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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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1807.9
[Ode On the Big-Endiuns]
Anon
The Morning Chronicle (November 26, 1807)

Yesterday arrived the Cockle Shell (MINIKIN, commander), from Lilyput, after an extraordinary quick passage. An Ode has appeared in one of the Papers, devoted to the interest of the Big-Endiuns, of which we have attempted the following translation—[1]

When the Man-mountain
Gave an account in
Of his naval exploit,
The fam'd pull away fight,
        'Tis notorious,
        What rapture,
        At a capture
        So glorious;
All Lilyput felt,
        When we spied
        The foe's pride
        So fast tied
To the end of his belt.

        Tho' a stranger
        Our danger
    Determin'd to share,
    He strips to his buff,
And for Lilyput's rescue,
Swims away to Blefusca,
    Tho' the seas were so rough,
    And the distance so far.
Then his brave pair of spectacles!
Became the receptacles
Of the arrows so bright
That were aim'd at his sight!
        Yet, ye Gods! Tho' such odds,
        How he tore,
        From their shore,
        Many more
        Than a score
Of their stout men of war!

But Giant GAMBIER,
Unparalleled Peer;
Tho' he with less pains
Had his pull at the Danes,
Mere was the merit,
The skill, or the spirit,
In sharing the sight,
Not the toils, of a fight;
His hands in his pockets,
        And nothing to do,
But look at the rockets,
        And laugh at the shew.


Notes

1. This satire is directed against the attack on neutral Denmark, in September 1807. The British attacked Copenhagen and carried off the Danish fleet.

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Published @ RC

September 2004