1797.12 - "La Sainte Guillotine"

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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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1797.12
La Sainte Guillotine
Anon
The Anti-Jacobin (December 4, 1797), pp. 136-138

A New Song, Attempted from the French.

Tune, "O'er the vine-cover'd Hills and
gay Regions of France."

                                    I.

From the blood bedew'd valleys and mountains of France,
See the Genius of Gallic INVASION advance!
Old Ocean, shall waft her, unruffled by storm,
While our shores are all lin'd with the Friends of Reform.[1]

Confiscation and Murder attend in her train,
With meek-ey'd Sedition, the daughter of PAINE:[2]
While her sportive Poissardes with light footsteps are seen
To dance in a ring round the gay Guillotine.[3]

                                   II.

To London, "the rich, the defenceless,"[4] she comes—
Hark! my boys, to the sound of the Jacobin drums!
See Corruption, Prescription, and Privilege fly,
Pierc'd thro' by the glance of her blood-darting eye.

While Patriots, from Prison and Prejudice freed,
In soft accents shall lisp the Republican Creed,
And with Tri-colour'd Fillets, and Cravats of Green,
Shall crowd round the Altar of Saint Guillotine.

                                   III.

See the Level of Freedom sweep over the land—
The vile Aristocracy's doom is at hand!
Not a seat shall be left in a House that we know,
But for Earl BUONAPARTE AND Baron MOREAU.

But the Rights of the Commons shall still be respected—
BUONAPARTE himself shall approve the Elected;
And the speaker shall march with majestical mien,
And make his three bows to the grave Guillotine.

                                   IV.

Two Heads, says our Proverb, are better than One,
But the Jacobin choice is for Five Heads, or none.
By Directories only can Liberty thrive,
Then down with the ONE, BOYS! and up with the FIVE!

How our Bishops and Judges will stare with amazement,
When their Heads are thrust out at the National Casement![5]
When the National Razor has shav'd them quite clean,
What a handsome oblation to Saint Guillotine!


Notes

1. [Author's note]: "See Proclamation of the Directory."

2. [Author's note]: "The 'too long calumniated Author of the Rights of Man.'—See a Sir Something BURDET'S Speech at the Shakespeare, as referred to in the Courier of Nov. 30."

3. [Author's note]: "The Guillotine at Arras was (as is well known to every Jacobin) painted 'Couleur de Rose.'"

4. [Author's note]: "See Weekly Examiner, No. II, Extract from The Courier."

5. [Author's note]: "La Petite Fenetre, and La Razoire Nationale, fondling expressions applied to the Guillotine by the Jacobins in France, and their pupils here."

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Published @ RC

September 2004

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