Page:Pieces People Ask For.djvu/34

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[In the autumn of 1760, Louis XV. sent an army into Germany. They took up a strong position at Klostercamp, intending to advance on Rheinberg. The young Chevalier D'Assas was sent out by Auvergne to reconnoitre. He met a party advancing to surprise the French camp. Their bayonets pricked his breast, and the leader whispered, "Make the least noise, and you are a dead man." D'Assas paused a moment, then cried out as loud as he could, "Here, Auvergne! here are the enemy! "He was immediately cut down, but his death had saved the French army.—History of France.]

There's revelry at Louis' court. With joust and tournament,
With feasting and with laughter, the merry days are spent;
And midst them all, those gallant knights, of Louis' court the boast,
Who can compare with D'Assas among the brilliant host?
The flush of youth is on his cheek; the fire that lights his eye
Tells of the noble heart within, the spirit pure and high.
No braver knight holds charger's reign, or wields the glittering lance.
Than proud and lordly D'Assas, bold chevalier of France.

The sound of war strikes on the air from far beyond the Rhine,
Its clarions ring across the fields, rich with the purple vine.
France calls her best and bravest: "Up, men, and take the sword!
Of German vales and hillsides, Louis would fain be lord;
Go forth, and for your sovereign win honor and renown;
Plant the white flag of Ivry on valley and on town.
The green soil of the Fatherland shall see your arms advance,
The dull and stolid Teuton shall bend the knee to France."

On Klostercamp the morning sun is glancing brightly down.
Auvergne has ranged his forces within the ancient town.
From thence on Kheinberg shall they move: that citadel so grim
Shall yield her towers to Auvergne, shall ope her gates to him.