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This poem is taken from PN Review 154, Volume 30 Number 2, November - December 2003.

Four Poems Sheenagh Pugh


The Grave of the Grande Armée at Vilnius

He must have been young indeed,
when he left his home in France,
or Poland, or Portugal,

to follow the Grande Armée.
Maybe he played a drum,
laughed up at the bearded faces,

kept time as they sang their way
over half a continent.
Only free men are men.

At Vilnius-on-two-rivers
they gathered, as summer came on,
and when the emperor said,

'Moscow in twenty days,'
maybe he cheered with the rest.
The sun rang, hammer on metal,

and they sang Our Fan likes a drink,
...


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