1797.6 - "Soldier BOB RUSTY'S Night Cap"

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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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1797.6
Soldier BOB RUSTY’S Night Cap
“A. Rambler”
[Capt. Jos. Badworth][1]
The Gentleman’s Magazine, LXVII (July 1797), pp. 597-8

Bob Rusty, who ne'er a rupee got
(He roundly swears that he ought not,)
    Is in his hammock pent.
Safe moor'd, he hugs his swinging-bed,
Without a rag to bind his head,
    Bob's night cap is CONTENT.

Tho' storms arise, if calm at home,
Man may to any region roam,
    'Tis but a period lent.
Who sees the gath'ring tempest near
Wishes it past, but not from fear,
    His night cap is—content.

Shou'd nightly winds indignant roar,
Midst rocks and breakers, a lee shore,
    The blood still calmly flows.
Where wanted he alertly flies,
Weathers all dangers from the skies,
    His anchor—self-repose.

When, 'midst the thunder-bolts of war,
And there too not without a fear,
    None e'er knew Bob lament.
For, soldier-hearts of British steel
Care not for Fortune's fickle wheel,
    But are, like Bob content.

And many a time Bob takes his glass,
Of course, he toasts a fav'rite lass,
    "The sweetest Heav'n e'er sent:
"If she proves faithful to her vow,"
(He says) "She soon shall find, as how,
    "Bob's night-cap is content."

If she proves false, he then declares
He shall be rid of many cares,
    Would be where'er he went.
Then will he take another roam,
Still bearing with him his own home,
    Bob's night-cap is CONTENT.

What more would mortal have,
Journeying on this side the grave,
    Than such a happy bent.
My fellow-soldiers, scorn old Care,
That certain ladder to despair,
    And be, like Bob, Content.


Notes

1. "A. Rambler" is identified in the December 1794 issue of The Gentleman's Magazine, p. 1128, as Capt. Jos. Badworth, late Lieutenant of the 72nd, or Royal Manchester Volunteers in the Bengal Artillary, and the North Hants Militia, author of The Siege of Gibralter and A Fortnight's Ramble to the Lakes.

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Published @ RC

September 2004