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The Little Piou-Piou Analysis



Author: poem of Robert Service Type: poem Views: 1

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(The French "Tommy").



Oh, some of us lolled in the chateau,

    And some of us slinked in the slum;

But now we are here with a song and a cheer

    To serve at the sign of the drum.

They put us in trousers of scarlet,

    In big sloppy ulsters of blue;

In boots that are flat, a box of a hat,

    And they call us the little piou-piou.

                Piou-piou.

The laughing and quaffing piou-piou,

The swinging and singing piou-piou;

And so with a rattle we march to the battle,

The weary but cheery piou-piou.



Encore un petit verre de vin,

Pour nous mettre en route;

Encore un petit verre de vin

Pour nous mettre en train.




They drive us head-on for the slaughter;

    We haven't got much of a chance;

The issue looks bad, but we're awfully glad

    To battle and die for La France.

For some must be killed, that is certain;

    There's only one's duty to do;

So we leap to the fray in the glorious way

They expect of the little piou-piou.

                En avant!



The way of the gallant piou-piou,

The dashing and smashing piou-piou;

The way grim and gory that leads us to glory

Is the way of the little piou-piou.



Allons, enfants de la Patrie,

Le jour de gloire est arrivé.




To-day you would scarce recognise us,

    Such veterans war-wise are we;

So grimy and hard, so calloused and scarred,

    So "crummy", yet gay as can be.

We've finished with trousers of scarlet,

    They're giving us breeches of blue,

With a helmet instead of a cap on our head, -

    Yet still we're the little piou-piou.

                Nous les aurons!



The jesting, unresting piou-piou;

The cheering, unfearing piou-piou;

The keep-your-head-level and fight-like-the-devil;

The dying, defying piou-piou.



À la bayonette! Jusqu'a la mort!

Sonnez la charge, clairons!







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