or The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat
as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton
under the Direction of The Marquis de Sade (1964)
Literal Verse Translation of the Original Text from the Four Singers

Peter Weiss

Author's Note on the Historical Background to the Play
Characters Glossary
Marat/Sade: Opening scenes 1-8
Marat/Sade: Closing scenes
Literal Verse Translation of the Original Text from the Four Singers

In the Vendée the battle rages
with deeds both cruel and courageous
between our men and the king's supporters
and we drive them from their quarters
With flying banners we march along
an avenging army with fire and song
called regiment Marat in your renown
and with it we mow our enemies down
Marat the things you bade us do
we now with all our strength put through
Our foes lie beaten in the sand
or take their lives with their own hand
And with cannon and horse we march along
and storm the counter revolutionary throng
in Lyon where for example's sake
we send three thousand to the stake
And now through Nantes our army passes
where we drown citizens in masses
and every house where a rebel is found
we raze relentlessly to the ground
And at last with flying banners we come
to the traitor City of Toulon
and with us is one whose star is ascending
who can lead us an to victories unending
You see Marat how we advance
and now we begin to thin our own ranks
Just as you told us so must above all
the weak and incapable go to the wall
Robespierre puts Danton to the axe
and sends in his wake with all despatch
many of our old confederates
on whom in our ignorance we'd based our hopes
Marat we cannot believe it's true
what our new bosses start to do
Beside the nobles we see in the carts
Jacobins who were once dear to our hearts
and the axe treats them all regardless of name
and when they are corpses they look all the same
Marat we can only stand and gape
at the curious moods of fate
Now we see Robespierre bound and trussed
and already his head has rolled in the dust
Marat how does this all fit together
that the one lot always condemns the other
Tell us Marat must it be so
that someone above for the sake of show
must always direct and always lead
and in the doing it forfeit his head
Marat to comfort you we can say
whom we now have with us today
Napoleon Bonaparte now stands there
like you comes from Corsica or Sardinia
and he has promised us peace eternal
and gives us work in the arsenal
and in honour of the revolution
he calls himself emperor Napoleon
It is we can tell you a feast for the eye
and with rumbling bellies we watch it go by
We just stand and stare
and the holy men bless us in prayer