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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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1806.3
An Excellent New Ballad
Entitled and Called
The Bed of Roses

Anon
The Morning Chronicle (April 8, 1806) [1]

BILLY PITT strips the skin from our bones,
    And brings to the grindstone our noses,
CASTLEREAGH puts us kindly to bed,
    And tells us our bed is of Roses.

BILLY PITT gives us paper and war,
    And when his catastrophe closes,
CASTLEREAGH cries "We'll hush you to rest—
    "What cradle like PITT'S Bed of Roses."

How sweet on a Subsidy Blanket,
    And a Bolster of Blood our repose is;
CASTLEREAGH thinks 'tis very bad taste
    Not to relish this clean Bed of Roses.

The Rose without Thorn was a treat,
    BILLY never mixed up in his posies:
But the Thorns we shall wish at Old Scratch,
    When we slumber on PITT'S Bed of Roses.

The Rose which at Austerlitz buds,
    Its blush at Vienna discloses—
CASTLEREAGH scrapes the blossoms together,
    And makes us this sweet Bed of Roses.

CASTLEREAGH, still perhaps you're correct,
    For your argument still pre-supposes;
Should you leave old GEORGE ROSE and his Sons,
    You'd leave us PITT'S old "Bed of Roses."


Notes

1. In the same edition of The Morning Chronicle, a speech of Castlereagh is reported thus: "There was not so much impropriety, as at first sight appeared in Lord CASTLEREAGH'S assertion that the present Ministry had succeeded to a "bed of roses." His Lordship meant the species called George Roses!" Castlereagh was noted for his fondness for flowers, and the reference is to the strained relations between George III and Fox's Cabinet.

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Published @ RC

September 2004

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