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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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1803.10
Stop to a Stride
Anon
The Gentleman's Magazine, LXXIII (November 1803), p. 1060

To the Tune of "Ally Croker."

Bonaparte, the Corsican, to gain a Consul's robe, sir,
Was by Ambition strongly urg'd to stride across the globe, sir:
He strode o'er France, he threw his leg o'er Switzerland and
                                       Italy;
And a tidy spot then caught his eye, a Paradise it seem'd to be:
It was that garden ENGLAND call'd he threaten'd soon to land on.
A little fruitful spot of ground JOHN BULL had clapp'd his hand
                                         on,

He strode again, to set his toe upon old Albion's shore, sir,
And saw the gruff old Gentleman, who stopp'd his coming o'er, sir:
'Who dares to check my bold career?'—"'Tis I," cried JOHNNY
                                     BULL, sir;
"And if a foot you nearer come, by Heav'ns I'll crack your
                                     skull, sir:
"For, I'm determin'd to protect, while I've an inch to stand
                                         on,
This little fruitful spot of ground you see I've clapp'd my
                                     hand on.

"And is it you, proud Corsican? I guess what you'd be doing;
"You wish to reap my plenteous crops, without the toil of
                                    ploughing:
"And here you bring your hungry troops, half-starv'd with meagre
                                    frog-soup,
"My sheep and oxen to devour, my poultry and my hogs up:
"Your scheme, to feast on good sirloin, will prove a vainly—
                                 planned one;
"My beef and pudding I'll secure—'tis an object, and a grand
                                        one.

"Keep close to France, as Consul First, contented in your
                                     station,
"For if old England you invade, you'll find small consolation:
"Fair Britain's wooden Walls again by NELSON are commanded,
"And he's the boy to drub you well,—though only single-handed:
"Your foolish scheme, to lord it here, ere yet too late, abandon;
"For, while this spot yields beef and beer, JOHN BULL will
                                keep his hand on."


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September 2004

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