Robert William Service
The Little Piou-Piou
(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.
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.
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!
Robert William Service's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (The Little Piou-Piou by Robert William Service )
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- Invictus, William Ernest Henley
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- The Tiger, William Blake
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- No Man Is An Island, John Donne
Poem of the Day
- Loss of Innocence, Bijay Kant Dubey
- HUMANKIND, john chizoba vincent
- Sorry, If I Have Hurt Your Feelings, Ext.., Bijay Kant Dubey
- Deep Deep Peace, Margaret Moran
- Aflas Ke Basti..., pakeeza rizvi
- WHO REALLY CONTROLS THE WORLD?, john chizoba vincent
- Walking In Clouds, Juan Olivarez
- Of Ancestors From Long Ago, Spiritwind Wood
- If I Told You, Spiritwind Wood
- WHEN ARE YOU COMING HOME, FATHER?, john chizoba vincent