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Below is an example to show the differences a translation can make. The original poem came from the collection, La Legende Des Siecles (Legend of the Ages). The recent translations appear in Selected Poems of Victor Hugo: A Bilingual Edition, translated by EH and AM Blackmore. and Victor Hugo - Selected Poems, translated by Brooks Haxton (Which you can purchase at by following the links) I have only included the first two stanzas of this twenty-two stanza poem.

(Note: I have no intent to violate any copyright laws on the two recent translations. My belief is that the length of the quote, combined with the use, places it well within the boundaries of the "Fair Use" clause.)

Boaz Asleep
(Translation circa late 1800s,
various publishers)

At work within his barn since very early,
Fairly tired out with toiling all the day,
Upon the small bed where he always lay
Boaz was sleeping by his sacks of barley.

Barley and wheat fields he possessed, and well,
Though rich, loved justice; wherfore all the flood
That turned his mill-wheels was unstained with mud,
And in his smithy blazed no fire of hell.

Boaz Asleep
(Translation - 2001
EH and AM Blackmore)

There Boaz lay, overcome and worn out.
All day he'd labored at his threshing floor;
Now, bedded in his usual place once more,
He slept, with grain bagged everywhere about.

Boaz owned fields of barleycorn and wheat--
A rich old man, but righteous, even so.
There was no foulness in his millstream's flow,
There was no hellfire in his forge's heat.

Boaz Asleep
(translation - 2002
Brooks Haxton)

Boaz, overcome with weariness, by torchlight
made his pallet on the thresing floor
where all day he had worked, and now he slept
among the bushels of threshed wheat.

The old man owned wheatfields and barley,
and though he was rich, he was still fair-minded.
No filth soured the sweetness of his well.
No hot iron of torture whitened his forge.

Booz endormi
(Original French - 1859-83
Victor Hugo)

Booz s'était couché de fatigue accablé;
Il avait tout le jour travaillé dans son aire;
Puis avait fait son lit à sa place ordinaire;
Booz dormait auprès des boisseaux pleins de blé.

Ce vieillard possédait des champs de blés et d'orge;
Il était, quoique riche, à la justice enclin;
Il n'avit pas de fange en l'eau de son moulin;
Il n'avit pas d'enfer dans le feu de sa forge.