After the Coup d'État (Poem by Victor Hugo)

Old Poem



After the Coup d'État
By Victor Hugo


Before foul treachery and heads hung down,
    I'll fold my arms, indignant but serene.
Oh! faith in fallen things — be thou my crown,
    My force, my joy, my prop on which I lean:

Yes, whilst he's there, or struggle some or fall,
    O France, dear France, for whom I weep in vain.
Tomb of my sires, nest of my loves — my all,
    I ne'er shall see thee with these eyes again.

I shall not see thy sad, sad sounding shore,
    France, save my duty, I shall all forget;
Amongst the true and tried, I'll tug my oar,
    And rest proscribed to brand the fawning set.

O bitter exile, hard, without a term,
    Thee I accept, nor seek nor care to know
Who have down-truckled 'mid the men deemed firm,
    And who have fled that should have fought the foe.

If true a thousand stand, with them I stand;
    A hundred? 'tis enough: we'll Sylla brave;
Ten? put my name down foremost in the band;
    One? — well, alone — until I find my grave.

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