and your eyes upon my eyes;

Since I have known above my forehead glance and gleam,
A ray, a single ray, of your star, veiled always,
Since I have felt the fall, upon my lifetime’s stream,
Of one rose petal plucked from the roses of your days;

I now am bold to say to the swift changing hours,
Pass, pass upon your way, for I grow never old,
Fleet to the dark abysm with all your fading flowers,
One rose that none may pluck, within my heart I hold.

Your flying wings may smite, but they can never spill
The cup fulfilled of love, from which my lips are wet;
My heart has far more fire than you have frost to chill,
My soul more love than you can make my soul forget.

Victor Hugo

Share

A Veiled Stranger

Nothing can be sadder or more profound than to see a thousand things for the first and last time. To journey is to be born and die each minute. Perhaps somewhere in the vague recesses of his mind he perceived parallels between this series of dissolving views and our human life. All the elements of life are in constant flight from us, with darkness and clarity intermingled, the vision and the eclipse; we look and hasten, reaching out our hands to clutch; every happening is a bend in the road…and suddenly we have grown old. We have a sense of shock and gathering darkness; ahead is a black doorway; the life that bore us is a flagging horse, and a veiled stranger is waiting in the shadows to unharness it.

Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

Share