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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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1797.13
The Soldier's Friend
Anon
The Anti-Jacobin (December 11, 1797)[1]

                        Dactylics.

Come, little Drummer Boy, lay down your knapsack
                                here:
I am the Soldier's Friend—here are some Books
                                for you;
Nice clever Books, by TOM PAINE the Philanthropist.

Here's Half-a-crown for you—here are some Hand-
                                bills too;
Go to the Barracks, and give all the Soldiers some:
Tell them the Sailors are all in a mutiny.

                                     Exit Drummer Boy, with Hand-bills
                                     and Half-crown.—Manet Soldier's Friend.

Liberty's friends thus all learn to amalgamate,
Freedom's volcanic explosion prepares itself,
Despots shall bow to the Fasces of Liberty,
                Reason, Philosophy, "fiddledum diddledum,"
                Peace and Fraternity, higgledy, piggledy,
                Higgledy, piggledy, "fiddledum diddledum."

                                     Et caetera, et caetera, et caetera.


Notes

1. This is preceded by an extract from The Soldier's Wife, an anti-war poem. It parodies not only the sentiments but the versification of that poem. The author of The Soldier's Wife, though unidentified in The Anti-Jacobin, is Robert Southey.

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Published @ RC

September 2004