Now, George the third rules not alone,
For George the vandal shares the throne,
True flesh of flesh and bone of bone.
God save us from the fangs of both;
Or, one a vandal, one a goth,
May roast or boil us into froth.
Like danes, of old, their fleet they man
And rove from Beersheba to Dan,
To burn, and beard us – where they can.
They say, at George the fourth’s command
This vagrant host were sent, to land
And leave in every house – a brand.
An idiot only would require
Such war – the worst they could desire –
The felon’s war – the war of fire.
The warfare, now, th’ invaders make
Must surely keep us all awake,
Or life is lost for freedom’s sake.
They said to Cockburn, “honest Cock!
To make a noise and give a shock
Push off, and burn their navy dock:
“Their capitol shall be emblazed!
How will the buckskins stand amazed,
And curse the day its walls were raised!”
Six thousand heroes disembark –
Each left at night his floating ark
And Washington was made their mark.
That few would fight them – few or none –
Was by their leaders clearly shown –
And “down,” they said, “with Madam!”
How close they crept along the shore!
As closely as if Rodgers saw her –
A frigate to a seventy-four.
A veteran host, by veterans led,
With Ross and Cockburn at their head –
They came – they saw – they burnt – and fled.
But not unpunish’d they retired;
They something paid, for all they fired,
In soldiers kill’d, and chiefs expired.
Five hundred veterans bit the dust,
Who came, inflamed with lucre’s lust –
And so they waste – and so they must.
They left our congress naked walls –
Farewell to towers and capitols!
To lofty roofs and splendid halls!
To courtly domes and glittering things,
To folly, that too near us clings,
To courtiers who – tis well – had wings.
Farewell to all but glorious war,
Which yet shall guard Potomac’s shore,
And honor lost, and fame restore.
To conquer armies in the field
Was, once, the surest method held
To make a hostile country yield.
The mode is this, now acted on;
In conflagrating Washington,
They held our independence gone!
Supposing George’s house at Kew
Were burnt, (as we intend to do,)
Would that be burning England too?
Supposing, near the silver Thames
We laid in ashes their saint James,
Or Blenheim palace wrapt in flames;
Made Hampton Court to fire a prey,
And meanly, then, to sneak away,
And never ask them what’s to pay?
Would that be conquering London town?
Would that subvert the English throne,
Or bring the royal system down?
With all their glare of guards or guns,
How would they look like simpletons,
And not at all the lion’s sons!
Supposing, then, we take our turn
And make it public law, to burn,
Would not old English honor spurn
At such a mean insidious plan
Which only suits some savage clan –
And surely not – the English man!
A doctrine has prevail’d too long,
A king, they hold, can do no wrong –
Merely a pitch-fork, wthout prong:
But de’il may trust such doctrines, more, –
One king, that wrong’d us, long before,
Has wrongs, by hundreds, yet in store.
He wrong’d us forty years ago;
He wrongs us yet, we surely know;
He’ll wrong us till he gets a blow.
That, with a vengeance, will repay
The mischiefs we lament this day,
This burning, damn’d, infernal play;
Will send one city to the sky,
Its buildings low and buildings high,
And buildings – built the lord knows why;
Will give him an eternal check
That breaks his heart or breaks his neck,
And plants our standard on QUEBEC.
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