My Two Daughters

My Two Daughters

In the cool dusk, enchanting evening drawing on,
One like the dove, the other like the swan,
Lovely, and joyful both of them, and, ah, so sweet,
Big sister and little sister make their seat,
Look, at the threshold of the garden; over them,
A spray of white carnations, long, fragile of stem,
Leans down, immobile, living, over the pair it sees,
Out of an urn of marble, in the sway of the breeze,
And quivers in the shade, and seems at the rim to be
A flight of butterflies suspended in ecstasy.
– Victor Hugo (1802-1885)
Translated by Peter Dale Scott

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