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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
In Good Quarters
By Paul Déroulède (1846–1914)
 
Mirebeau, 1871

From ‘Poèmes Militaires’: Translation of Thomas Walsh

GOOD old woman, bother not,
Or the place will be too hot:
You might let the fire grow old—
Save your fagots for the cold:
  I am drying through and through.        5
 
But she, stopping not to hear,
Shook the smoldering ashes near:
  “Soldier, not too warm for you!”
 
Good old woman, do not mind;
At the storehouse I have dined:        10
Save your vintage and your ham,
And this cloth—such as I am
  Are not used to—save it too.
 
But she heard not what I said—
Filled my glass and cut the bread:        15
  “Soldier, it is here for you!”
 
Good old woman—sheets for me!
Faith, you treat me royally:
And your stable? on your hay?
There at length my limbs to lay?        20
  I shall sleep like monarchs true.
 
But she would not be denied
Of the sheets, and spread them wide:
  “Soldier, it is made for you!”
 
Morning came—the parting tear:        25
Well—good-by! What have we here?
My old knapsack full of food!
Dear old creature—hostess good—
  Why indulge me as you do?
 
It was all that she could say,        30
Smiling in a tearful way:
  “I have one at war like you!”
 
 
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