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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.

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:

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:

“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?

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:

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,

Smiling in a tearful way:

“I have one at war like you!”