A Glimpse of the Past


Poetry in Jersey


To the Editor of the “Nouvelle Chronique.”

Sir, - The death of Victor Hugo recalls to mind a New Year's Card, sent to him for January 1, 1884, by Mrs. Rose, of Portelet, in this Island, in the form of a restored Photograph (date 1853), representing the eminent deceased (then an exile in Jersey) and the late Thomas Rose, Esq., (one of whose houses, in Marine Terrace, the Poet at that time occupied) standing side by side in the attitude of close friends.

The Photograph had beneath it the following Sonnet, composed by a friend of Mrs. Rose:

A Glimpse of the Past

Say - by what accident together brought
We here behold, fraternally allied
In close approximity side by side,
Friend Rose of Jersey, zealous for Free Thought,
And Victor Hugo - Patriot unbought
By all French Caesar's wiles - who, thence denied
Safe Home in France by power Liberticide,
In Jersey's Caesarea Freedom sought?

The illustrious exile, hopeful of new fate,
Within Friend Rose's wave-washed confines found
A dwelling suited to his banished state;
Where each day's breeze brought air from Gallic ground;
And in his host he met - and thus would show it, -
A kindred soul, and humble brother Poet.

This Sonnet has been rendered in French, as follows:-

Une Mémoire du Passé

Dites donc - par quel fortuné concours
On voit ici étroitement unis,
A côté l'un de l'autre en vrais amis,
Sieur Rose de Jersey, philosophe toujours,
Et Victor Hugo, patriote rebours
Aux ruses de César - ses bruyant cris
Tous droits pour lui en France ont interdits,
C'est pourquoi à Jersey il eut recours.

Intrépide et plein de bon espoir,
L'exilé illustre au domaine marin
Du Sieur Rose trouvait un petit foyer,
Où chaque vent d'air Français porte un brin,
Et dans son hôte reconnut-il - Voici!
Esprit germain, et Poète malgré lui.

If you think these particulars worth publication, they are at your service.

Un Chroniqueur
May 25, 1885




Poetry in Jersey





La Société Jersiaise

R'tou à la page d'siez-mé | Back to home page