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Bastille Day
Posted by: Pam Adams (
Date: July 14, 2005 09:44PM

Happy Bastille Day!

France, The 18th Year Of These States
by: Walt Whitman

[Links] [Interpretations] [Discussion]

A GREAT year and place;
A harsh, discordant, natal scream out-sounding, to touch the mother's
heart closer than any yet.

I walk'd the shores of my Eastern Sea,
Heard over the waves the little voice,
Saw the divine infant, where she woke, mournfully wailing, amid the
roar of cannon, curses, shouts, crash of falling buildings;
Was not so sick from the blood in the gutters running--nor from the
single corpses, nor those in heaps, nor those borne away in the
Was not so desperate at the battues of death--was not so shock'd at
the repeated fusillades of the guns.

Pale, silent, stern, what could I say to that long-accrued
Could I wish humanity different?
Could I wish the people made of wood and stone? 10
Or that there be no justice in destiny or time?

O Liberty! O mate for me!
Here too the blaze, the grape-shot and the axe, in reserve, to fetch
them out in case of need;
Here too, though long represt, can never be destroy'd;
Here too could rise at last, murdering and extatic;
Here too demanding full arrears of vengeance.

Hence I sign this salute over the sea,
And I do not deny that terrible red birth and baptism,
But remember the little voice that I heard wailing--and wait with
perfect trust, no matter how long;
And from to-day, sad and cogent, I maintain the bequeath'd cause, as
for all lands, 20
And I send these words to Paris with my love,
And I guess some chansonniers there will understand them,
For I guess there is latent music yet in France--floods of it;
O I hear already the bustle of instruments--they will soon be
drowning all that would interrupt them;
O I think the east wind brings a triumphal and free march,
It reaches hither--it swells me to joyful madness,
I will run transpose it in words, to justify it,
I will yet sing a song for you, MA FEMME.


Re: Bastille Day
Posted by: Desi (Moderator)
Date: July 15, 2005 05:39AM

I went to see the fireworks here in Lyon yesterday. It was really impressive. About half an hour of fireworks!

C’est le quatorze juillet.
A pareil jour, sur la terre
La liberté s’éveillait
Et riait dans le tonnerre.

Peuple, à pareil jour râlait
Le passé, ce noir pirate;
Paris prenait au collet
La Bastille scélérate.

A pareil jour, un décret
Chassait la nuit de la France,
Et l’infini s’éclairait
Du côté de l’espérance.

Victor Hugo
14 juillet 1859

Re: Bastille Day
Posted by: Talia (
Date: July 15, 2005 08:44AM


by: Charles Baudelaire

SHADOWY Beauty mine, when thou shalt sleep
In the deep heart of a black marble tomb;
When thou for mansion and for bower shalt keep
Only one rainy cave of hollow gloom;

And when the stone upon thy trembling breast,
And on thy straight sweet body's supple grace,
Crushes thy will and keeps thy heart at rest,
And holds those feet from their adventurous race;

Then the deep grave, who shares my reverie,
(For the deep grave is aye the poet's friend)
During long nights when sleep is far from thee,

Shall whisper: "Ah, thou didst not comprehend
The dead wept thus, thou woman frail and weak"--
And like remorse the worm shall gnaw thy cheek.

Re: Bastille Day
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (
Date: July 16, 2005 07:37PM

I usually bring in cake to work and let them eat it

Re: Bastille Day
Posted by: Satirical (
Date: July 16, 2005 08:19PM

I'm tellin Robespierre, he's the directory you know

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