Famous French Poem “Demain dès l’aube” by Victor Hugo

Author: Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Learn the short famous French poem “Demain dès l’aube” by Victor Hugo + English translation. Learn French with classic French poetry.

One the best-known masterpieces of Victor Hugo, “Demain dès l’aube” is an enigmatic poem.

First, the poet takes us for a walk through Normandy’s countryside. The destination of the journey is a mystery: one first imagines a lover’s date… but the poem will unravel a meaning much deeper to the poet’s heart.

My thorough explanation of the poem will tell you about this drama, one of many in Victor Hugo’s life, and show you how Victor Hugo builds up the tension of the poem – in a extremely visual, almost cinematic way.

This very famous French poem is read twice (enunciated and natural recordings) + detailed explanation of the vocabulary in easy French + analysis of the poem + author’s life + transcript with the English translation in my audiobook “Easy French Poetry”.

Easy French Poetry

Most famous and classic French poems read and analysed in everyday French.

(29 Reviews)

More Details & Audio Samples

1 – French Poem “Demain dès l’aube” by Victor Hugo

Demain, dès l’aube, à l’heure où blanchit la campagne,
Je partirai. Vois-tu, je sais que tu m’attends.
J’irai par la forêt, j’irai par la montagne.
Je ne puis demeurer loin de toi plus longtemps.

Je marcherai les yeux fixés sur mes pensées,
Sans rien voir au dehors, sans entendre aucun bruit,
Seul, inconnu, le dos courbé, les mains croisées,
Triste, et le jour pour moi sera comme la nuit.

Je ne regarderai ni l’or du soir qui tombe,
Ni les voiles au loin descendant vers Harfleur,
Et quand j’arriverai, je mettrai sur ta tombe
Un bouquet de houx vert et de bruyère en fleur.

Un bouquet de houx vert et de bruyère en fleur. A bouquet of green holly and heather in bloom

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2- English Translation of “Demain dès l’aube” by Victor Hugo

Here is my own translation of the French poem. I went for a literal translation so you could understand the vocabulary.

Tomorrow, at dawn, in the hour when the countryside becomes white,
I will leave. You see, I know that you are waiting for me.
I will go by the forest, I will go by the mountain.
I cannot stay far from you any longer.

I will walk eyes fixed on my thoughts,
Without seeing anything outside, nor hearing any noise,
Alone, unknown, the back curved, the hands crossed,
Sad, and the day for me will be like the night.

I will not look at the gold of the evening which falls,
Nor the faraway sails descending towards Harfleur.
And when I arrive, I will put on your tomb
A green bouquet of holly and flowering heather.

Author: Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Born and raised in Paris, I have been teaching today's French to adults for 23+ years in the US and France. Based on my students' goals and needs, I've created unique downloadable French audiobooks focussing on French like it's spoken today, for all levels. Most of my audiobooks are recorded at several speeds to help you conquer the modern French language. Good luck with your studies and remember, repetition is the key!

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