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

PHEASANT—All things remain the same….
  Chanticleer—                    Nothing’s the same!
Nowhere beneath the sun! The sun forbids!
She changes everything.
  Pheasant—                    She! Who?
  Chanticleer—                                The light!
The farmer’s wife’s geranium over there
Never shows twice the self-same red. That shoe,        5
That old, straw-spitting wooden shoe—how fair!
That wooden comb that hangs among the coats
With meadow hairs still clinging to its teeth!
The aged pitchfork in its corner there,
Still dreaming, in its penance, dreams of hay!        10
The tight-laced ten-pins, pretty girls who pout
When Towser comes and spoils their fine quadrilles.
The huge worm-eaten wooden bowling ball,
On which an ant, forever journeying,
With all an old globe-trotter’s self-esteem        15
In eighty seconds travels round its world.
None of these things remains two winks unchanged.
And as for me, Madame, for many years
A leaning rake, a flower in a vase
Have driven me to chronic ecstasy,        20
And I have caught from looking at a weed
This wide-eyed wonder that will not come off.
  Pheasant—I see you have a soul! How can a soul
Grow up so far from life and live events,
Behind a farm-wall where a house-dog sleeps?        25
  Chanticleer—When we can see and suffer, we know all.
An insect’s death reveals the whole world’s pain.
One sky-lit crevice shows us all the stars.
 
 
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