Then up there comes a veteran,
With medals on his breast;
He scarcely lives, but yet contrives
To drink with all the rest.
'A lucky man am I,' he cries,
And thus to prove the fact he tries.
'In what consists of a soldier's luck?
Pray, listen while I tell.
In twenty fights, or more, I've been,
And yet I never fell.
And, what is more, in peaceful times
Full meal I never knew;
Yet, all the same, I have contrived
Not to give Death his due.
Again, for sins both great and small,
Full many a time they've me
With canes unmercifully flogged,
Yet I'm alive, you see!'