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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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1804.22
A New Song of Old Sayings
Anon
The Anti-Gallican (1804), pp. 417-418
The Spirit of the Public Journals, VIII (1805), pp. 64-65 [1]

Bonaparte, the bully, resolv'd to come over,
With flat-bottom'd wherries, from Calais to Dover;
No perils to him in the billows are found,
'For if born to be hang'd he can never be drown'd.'

From a Corsican dunghill this fungus did spring,
He was soon made a Captain and would be a King;
But the higher he rises the more he does evil,
'For a Beggar on Horseback will ride to the Devil.'

To seize all that we have and then clap us in jail,
To devour all our victuals and drink all our ale,
And to grind us to dust is the Corsican's will—
'For we know all is grist that e'er comes to his mill.'

To stay quiet at home the FIRST CONSUL can't bear,
Or mayhap he would have other fish to fry there;
So as fish of that sort does not suit his desire,
'He leaps out of the frying-pan into the fire.'

He builds barges and cock-boats and craft without end,
And numbers the boats which to England he'll send,
But in spite of his craft, and his barges and boats,
'He still reckons, I think, without one of his hosts.'

He rides upon France and he tramples on Spain,
And holds Holland and Italy tight in a chain;
These he hazards for more, though I can't understand,
'How one bird in the bush is worth two in the hand.'

He trusts that his luck will all danger expel,
'But the pitcher is broke that goes oft to the well;'
And when our brave soldiers this bully surround,
'Though he's thought PENNY-WISE, he'll look foolish in
                                 POUND.'

France can never forget that our fathers of yore,
Used to pepper and baste her at sea and at shore;
And we'll speedily prove to this Mock-Alexander,
'What was sauce for the goose, will be sauce for the
                                 gander.'


I have heard and have read in a great many books,
Half the Frenchmen are tailors, and t'other half cooks;—
We've fine trimmings in store for the Knights of the Cloth,
'And the Cooks that come here will but spoil their own
                                 broth.'

It is said that the French are a numerous race,
And perhaps it is true, 'for ill weeds grow a-pace;'
But come when they will, and as many as dare,
'I expect they'll arrive a day after the fair.'

To invade us more safely these warriors boast,
They will wait till a storm drives our fleet from the coast,
That t'will 'be an ill wind, will be soon understood,
For a wind that blows Frenchmen blows nobody good.'

They would treat Britain worse than they've treated Mynheer,
But they'll find, 'they have got a wrong sow by the ear;
Let them come then in swarms by this Corsican led,
And I warrant, 'we'll hit the right nail on the head.'


Notes

1. With its source given as The Morning Post.

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Published @ RC

September 2004

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