Song on the New Affair of Copenhagen
(not Lord Nelson's)
The Morning Chronicle (February 15, 1808)
O tell us no more of old Nelson's renown,
How in doughty fair battle he conquered the Dane,
Since Canning's the boy who could batter a town,
And filch a whole navy by legerdemain.
Rise, Homer! arise from the dead, thou old Pagan
sing how our force,
the famed Wooden Horse,
Stole as sly as a thief into old Copenhagen.
What though the Crown Prince was our cousin and crony,
And might from the French have defended his crown,
We saved him the trouble of fighting with Boney
And tripp'd up his heels, lest he should be knock'd
The French might their soldiers have knock'd on the head,
we only slew,
children a few,
And killed a blind man as he lay in his bed.
But think (God have mercy!) what would have become of us
Had Boney embark'd with ten ships of the Dane,
They had eaten us up for a breakfast, though some of us
Say, like fools, that our tars would have beat
But, thanks to the Lord! it ne'er came to that push,
waters are pleasant,
hard fighting isn't—
And a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
Think only had we been so foolishly civil
As give Bonaparte a day to advance;
Though Zealand's an island, the conjuring devil
Would have froze up the Belt with his chemists
Then down on our shores, when it thaw'd, in a trice
tars would have struck to him,
Satan brings luck to him:
Oh! our Jacks would have squeak'd in his talons like mice.
Then as for the Irish, those rascally fellows,
Though we treat them as kindly and fair as we
Yet to help an invader with pikes and shillalas
Their very old women would rise to a man.
Yea, the Church is the quarry their priests would be at.
her heart they would fix
And our Church would be ruined; oh! think upon that.
But was it not better, blocks, timber, and ropery
To find in a dock-yard, just made to our hand,
Than suffer our ships to be beaten, and Popery
And riotous Paddies to ravish the land.
Then, good luck to our rulers—sweet rope-stealing elves,
they reap their reward
the timber and cord,
And may nobody grudge them a rope to themselves.