Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE MARSEILLAISE, by CLAUDE JOSEPH ROUGET DE LISLE

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THE MARSEILLAISE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Ye sons of freedom, wake to glory!
Last Line: To arms! To arms! Ye brave, etc.
Subject(s): France; Freedom; Liberty

YE sons of freedom, wake to glory!
Hark! hark! what myriads bid you rise!
Your children, wives, and grandsires hoary,
Behold their tears and hear their cries!
Shall hateful tyrants, mischiefs breeding,
With hireling hosts, a ruffian band,
Affright and desolate the land,
While peace and liberty lie bleeding?
To arms! to arms! ye brave!
The avenging sword unsheathe;
March on! march on! all hearts resolved
On victory or death.

Now, now the dangerous storm is rolling,
Which treacherous kings confederate raise;
The dogs of war, let loose, are howling,
And lo! our fields and cities blaze;
And shall we basely, view the ruin,
While lawless force, with guilty stride,
Spreads desolation far and wide,
With crimes and blood his hands imbruing?
To arms! to arms! ye brave, etc.

O Liberty! can man resign thee,
Once having felt thy generous flame?
Can dungeons, bolts, or bars confine thee?
Or whips thy noble spirit tame?
Too long the world has wept, bewailing
That falsehood's dagger tyrants wield,
But freedom is our sword and shield,
And all their arts are unavailing.
To arms! to arms! ye brave, etc.

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