Poems by
Aarthi John

The French Revolution

a poem by Aarthi John

The nobility lived in palaces grand and exquisite
With servants thousands and thousands.
To sweat, toil, starve and to be hit,
The third estate was chosen.

The clergy worst in its own way
Comprised cold-blooded rogues
With hearts of stone that often may
Hide beneath sacred robes.

When the third estate petitioned for bread,
“Let them eat cake”
Without mercy the queen said,
Unaware of the revenge they would take.

The treasury with not a single penny
Roused the indolent king,
Who, to fill the treasury with money,
Appointed Turgot to do the thing.

Antoinette, with her own selfish mind,
Dismissed the efficient one
For committing mistakes of no kind;
The dismissal’s reason known to none.

The Estates General was convened
With the first and second estate.
The majority of the population intervened
For disallowing the third estate.

Marched the crowd in mad rage
To the nearby tennis court.
Men, women and children of all age
With determination, swore an oath.

Then they stormed with bitterness
The great Bastille prison.
Never before did the world witness
Such dauntless courage in unison.

That was the beginning of the revolution
That shook the pillars of despotism
And led kings and queens to the revelation
Of people’s power- a realism.

The guillotine was employed all day
In every part of France,
Taking heads off in a silent way
From nobles in a trance.

For ten full months, terror reigned
In the nation called France.
Robespierre held the country’s reins
In his own bloody hands.

The Reign of terror ended
When the French peoples’ factions,
With the same guillotine executed
Robespierre for his bloody actions.

France was made a Republic
With Liberty, Equality and Fraternity,
Much to the joy of the public,
Who believed this to last for eternity.

The belief proved to be wrong
When the legend of Napoleon,
Courageous, intelligent, brave and strong,
Took over france with his garrison.

The magnificence of his wonderful rule
Even today the world wears.
His mortal body devoid of soul
The “Dome des Invalides’ bears.