A Sheaf Gleaned in French Fields/Patria (Les Châtiments, Victor Hugo)

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(Les Châtiments.)

Who smiles there? Is it
A stray spirit
Or woman fair?
Sombre yet soft is the brow!
Bow, nations, bow;
O soul in air,
Speak, what art thou?

In grief the fair face seems—
What mean these sudden gleams!
Our antique pride and dreams
Start up, as beams
The conquering glance;
It makes our sad hearts dance,
And wakes in woods hushed long
The wild bird's song.

Angel of day!
Our Hope, Love, Stay,
Thy countenance
Lights land and sea
Thy name is France
Or Verity.

Fair angel in thy glass
When vile things move or pass,
Clouds in the skies amass;
Terrible, alas!
Thy stern commands are then,
'Form, form battalions, men,
The flag display.'
And men obey.

Angel of night!
Sent kings to smite,
The words in dark skies glance,
'Mené, Mené;' hiss
Bolts that never miss!
Thy name is France,
Or Nemesis.

As halcyons in May
O nations, in his ray
Float and bask for aye,
Nor know decay!
One arm upraised to heaven
Shuts the past forgiven;
One holds a sword
To quell hell's horde.

Angel of God!
Thy wings stretch broad
As heaven's expanse!
To shield and free
Thy name is France
Or Liberty.