Victor Hugo The New Year Of The Hegira (Praise for The Prophet Mohammad)

The new year of the Hegira
The legend of the centuries , Hetzel , 1859 ( p. 59 – 65 ). see: fr.wikisource.org

THE NEW YEAR OF THE HEGIRE

As if he foresaw that his hour was near,
Serious, he no longer reproached anyone;
He walked by paying passersby their salvation;
We saw him grow older every day, though he had
Barely twenty white hairs on his black beard;
He would sometimes stop to see the camels drinking,
Remembering the time he was a camel driver.

He thought long before the holy pillar;

At times, he had a naked woman put on
And looked at her, then he looked at the nude,
And said: “Beauty on earth, in heaven by day. ”

He seemed to have seen Eden, the age of love,
Earlier times, the immemorial era.
He had a high forehead, an imperial cheek,
The bald eyebrow, the deep and diligent eye,
The neck like the neck of a silver amphora,
The air of a Noah who knows the secret of the flood.
If men came to consult him, this judge
Letting one affirm, the other laugh and deny,
Listened in silence and spoke last.
His mouth was still praying;
He ate little, clutching a stone on his stomach;
He busied himself milking his sheep;
He sat on the floor and sewed his clothes.

He fasted longer than others on fasting days,
Although he lost his strength and was no longer young.

At sixty-three, a fever took him.
He reread the Koran with his own written hand,
Then he gave the banner to Seid’s son,
Saying to him, “I’m touching my last dawn,

There is no other God than God. Fight for him. ”
And his eye, veiled in shadow, had that dreary boredom
From an old eagle forced to abandon its range.
He came to the mosque at his ordinary time,
Supported by Ali, the people following him;
And the sacred standard was displayed in the wind.
There, pale, he cried, turning to the crowd:
“People, the day dies out, the man passes and flows;
The dust and the night is us. God alone is great.
People, I am the blind and I am the ignorant.
Without God I would be vile more than the foul beast. ”
A scheik said to him, “O chief of true believers! the world,
As soon as he heard you, in your word believed;
The day you were born a star appeared,
And three towers of the palace of Chosroès fell. ”
He went on: “The angels deliberate over my death;
The hour is coming. Listen. If I have one of you
Poorly spoken, let it arise, O people, and before all
Let him insult and outrage me before I escape;
If I hit someone, let them hit me. ”
And, calmly, he handed his stick to the passers-by.
An old woman, shearing the wool of a sheep,
Sitting on a threshold, shouted to him: “God assist you!” ”

He seemed to be looking at some sad vision,
And thought; suddenly, thoughtfully, he said, “There,
All of you: I am a word in the mouth of Allah;

I am ashes as a man and fire as a prophet.
I completed the imperfect light from Issa.
I am strength, children; Jesus was meekness.
The sun always has dawn as a precursor.
Jesus preceded me, but he is not the Cause.
He was born of a virgin aspiring a rose.
As a living being, remember this,
I am only a silt by blackened vices;
I have undergone the strange approach to all sins;
My flesh has more affront than a path has mud
And my body by evil is all dishonored;
O all of you, I will soon be devoured
If in the darkness of the solitary coffin
Each human fault generates an earthworm.
Son, the damned is reborn at the bottom of the cold vault,
To be devoured by worms again;
Always his flesh is alive again, until the pain,
Finished, opens its serene vastness to its flight.
Son, I am the base field of sublime battles,
Sometimes the man from above, sometimes the man from below,
And the evil in my mouth with the good alternates
As in the desert the sand and the cistern;
This does not prevent me from having, O believers!
Held in the shadows with scary angels
Who would like to plunge man back into darkness;
I sometimes twisted their funeral arms in my fists;
Often, like Jacob, I have the night, step by step,
Struggled against someone I did not see;

But men especially made my life bleed;
They threw their hatred and their envy on me,
And, as I felt the truth within me,
I fought them, but without being irritated;
And, during the fight, I shouted, “Let it go!
I am alone, naked, bloody, wounded; I prefer it.
Let them strike on me all! may everything be permitted!
“Still, rushing at me, my enemies
»To attack me in this narrow way,
“The sun on their left and the moon on their right,
They would not make me back down! ” This is how
That after struggling forty years, here I am
Arrived on the edge of the deep grave,
And I have before me God, behind me the world.
As for you who have followed me in the ordeal,
Like the Greeks Hermès and the Hebrews Levi,
You have suffered well, but you will see the dawn.
After the cold night, you will see dawn bloom;
People, don’t doubt it; the one who lavished
The lions at the ravines of Jebel-Kronnega,
Pearls in the sea and the stars in the shade,
May give a little joy to the dark man. ”

He added: “Believe, watch; bow your forehead.
Those who are neither good nor bad will stay
On the wall that separates Eden from the abyss,
Being too black for God, but too white for crime;

Almost no one is clean enough from sins
To not deserve a punishment; task,
Praying, let your bodies touch the earth everywhere;
Hell will only burn in its fatal mystery
Only what has not touched the ashes, and God
To those who kiss the dark earth, open a blue sky;
Be hospitable; be holy; be fair;
Up there are the pure fruits in the august trees,
Horses saddled with gold, and, to flee to the seven heavens,
Live chariots with lightnings for axles;
Every hour, serene, incorruptible, happy,
Inhabit a pavilion made of a hollow pearl;
The Gehennam awaits the reprobates; misfortune !
They will have shoes of fire whose heat
Will boil their head as well as a boiler.
The face of the elected will be charming and proud. ”

He stopped, giving audience to the spirit.
Then, continuing his walk with slow steps, he continued:
“O living! I repeat to everyone that this is the time
Where I am going to hide in another house;
So hurry up. It is necessary, the moment has come,
Let me be denounced by those who knew me,
And that if I’m wrong, they spit in my face. ”

The crowd parted silently as it passed.

He washed his beard at the Aboulféia well.
A man claimed three drachmas, which he paid for,
Saying, “Better to pay here than in the grave. ”
The eye of the people was sweet like a dove’s eye
Looking at this august man, his support;
All were crying; when he later returned home,
Many remained there without closing their eyelids,
And spent the night lying on a stone.
The next morning, seeing dawn coming:
“Aboubèkre,” he said, “I cannot get up,
You’re going to take the book and say the prayer. ”
And his wife Aischa was standing behind;
He listened while Aboubèkre read,
And often in a low voice finished the verse;
And we cried while he was praying like that.
And the angel of death towards the evening at the door
Appeared, asking to be allowed in.
“Let him come in. “We then saw his eyes light up
With the same clarity as on the day of his birth;
And the angel said to him, “God desires your presence.
“Good,” he said. A shiver ran down his temples,
A breath opened his lip, and Muhammad died.