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This poem is often wrongly thought to be by Robert W Service. It is published here to the memory of Hugh Antoine D'Arcy, its rightful father.
An Evening with the Bard of the Yukon, July 18 th 2003 at 20.30pm in the Town-Hall of Lancieux, Brittany.
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Archives > Books and Poetry > Poetry > Rhymes of a Rebel > A Frenchman Speaks

A Frenchman Speaks

Published by Webmaster on 07/29/2003 (3358 reads)
In World War One my father died;

A Frenchman Speaks

In World War One my father died;
A famous patriot was he.
"I fall that France may rise!" he cried,
Or such imbecility.
He went keyed up to battle pitch;
We waited till a comrade said
He saw Dad lying in a ditch,
            And minus his head.

I had to fight in World War Two,
And went like all with heavy heart;
For our unfitness well we knew,
And we were beaten from the start,
I was a prisoner of war,
But though I live I do not bless
The country of my fathers for
            I have a leg the less.

My son will fight in World War Three;
(Oh! Could I only take his place!)
A butchered victim he may be
Of lust for power and hate of race.
They're training him for battle now,
And as my boy is all to me,
To dictature I'd sooner bow
            Than him blood-boltered see.

For in an age of sorid shames,
When tyrants throw the devil's dice,
Honour and glory are but names,
And we poor bougres pay the price.
No longer patriots are we;
The days of sacrifice are sped;
Slaughter is worse that slavery:
            How cheap a hero - dead!

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