Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Happy birthday, Eugène Pottier

l'Internationale

Awake, the cursed of the earth,
Awake, the slaves of hunger,
Reason thunders in its crater,
It's the eruption of the end.
Let's make a clean slate of the past,
Enslaved masses, rise up, rise up —
The world will change at its foundation;
We are nothing, we will be all.

This is the final struggle;
Let us unite and tomorrow
The International
Will be the human race.

There are no supreme saviors
No God, no Caesar, no Court —
Producers, let us save ourselves,
We decree the common greeting.
To make the thief disgorge his booty,
To free the spirit from its prison,
Let us fan the forge together,
Strike the iron while it is hot.

This is the final struggle;
Let us unite and tomorrow
The International
Will be the human race.

The state represses and the law cheats,
The tax bleeds the disenfranchised;
No duty is imposed on the rich,
The right of the poor is an empty word.
No more to languish in submission,
Equality means other laws;
"No rights without duties," it says,
"And no duties without rights."

This is the final struggle;
Let us unite and tomorrow
The International
Will be the human race.

Hideous in their glory,
Kings of the mine and rail,
Have they never done anything
But steal from the worker?
In the strongholds of their gang
What work created is melted down —
In demanding its return
The people claim only their due.

This is the final struggle;
Let us unite and tomorrow
The International
Will be the human race.

The kings drugged us in their smoke,
Peace among us, war to tyrants,
Bring the strike to the armies:
Surrender and break the ranks!
If these cannibals persist
To make us heroes
They soon will know that our bullets
Are for our would-be generals.

This is the final struggle;
Let us unite and tomorrow
The International
Will be the human race.

City, country, we are
The great party of workers,
The earth belongs only to us,
The idle will stay away.
How many have fed on our flesh!
But if these ravens, these vultures,
One of these mornings are gone,
The sun will shine forever.