French trees know me

The homework for today’s French Pronunciation class was to memorize a French poem stanza or two to share with the class. I settled on the first 8 lines of “Aux arbes“, by Victor Hugo:

Aux arbres

Arbres de la forêt, vous connaissez mon âme!
Au gré des envieux, la foule loue et blâme;
Vous me connaissez, vous! – vous m’avez vu souvent,
Seul dans vos profondeurs, regardant et rêvant.
Vous le savez, la pierre où court un scarabée,
Une humble goutte d’eau de fleur en fleur tombée,
Un nuage, un oiseau, m’occupent tout un jour.
La contemplation m’emplit le coeur d’amour.

Who knew that Victor Hugo had a taste of Thoreau in him? Here’s my translation:

To the trees

Trees of the forest, you truly know my soul!
Moved by envy, the pressing crowd praises and blames;
But you know me, you! You have seen me often
Alone in your depths, gazing and dreaming.
You’re well aware of how a stone on which a beetle runs,
A humble drop of water falling from flower to flower,
A cloud, a bird, can keep me busy all day.
This kind of contemplation fills my heart with love.

You can join the class and listen to my recitation of Aux arbres (feel free to critique so I can improve!). Or have a computer read it to you with!