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by [?]

(“Il vivait, il jouait.”)

[Bk. III. xv., May, 1843.]

He lived and ever played, the tender smiling thing.
What need, O Earth, to have plucked this flower from blossoming?
Hadst thou not then the birds with rainbow-colors bright,
The stars and the great woods, the wan wave, the blue sky?
What need to have rapt this child from her thou hadst placed him by–
Beneath those other flowers to have hid this flower from sight?

Because of this one child thou hast no more of might,
O star-girt Earth, his death yields thee not higher delight!
But, ah! the mother’s heart with woe for ever wild,
This heart whose sovran bliss brought forth so bitter birth–
This world as vast as thou, even thou, O sorrowless Earth,
Is desolate and void because of this one child!

Translated by NELSON K. TYERMAN.