*This Book is annotated (it contains a detailed biography of the author). *An active Table of Contents has been added by the publisher for a better customer experience. *This book has been checked and corrected for spelling errors. At Paris, hard by the Maine barriers, Whoever will choose to repair, Midst a dozen of wooden-legged warriors May haply fall in with old Pierre. On the sunshiny bench of a tavern He sits and he prates of old wars, And moistens his pipe of tobacco With a drink that is named after Mars. The beer makes his tongue run the quicker, And as long as his tap never fails, Thus over his favorite liquor Old Peter will tell his old tales. Says he, "In my life's ninety summers Strange changes and chances I've seen,— So here's to all gentlemen drummers That ever have thump'd on a skin. "Brought up in the art military For four generations we are; My ancestors drumm'd for King Harry, The Huguenot lad of Navarre. And as each man in life has his station According as Fortune may fix, While Condé was waving the baton, My grandsire was trolling the sticks. "Ah! those were the days for commanders! What glories my grandfather won, Ere bigots, and lackeys, and panders The fortunes of France had undone! In Germany, Flanders, and Holland,— What foeman resisted us then? No; my grandsire was ever victorious, My grandsire and Monsieur Turenne. "He died: and our noble battalions The jade fickle Fortune forsook; And at Blenheim, in spite of our valiance, The victory lay with Malbrook. The news it was brought to King Louis; Corbleu! how his Majesty swore When he heard they had taken my grandsire: And twelve thousand gentlemen more. "At Namur, Ramillies, and Malplaquet Were we posted, on plain or in trench: Malbrook only need to attack it And away from him scamper'd we French. Cheer up! 'tis no use to be glum, boys,— 'Tis written, since fighting begun, That sometimes we fight and we conquer, And sometimes we fight and we run. "To fight and to run was our fate: Our fortune and fame had departed. And so perish'd Louis the Great,— Old, lonely, and half broken-hearted. His coffin they pelted with mud, His body they tried to lay hands on; And so having buried King Louis They loyally served his great-grandson. "God save the beloved King Louis! (For so he was nicknamed by some,) And now came my father to do his King's orders and beat on the drum. My grandsire was dead, but his bones Must have shaken I'm certain for joy, To hear daddy drumming the English From the meadows of famed Fontenoy.