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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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1815.5
A New Song
Anon
The Morning Chronicle (April 5, 1815)

To the Tune of "Hosier's Ghost."

Now the busy Congress ended,
    Home again the Statesmen run:
Europe settled—Gallia humbled—
    Every act of duty done.

CASTLEREAGH returns triumphant,[1]
    Full of diplomatic pride;
Tells the wondering House of Commons,
    How his various arts he tried.

How he baffled all the Germans,
    How the French confessed his skill,
How (consider what a blessing),
    Hanover is England's still!

How besides he gained some acres,
    Added to our old estate;
And the price, if weighed maturely,
    Was not sure so very great.

We but broke our plighted promise;
    We but left our old Allies;
Perhaps you'd say it was not honest,
    We disdain such vulgar ties.

What if Genoa be deserted,
    Forced a despot to obey;
What if Naples be not subject,
    To its rightful Sovereign's sway.

What if Russia seizes Poland;
    What if Saxony should fall;
What if still the Slaves indignant,
    Loud for retribution call.

These are trifles—honour—Justice,
    Are at best an empty name;
CASTLEREAGH by slighting such things,
    Gains his Garter, and his fame.

On a sudden—see NAPOLEON
    Bursts his fetters—breaks his chain;
What a pity all these wise heads
    Should have laboured thus in vain.

In a moment—who'd have thought it,
    All their hopes, ambitions crost;
They had sure forgot the proverb,
    Reckoning then without their host.

April 4, 1815.


Notes

1. Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh, along with Wellington, represented Great Britain at the Congress of Vienna which began negotiations in September 1814. The Congress of Vienna grew out of the earlier treaty of Paris (May 30, 1814) and was called to handle the complexities of land and indemnification claims resulting from the war.

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September 2004

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