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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Moses
By Alfred de Vigny (1797–1863)
 
Translation of Grace Elizabeth King

  HE said unto the Lord:—“Shall I ne’er be done?
  Where wilt thou still that I my footsteps turn?
  Am I to live for aye, great, powerful, and alone?
  Give me, ah, give me leave to sleep the sleep of earth!
  What did I to thee to be chosen thine elect?        5
  Let now some other stand ’twixt thee and thine!
  Some other curb thy wild steed, Israel!
  I gladly make him heir to book and brazen rod.
  Why needest thou have dried up all my hopes?
  Why not have left me man in all my ignorance?        10
  Alas! thou madest me wise among the wise:
  My finger showed thy wandering race its path,
  I called down fire upon the heads of kings,
  And future time will kneel before my laws.
 
  I am the Great: my feet tread nations’ necks,        15
  My hand holds generations in its will.
  Alas, my Lord! I am great—I am alone:
Give me—ah, give me leave to sleep the sleep of earth!”
 
 
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