The Three Glorious Days (Poem by Victor Hugo)

the Old Poems

The Three Glorious Days
By Victor Hugo


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 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.


Footnote: The pupils of the Polytechnic Military School distinguished themselves by their patriotic zeal and military skill, through all the troubles.

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