Toys and Tragedy


by Victor Hugo

In later years, they’ll tell you grandpapa
Adored his little darlings; for them did
His utmost just to pleasure them and mar
No moments with a frown or growl amid
Their rosy rompings; that he loved them so
(Though men have called him bitter, cold, and stern,)
That in the famous winter when the snow
Covered poor Paris, he went, old and worn,
To buy them dolls, despite the falling shells,
At which laughed Punch, and they, and shook his bells.

First published in Poems, by Victor Hugo, 1888.