NWC Songbook Translations

The translations offered herein are the best I could manage, but have no claim to be definitive. Linguistically-gifted members who would like to volunteer to translate or to offer corrections are cheerfully invited to do so!

Brothers, Hasten to Arms!

Brothers, hasten to arms!
The Empire is in peril.
In these times of danger,
Let us rush to its relief:
All bursting with energy,
All proud of our triumphs,
Let us prove to our nation
That we are indeed Frenchmen.

Following the trajectory
Of our warlike leaders,
Let us cover ourselves before thier eyes
With a noble dust.
The lover of victory,
All aflame with courage,
To rush to glory,
Is born a soldier fully-armed.

Possessing the valor
Of the sons of ancient Greece,
To their ingenuity,
Let us add blazing ardor.
Guardians of our laws,
To maintain them let us join
To military virtues
Those of citizenship.

May a common love unite us,
May it blend our hearts.
Let us stifle the fury
Of shameful envy.
The volunteer warrior we love,
The true soldier-hero,
Must be noble, even
In his defects.

Linked without coercion
By its finest bonds,
Sacred friendship makes of us
A single unit.
Sure of triumph
Against the darkest plots,
The greatest victories
Will be child's play for us.

If the infernal League
We seek to punish,
By dastardly intrigues,
Could disunite us,
Our finest patriots,
In that horrible misfortune,
Would have no recourse
But to beg for the shackles of despotism!

Against absurd terrors,
How well you reassure me!
You all bear the marks
Of the sacred sentiments
That shine in the Genius,
The exalted soldier,
Proud child of courage,
Liberty's gift.

Dear hope
Of the French Empire,
Already you fulfil
The wishes of the nation.
Bringing honor to both
The uniform and the profession of Turenne,
Each of you becomes
A Fabert or a Catinat.

I Had a Comrade

I had a comrade,
A better could never be.
The drum called us to war.
He was always at my side,
Through good times and bad.

A bullet came flying toward us:
Was it meant for me or for him?
It struck him down,
And he lay at my feet
Like a piece of my very self.

He raises his hand toward mine,
But I must reload my gun.
"I cannot give you my hand,
I will meet you again in Heaven,
My good comrade!"

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