The rivers of France are ten score and twain,
But five are the names that we know:
The Marne, the Vesle, the Oureq and the Aisne,
And the Somme of the swampy flow.
The rivers of France, from source to sea,
Are nourished by many a rill,
But these five, if ever a drouth there be
The fountains of sorrow would fill.
The rivers of France shine silver white,
But the waters of five are red
With the richest blood, in the fiercest fight
For freedom that ever was shed.
The rivers of France sing soft as they run,
But five have a song of their own,
That hymns the fall of the arrogant one
And the proud cast down from his throne.
The rivers of France all quietly take
To sleep in the house of their birth,
But the carnadined wave of five shall break
On the uttermost strands of earth.
Five rivers of France—see! their names are writ
On a banner of crimson and gold,
And the glory of those who fashioned it
Shall nevermore cease to be told.