The Grenadiers

Text by Heinrich Heine (1797-1856).
Translated into English by Joseph Massaad 

deutsch - francais

After the Russian prison and its toil,
Two French Grenadiers were returning home.
As they reached the German soil,
In despair they began to roam..

There they both heard news of infamy :
That France has been lost,
Beaten and destroyed the Great Army,
Imprisoned, the Emperor, that hurts most!

On this miserable piece of news,
The grenadiers cried together.
The one said: " To suffer, I chose.
My old wound will bleed forever "

The other replied : " Its all in vain,
I wish to die with you..
But I have wife and kids to sustain.
If I die, they will perish too "

I care not about kids nor wife,
I have a greater need to satisfy.
If hungry, let them beg and strive,
My Emperor in prison, Oh my, oh my !

Should I now die, o brother,
Please fulfill my last plea :
Take be back to the land of my father,
Bury me under a French tree.

The Cross of Honor, with its red band,
Please place upon my breast,
Lay the pistol in my hand,
And the sword around my waist.

So I shall lie and listen under,
Like a sentinel in a grave,
Till I hear the canons thunder
And gallops and whinings wave.

Then will my Emperor ride upon my tomb,
And the swords will crash and rattle.
I shall surge out of the earth's womb,
To protect my emperor in the battle