Reference > Anthologies > Warner, et al., eds. > The Library > Verse

C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
Chanticleer’s Hymn to the Sun
By Edmond Rostand (1868–1918)
From ‘Chantecler’: Translation of Charles Hall Grandgent in ‘Kittredge Anniversary Papers’

THOU that driest the tears of the tiniest things,
That turnest the wither’d blossom to butterfly-wings,
When, like a flickering life, the almond-tree flings
            Its petals to the breeze
            Cold from the Pyrenees,—        5
I adore thee, O Sun, whose beneficent light,
To ripen the honey, to make the sad visage bright,
Piercing each flower and the cottage of each poor wight,
            Divided, remains whole,
            Even as a mother’s soul.        10
I am thy priest, I am thy herald true,
Thou who comest to color the soap-suds blue,
And often choosest, to signal thy last adieu
            A humble window-pane,
            When thou dost set again.        15
Thou makest the sun-flowers’ heads turn to and fro,
Thou makest my golden friend on the steeple glow,
And, fluttering thro’ the lindens, dost stealthily throw
            Round light-flakes on the lawn,
            Too fair to tread upon.        20
The varnisht pitcher thou dost enamel and mold;
Thou makest the drying clout like a banner unfold;
And, thanks to thee, the mill wears a hat of gold,
            A hive, his little mate,
            A bonnet aureate.        25
“Glory to thee!” the fields and the vineyards cry.
Glory to thee on the gate, in the grasses high,
On the wing of the swan, in the lizard’s glittering eye!
            Thy broad art never fails
            To show the least details.        30
Designing a lowly twin-sister dark as night,
Which lies outstretcht at the foot of everything bright,
Thou doublest in number the objects of our delight,
            Adding a silhouette
            To each, that’s prettier yet.        35
O Sun, I adore thee! Thou fillest with roses the breeze,
With gods the woodland, with flames the brook as it flees;
Thou defiest, O Sun, the humble trees.
            The world, without thy beam,
            Would only be, not seem.        40

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