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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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1815.4
[A Droll Ballad][1]
Anon
The Gentleman's Magazine, LXXXV (March 1815), p. 259

Buonaparte he would set out
    For a summer excursion to Moscow,
The fields were green, and the sky was blue,
    Morbleu! Parbleu!
What a pleasant excursion to Moscow!

Four hundred thousand men and more,
    Heigh-ho for Moscow!
There were marshals by the dozen, and Dukes
                        by the score,
Princes a few, and Kings one or two,
While the fields were so green, and the sky so blue,
    Morbleu! Parbleu!
What a pleasant excursion to Moscow!

There was Junot and Augereau,
    Heigh-ho for Moscow!
Dombrowsky and Poniatowsky,
General Rap and Emperor Nap:
    Nothing would do,
While the fields were so green, and the sky
                        so blue,
    Morbleu! Parbleu!
But they must be marching to Moscow.

But then, the Russians they turn'd too,
    All on the road to Moscow;
Nap had to fight his way all through—
They could fight, but they could not parlez vous;
But the fields were green, and the sky was blue,
    Morbleu! Parbleu!
And so he got to Moscow.

They made the place too hot for him,
    For they set fire to Moscow;
To get there had cost him much ado,
And then no better course he knew,
While the fields were green, and the sky was blue,
    Morbleu! Parbleu!
Than to march back again from Moscow.

The Russians they stuck close to him
    All on the road from Moscow;
There was Tormazow and Jemalow,
And all the others that end in ow;
Rejesky and Noveresky,
And all the others that end in esky;
Schamscheff, Sonchosaneff, and Schepeleff,
And all the others that end in eff;
Wasiltschikoff, Kostomaroff, and Tchoglokoff,
And all the others that end in off;
Milaradovitch, and Jaladovitch, and Karatchowitch,
And all the others that end in itch;
Oscharoffsky, Kostoffsky, and Kazatichoffsky
And all the others that end in offsky.

And last of all an Admiral came,
A terrible Hun, with a terrible name,
A name which you all must know very well
Nobody can speak, and nobody can spell:
    And Platoff he play'd them off,
    And Markoff he mark'd them off,
    And Touchkoff he touch'd them off,
    And Kutousoff he cut them off,
    And Woronzoff he worried them off,
    And Dochtoroff he doctor'd them off,
    And Rodinoff he flogg'd them off;
They stuck close to him with all their might,
They were on the left, and on the right,
Behind and before, by day and by night;
Nap would rather parlez vous than fight—
But parlez vous no more would do,
    Morbleu! Parbleu!
For they remember'd Moscow.

And then came on the frost and snow,
    All on the road from Moscow;
The Emperor Nap found as he went
That he was not quite omnipotent;
And worse and worse the weather grew,
The fields were so white, and the sky so blue,
    Cacubleu! Ventrebleu!
What a terrible journey from Moscow!

The Devil take the hindmost
    All on the road from Moscow
Quoth Nap, who thought it small delight
To fight all day, and freeze all night,
And so, not knowing what else to do,
When the fields were so white, and the sky so blue,
    Morbleu! Parbleu!
He stole away—I tell you true—
All on the road from Moscow.
'Twas as much too cold upon the road,
    As it was too hot at Moscow,
But there is a place where he must go to,
Where the fire is red, and the brimstone blue;
    Morbleu! Parbleu!
He'll find it hotter than Moscow.


Notes

1. A letter from a correspondent indicates the ballad was first published in ThePortsmouth Courier, June 27, 1814. The title is taken from a letter, in which the poem is referred to as a "droll Ballad."

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