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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Chanticleer’s Consolation
By Edmond Rostand (1868–1918)
 
        
From ‘Chantecler’: Translation of Charles Hall Grandgent in ‘Kittredge Anniversary Papers’
  
  [The Hen Pheasant, jealous of her lover’s devotion to the sun, tries to rid him of his illusion. Hiding the East from him at dawn, she distracts his attention until daybreak; then, showing him the light, she tauntingly cries:
  “Thou seest the sun can rise without thy help!”
But in the face of evidence the Cock, after a moment of despair, renews his faith. Even though his individual ministry be not indispensable as he had thought, he is still a collaborator in some vast, mysterious mission destined to produce, in the vague future, greater good than he had ever before conceived.]

PHEASANT—Thou seest the sun can rise without thy help!
  Chanticleer—The herald I of a remoter sun!
My cries, piercing Night’s veil, inflict on her
Those stabs of daylight which we take for stars!
I ne’er shall see on spire and belfry gleam        5
That final heaven, of cluster’d orbs compact.
But if I crow, precise and loud, and if,
Long after me, in years to come, a Cock
Shall crow, loud and precise, in every farm,
Night will exist no more!
  Pheasant—                    But when?
  Chanticleer—                            Some day!
        10
 
 
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