After The Coup D'Êtat.

A poem by Victor Marie Hugo

("Devant les trahisons.")

[Bk. VII, xvi., Jersey, Dec. 2, 1852.]

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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