Nonfiction > Lionel Strachey, et al., eds. > The World’s Wit and Humor > French
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The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes.  1906.
Vols. X–XI: French
 
The Boxers
By Pierre Jean de Béranger (1780–1857)
 
From “Songs”

THOUGH “shocking bad” the hats they wear,
I like these English, I declare;
“G—d—”—they’ve such a cheerful air!
So polished are they; so inclined
In pleasures to what’s most refined.        5
We have them not—no, no, no, no—
These fisticuffs, that luster throw
On England, here are not the go.
 
In Paris, then, behold the boxers!
Quick, to the notary let us flock, sirs,        10
And have our bets recorded there!
One against one—the fight is fair:
Such odds with Englishmen are rare.
We have them not—no, no, no, no—
These fisticuffs, that luster throw        15
On England, here are not the go.
 
Mark there upon the stage what grace
In those two hearty blades we trace—
A charm that nothing can efface:
Porters one might believe such chaps;        20
But they’re a brace of lords, perhaps!
We have them not—no, no, no, no—
These fisticuffs, that luster throw
On England, here are not the go.
 
Well, ladies, how like you the sight?        25
You’re to decide how goes the fight.
But what! it knocks you down with fright!
Pshaw! clap your hands! One’s tapped a vein—
Oh, Heavens! these English are humane!
We have them not—no, no, no, no—        30
These fisticuffs, that luster throw
On England, here are not the go.
 
Britons, from you we’ll patterns draw
In all things—fashion, taste, and law—
Nay, also in the art of war:        35
Your studs and diplomatic fry
Have not quite drained our bravos dry.
We have them not—no, no, no, no—
These fisticuffs, that luster throw
On England, here are not the go.        40
 
 
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