Upton Sinclair, ed. (1878–1968). rn The Cry for Justice: An Anthology of the Literature of Social Protest. 1915.

The Marseillaise

Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle

(French captain of engineers, 1760–1836. He composed this most famous of all revolutionary songs in 1792, when the French republicans were resisting the armies of all the kings and emperors of Europe. The volunteers from Marseilles marched into Paris singing it—“seven hundred Marseillais who know how to die”)

YE sons of toil, awake 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, mischief breeding,

With hireling hosts, a ruffian band,—

Affright and desolate the land,

While peace and liberty lie bleeding?


To arms! to arms! ye brave!

Th’ avenging sword unsheathe!

March on, march on, all hearts resolved

On Victory or Death.

With luxury and pride surrounded,

The vile, insatiate despots dare,

Their thirst for gold and power unbounded,

To mete and vend the light and air;

Like beasts of burden would they load us,

Like gods would bid their slaves adore,

But Man is Man, and who is more?

Then shall they longer lash and goad us?(Chorus)

O Liberty! can man resign thee,

Once having felt thy generous flame?

Can dungeons’ bolts and 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!(Chorus)