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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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1808.16
Military Economy
William George
The Monthly Mirror, IV (September, 1808), p. 184

                                       I.

Our soldiers of late—'twas when muffins were dear,
Economy bade without powder appear;
The plan was approved of, but yet, in good sooth,
It took from the ranks all the flour of our youth!

                                      II.

But now, to abridge both their trouble and care,
Their locks are all shorn—not a White-lock is there!
And as to appearance, with all due submission,
I think losing their hair a wondrous addition!

                                     III.

Our Britons, like Samson, as somewhere one reads,
Have no need of locks to secure their brave deeds;
For let all our foemen in myriads assail,
'Tis certain our soldiers will never turn tail!

                                     IV.

Tho' curtail'd their ranks, 'tis their character due,
In beating the French, that they still keep their cue;
And no doubt their attempts with success will be sped,
For the French can ne'er injure a hair of their head!

                                     V.

Some troops are light arm'd in the white "tented field,"
While some are light-finger'd, and others light-heel'd;
But ours, when light-hearted are most to be dreaded,
And not a whit less now they all are light-headed!

                                     VI.

May freedom's full harvest be gather'd by Spain!
May Corsican vermin attempt it in vain!
May the daughters of Britain, secur'd from alarms,
Receive their rich crops with outstretch'd grateful arms!


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September 2004

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