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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Ce Qui Dure
By Sully Prudhomme (René François Armand Prudhomme) (1839–1907)
 
Translation of E. and R. E. Prothero

HOW cold and wan the present lowers,
  O my true Love! around us twain;
How little of the Past is ours!
  How changed the friends who yet remain.
 
We cannot without envying view        5
  The eyes with twenty summers gay;
For eyes ’neath which our childhood grew
  Have long since passed from earth away.
 
Each hour still steals our youth; alas!
  No hour will e’er the theft restore:        10
There’s but one thing that will not pass,—
  The heart I loved thee with of yore.
 
That heart which plays in life its part,
  With love elate, with loss forlorn,
Is still—through all—the child’s pure heart        15
  My mother gave when I was born.
 
That heart, where nothing new can light,
  Where old thoughts draw their cherished breath,—
It loves thee, dear, with all the might
  That Life can wield in strife with Death.        20
 
If it of Death the conqueror be,
  If there’s in Man some nobler part
That wins him immortality,—
  Then thou hast, Love! that deathless heart.
 
 
CONTENTS · GENERAL INDEX · SONGS & LYRICS · BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY
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