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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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1814.4
A Modern Ballad
Anon
The Champion (January 30, 1814)

                      I.

    Beat from pillar to post,
    His conquests all lost,
Deprived both of Army and Navy,
    From Leipsic's affray,
    BONEY scampers away,
And lustily bawls out "peccavi."

                     II.

    "O grant, if you please,
    "Your petitioner peace,
"My bosom recoils from these slaughters;
    "Give me back all my men,
    "And I never again
"(Till I'm stronger,) will beat up your
            quarters."

                    III.

    But the cruel Allies
    All his canting despise,
And to France the poor fugitive follow,
    While all food, but the frogs,
    Those long-bearded dogs
The Cossacks, voraciously swallow.

                     IV.

    So he cries at St. Cloud,
    "Pardi, and Morbleu!
"I'm placed in an awkward quandary.
    "But, when beaten by force,
    "It becomes us of course,
"To be ten times more cunning and wary.

                     V.

    "A peace of some years
    "Will banish my fears,
(Of a peace I will henceforth be thrifty,)
    "Should his Highness the Regent,
    "E'en think it expedient,
"To grant me a good one of fifty.

                     VI.

    "So MARIE LOUISE,
    To propitiate peace,
Send these baubles by way of Court Plaster,
    They're meant (as you'll guess,)
    For the plump M----------ss,
Not the wife—nor the mistress—but Master.

                    VII.

    "Let Cornelia[1] aver,
    That her boys were to her,
Of jewels the best in creation,
    Such high sounding words,
    In the mother of Lords,
(And such Lords!) would be sheer affectation."

                    VIII.

    So the diamonds and plate
    Were forwarded strait,
And to flatter her Ladyship's taste,
    The jewels were loose,
    Tho' once tied in a noose,
And the silver was none of it chased.

                     IX.

    May the first in command
    In our tempest-toss'd land,
Grant to BONEY this much courted peace,
    And that Englishmen may
    For our government pray,
May all petticoat government cease!


Notes

1. [Author's note]: "Mother of the GRACCHI."

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Published @ RC

September 2004

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