She told me: “Something is
Bothering me.” And I saw
Her snow-white neck, and, on it,
A small rose-coloured insect.
I should have, – but, wise or foolish,
One is awkward at sixteen, –
Seen the kiss on her lips
More than the bug on her neck.
One would have called it a seashell;
Red-backed and spotted black.
To see us, the warblers
Leaned forward in the foilage.
There was her cool mouth;
I bent over the lovely girl,
And I caught the ladybird;
But away flew the kiss.
“Son, learn my name,”
Said the bug from the sky blue,
“The beasts belong to our good Lord;
“But beastly stupidity belongs to man.”
Victor Hugo (« Les contemplations »)