My Happiest Dream. ("J'aime à me figure.")

[Bk. III. vii. and viii.]

I love to look, as evening fails,
On vestals streaming in their veils,
Within the fane past altar rails,
Green palms in hand.
My darkest moods will always clear
When I can fancy children near,
With rosy lips a-laughing - dear,
Light-dancing band!

Enchanting vision, too, displayed,
That of a sweet and radiant maid,
Who knows not why she is afraid, -
Love's yet unseen!
Another - rarest 'mong the rare -
To see the gaze of chosen fair
Return prolonged and wistful stare
Of eager een.

But - dream o'er all to stir my soul,
And shine the brightest on the roll,
Is when a land of tyrant's toll
By sword is rid.
I say not dagger - with the sword
When Right enchampions the horde,
All in broad day - so that the bard
May sing the victor with the starred
Bayard and Cid!

My Happiest Dream. by Victor Marie Hugo