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British War Poetry in the Age of Romanticism 1793-1815, by Betty T. Bennet, Edited by Orianne Smith

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1796.5
Supposition.—A New Song.
"J. B---"
[James Bisset][1]
The Watchman, III (March 17, 1796), pp. 83-84

Tune—Shelah Negari.

I.

Ye Friends give attention awhile to my lay,
'Tis what you can't meet with (at least ev'ry day),
'Tis all Supposition, of this and of that,
For the Devil himself cannot tell what I am at.
Some Wiseacres doubtless to puzzle their brains,
May try to find out, Sir—"my Ways and my Means."
Tho' my Budget is ope—till I give 'em the cue,
They'll ne'er find me out—I'll be d--d if they do.

Fal de ral, &c.

II.

Supposition's my motto—then let me suppose
A parcel of Asses, who're led by the nose;
Suppose then again that their Masters are such,
They'd load the poor Devils a little too much;
Suppose from the top of the head to the toe.
They're burthen'd so heavy they cannot well go.
Yet forc'd to jog on, Sir, their strength to evince,
Now supposing all this—don't you think they might
wince?

Fal de ral, &c.

III.

Suppose then again, for the sake of the joke,
(As Asses of old, we are told once have spoke:)
These Asses complain'd of this heart-rending grief,
And beg'd their Taskmasters' to give some relief.
"Oh no!" says their Leaders, "find fault to our face?
"But now, my dear Creatures, we'll alter the case.
"Mum Chance you shall live—not a Word shall you
"say,
"For we'll MUZZLE you so, that you never shall bray."

Fal de ral, &c.

IV.

Some Asses I'm told—but suppose it a hum,
Rejoic'd when they found that the "Order was Mum!"
And said they would go if their Leaders thought fit,
Blindfold dawn the gulph—of the bottomless Pitt.
The muzzles were made, and it then came to pass,
They stop'd up the mouth of John Bull's simple Ass,
Who then sunk, alas! in a woeful condition;
But remember, my friends—This is all Supposition!!

Fal de ral, &c. &c.

MUSEUM Birmingham, March 3.


Notes

1. James Bisset, identified by Lewis Patton, ed., The Watchman (Princeton, 1970), p. 110, was a publisher, artist, and poet who wrote many popular verses.

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