ONE of France’s most famous authors Victor Hugo was born in the French Comte region on February 26, 1802.
His major works include the novels The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Les Miserables, but he also wrote many poems.
During his lifetime his poetry established him as a major figure of the literary world, but today it is his novels he is most recognised for.
In France he also played a major role within political circles, it was Hugo who used the phrase ‘United States of Europe’ for the first time.
He also led a campaign to protect the intellectual property rights of artists that became the Berne Convention in 1886.
When Victor Hugo died on May 22, 1885 the French public mourned his passing and the government created a temple in homage to the great men and women of France.
Victor Hugo is buried in its necropolis.
Sweet Memory of Love, by Hugo
As life wanes on, the passions slow depart,
One with his grinning mask, one with his steel;
Like to a strolling troupe of Thespian art,
Whose pace decreases, winding past the hill.
But naught can Love's all charming power efface,
That light, our misty tracks suspended o'er,
In joy thou'rt ours, more dear thy tearful grace,
The young may curse thee, but the old adore.
But when the weight of years bow down the head,
And man feels all his energies decline,
His projects gone, himself tomb'd with the dead,
Where virtues lie, nor more illusions shine,
When all our lofty thoughts dispersed and o'er,
We count within our hearts so near congealed,
Each grief that's past, each dream, exhausted ore!
As counting dead upon the battle-field.
As one who walks by the lamp's flickering blaze,
Far from the hum of men, the joys of earth--
Our mind arrives at last by tortuous ways,
At that dear gulf where but despair has birth.
E'en there, amid the darkness of that night,
When all seems closing round in empty air,
Is seen through thickening gloom one trembling light!
'Tis Love's sweet memory that lingers there!