A Frenchman and an Englishman,
One day, sat down to play;
A game of cards, the Frenchman lost,
And then he objected to pay.
He called the Englishman, "Von big tief"
Refusing to part with a bob;
So the Englishman knocked him head over heels,
And Frenchy got 'one for his nob, nob, nob',
And Frenchy got 'one for his nob'.
The Frenchman got up in a terrible rage,
And challenged his antagonist;
To meet him at once with pistols or swords,
But not with the brutal fist.
"Allright," said the Englishman, "pistols will do,
I'll fight on condition that we;
Shall be locked in a room, and fire in the dark,
Till honour shall satisfied be."
The Frenchman agreed to a dark room they went,
In opposite corners were placed;
The signal to be, 'three knocks on the door',
Which was locked and each other they faced;
The signal was made, the pistols rang out,
Then somebody opened the door;
By the fireplace, smiling, the Englishman stood,
And the Frenchman rolled out on the floor.
And now to explain, in consenting to fight
The Englishman only desired;
To humour the Frenchman, but do him no harm,
And so up the chimney he fired;
But strange to relate, the Frenchman was there,
For safety he'd crept up the flue:
But the shot brought him down, all covered with soot,
Exclaiming, "I'm murdered, mon Dieu!"
Moral: "Full many a shaft at random sent",
(The proverb is somewhat stale)
Finds mark the archer never meant,
Like the shot in the Frenchman's tale.
Of valour we're told the bettermost part
"Is discretion," but to my mind,
It's better to face your foe like a man,
Than it is to be shot at behind.