Jules Valles 1871

March 26

Source: Jules Vallès, le Cri du Peuple. Editeurs francais Réunis, Paris, 1953;
First Published: Le Cri du Peuple Tuesday March 28, 1871;
Translated: for marxists.org by Mitchell Abidor;
CopyLeft: Creative Commons (Attribute & ShareAlike) marxists.org 2004.

What a day!

The warm and clear sun that gilds the cannon mouths, the odor of bouquets, the trembling of the flags! The murmuring of that Revolution that passes peacefully and beautifully like a blue river, those flutterings, those glimmerings, those brass fanfares, those bronze reflections, those blazings of hope, this perfume of honor: there is in this that which is needed to intoxicate the victorious republican army with pride and joy.

O great Paris!

Cowards that we are, we already spoke of leaving you and distancing ourselves from your faubourgs that we believed dead!

Pardon us, fatherland of honor, city of salvation, bivouac of the Revolution!

Whatever happens, even if we should be again defeated and were to die tomorrow, our generation has been consoled! We have been repaid for twenty years of defeat and anguish.

Bugles, ring out in the wind; drums, beat in the fields!

Embrace me, comrade with gray hair like mine! And you, child playing marbles behind the barricades, come, let me embrace you, too!

March 18 saved everything for you, my little one! Like us, you could have grown up in the fog, struggled in the mud, rolled in blood, died of hunger and shame, suffered the unspeakable pain of the dishonored!

That’s all finished!

We have bled and cried for you. You will reap our heritage. Son of the hopeless, you will be a free man.