Zachary Richard  

La Ballade de Beausoleil
Joseph Broussard, dit Beausoleil. Acadian pioneer and resistance fighter Joseph Broussard dit Beausoleil was born in Port-Royal, Acadia, in 1702.  In 1740 he with his brother Alexandre established a community at Boundary Creek (above present day Moncton, New-Brunswick).  During the 1755 expulsion, Broussard, his brother, and other Acadians evaded capture, conducting a guerilla campaign on land and sea against the British military.  In 1759, however, Broussard and his partisans, facing starvation, were forced to surrender. Imprisoned at Halifax until 1764 when the treaty of Paris ended the French and Indian war, Beausoleil led one hundred ninety-three exiles to Saint Domingue (present-day Haiti). Member of the party was Beausoleil’s first cousin, Pierre Richard, direct ancestor of Zachary Richard. In February, 1765, the group arrived at New Orleans and continued onto the Attakapas region of south Louisiana. There, Joseph Broussard was named captain of the militia. He died on October 20, 1765 from an tropical disease which decimated the exile Acadian community in its first year in Louisiana. His gravesite remains unknown.

The moon is full, we ride tonight with Beausoleil.
It will be light even in the deep wood.
Already the men are tired.
Last winter we could not even find shelter.
More and more, there is talk of Louisiane,
It was only a dream that we called l’Acadie.

Lance of fire, knife of love,
Looking into the eyes of a lover
To see only pain.
It would have been better if it had never happened
It was only a dream that we called love.

Battle for the blue of the sky,
A vulture fights a dove.
Rays of deadly flight,
Pointed talon, deadly beak.
As though all of our chances
Were already captive.
Like the pain with which you pierce me,
Like the love that we have found.

Blood of the dove in his talons,
The vulture’s mouth burns
Eyes filled with fear,
The dove trembles purely,
While in the highest sky, an eagle,
Fixes his wings for the descent,
In a gesture eternal,
He strikes with fire
And takes revenge.

The rich harvest, the valley in flower,
Smoke rising from the chimneys.
The tranquil village,
Children playing in the sun.
The ashes of the trees,
The stones of the earth were all in mourning,
It was but a dream that we called freedom.


Zachary Richard, Les Editions du Marais Bouleur