19th Century

Three Glorious Days | Victor Hugo

  The following poem, written by Victor Hugo to celebrate the French Revolution of 1830, was translated by Elizabeth Collins.

Youth of France, sons of the bold,

     Your oak-leaf victor-wreaths behold!

     Our civic-laurels—honored dead!

       So bright your triumphs in life’s morn,

       Your maiden-standards hacked and torn,

     On Austerlitz might lustre shed.

     All that your fathers did re-done—

     A people’s rights all nobly won—

     Ye tore them living from the shroud!

       Three glorious days bright July’s gift,

       The Bastiles off our hearts ye lift!

     Oh! of such deeds be ever proud!

     Of patriot sires ye lineage claim,

     Their souls shone in your eye of flame;

     Commencing the great work was theirs;

       On you the task to finish laid

       Your fruitful mother, France, who bade

     Flow in one day a hundred years.

     E’en chilly Albion admires,

     The grand example Europe fires;

     America shall clap her hands,

       When swiftly o’er the Atlantic wave,

       Fame sounds the news of how the brave,

     In three bright days, have burst their bands!

     With tyrant dead your fathers traced

     A circle wide, with battles graced;

     Victorious garland, red and vast!

       Which blooming out from home did go

       To Cadiz, Cairo, Rome, Moscow,

     From Jemappes to Montmirail passed!

     Of warlike Lyceums{1} ye are

     The favored sons; there, deeds of war

     Formed e’en your plays, while o’er you shook

       The battle-flags in air aloft!

       Passing your lines, Napoleon oft

     Electrified you with a look!

     Eagle of France! whose vivid wing

     Did in a hundred places fling

     A bloody feather, till one night

       The arrow whelmed thee ‘neath the wave!

       Look up—rejoice—for now thy brave

     And worthy eaglets dare the light.

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