1 O STAR of France! The brightness of thy hope and strength and fame, Like some proud ship that led the fleet so long, Beseems to-day a wreck, driven by the galeâ€”a mastless hulk; And â€™mid its teeming, maddenâ€™d, half-drownâ€™d crowds, Nor helm nor helmsman.
2 Dim, smitten star! Orb not of France aloneâ€”pale symbol of my soul, its dearest hopes, The struggle and the daringâ€”rage divine for liberty, Of aspirations toward the far idealâ€”enthusiastâ€™s dreams of brotherhood, Of terror to the tyrant and the priest.
3 Star crucified! by traitors sold! Star panting oâ€™er a land of deathâ€”heroic land! Strange, passionate, mocking, frivolous land.
Miserable! yet for thy errors, vanities, sins, I will not now rebuke thee; Thy unexampled woes and pangs have quellâ€™d them all, And left thee sacred.
In that amid thy many faults, thou ever aimedest highly, In that thou wouldst not really sell thyself, however great the price, In that thou surely wakedst weeping from thy druggâ€™d sleep, In that alone, among thy sisters, thou, Giantess, didst rend the ones that shamed thee, In that thou couldst not, wouldst not, wear the usual chains, This cross, thy livid face, thy pierced hands and feet, The spear thrust in thy side.
4 O star! O ship of France, beat back and baffled long! Bear up, O smitten orb! O ship, continue on!
Sure, as the ship of all, the Earth itself, Product of deathly fire and turbulent chaos, Forth from its spasms of fury and its poisons, Issuing at last in perfect power and beauty, Onward, beneath the sun, following its course, So thee, O ship of France!
Finishâ€™d the days, the clouds dispellâ€™d, The travail oâ€™er, the long-sought extrication, When lo! reborn, high oâ€™er the European world, (In gladness, answering thence, as face afar to face, reflecting ours, Columbia,) Again thy star, O Franceâ€”fair, lustrous star, In heavenly peace, clearer, more bright than ever, Shall beam immortal.