To Marie, Avec Amour
Ma fleur douce, ma belle chanson,
Your face is ever before my eyes, even in this violent place.
The gun feels heavy in my hands;
Mechanically I fire at the advancing men.
Can I really be killing them?
It seems so unreal.
Perhaps Enjolras can dismiss it as necessary to the Revolution,
Perhaps Bahorel can rejoice in seeing his enemies die,
But I cannot.
It is so painful for me;
Each man I kill seems to look at me with your eyes,
To cry out in pain with your lips.
I feel this nameless dread that the next one I shoot
Will be your brother,
And then you shall hate me forever,
And you shall not remember me kindly.
Ma belle fleur, I know you should hate me.
We have loved in agony, you and I,
Against all convention,
The poor student and the heiress.
But you are an heiress no longer,
Turned out of your home, penniless and disowned,
Because of me.
I feel the pain of your disgrace in my breast,
Or is that a gunshot wound?
It matters not; there are so many.
Slowly I feel my strength leaving me;
I remember tender moments we had together.
Your Jean is leaving you, dear,
Leaving you all alone.
I leave you for the only thing greater to me than you,
And that is the Republic.
Can you ever forgive me for this?
Yet you must promise me, you must,
That you will not lose hope.
Do not mourn for me;
I will have died for a noble and just cause.
Do not hate the Republic because I have died in its service;
From our deaths here will come freedom for all.
Freedom for you and for little Martin.
For his sake, for the sake of our dear child,
You must live on.
I only ask that you think of me with tenderness,
Remember the sweet times we had,