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The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes. 1906.

Nikolay Nekrasov (1821–1877)

The Soldier

From “Who Lives Happily in Russia?”

THEN up there comes a veteran,

With medals on his breast;

He scarcely lives, but yet he strives

To drink with all the rest.

“A lucky man am I!” he cries,

And thus to prove the fact he tries:

“In what consists a soldier’s luck?

Pray, listen while I tell:

In twenty fights or more I’ve been,

And yet I never fell;

And, what is more, in peaceful times

Full health I never knew.

Yet, all the same, I have contrived

Not to give Death his due.

Also, for sins both great and small,

Full many a time they’ve me

With sticks unmercifully flogged;

Yet I’m alive, you see!”