Verse > Anthologies > Hamilton Fish Armstrong, ed. > The Book of New York Verse
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Hamilton Fish Armstrong, ed.  The Book of New York Verse.  1917.
 
Song for a Venison Dinner at Mr. Bunyan’s, New York, 1781 (abridged)
By Joseph Stansbury
 
FRIENDS, push ’round the bottle, and let us be drinking,
While Washington up in his mountains is slinking.
Good faith, if he’s wise he’ll not leave them behind him,
For he knows he’s safe nowhere where Britons can find him.
When he and Fayette talk of taking this city,        5
Their vaunting moves only our mirth and our pity.
 
But though near our lines they’re too cautious to tarry,
What courage they shew when a hen-roost they harry!
Who can wonder that Poultry and Oxen and Swine
Seek shelter in York from such Valour divine;        10
While Washington’s jaws and the Frenchman’s are aching
The spoil they have lost to be boiling and baking.
 
Let Clinton and Arnold bring both to subjection,
And send us more geese here to seek our Protection.
Their flesh and their feathers shall meet a kind greeting:        15
A fat Rebel Turkey is excellent eating:
A Lamb fat as butter, and white as a Chicken—
Those sorts of tame Rebels are excellent picking.
 
Today a wild Rebel has smoaked on the Table:
You’ve cut him and slic’d him as long as you’re able.        20
He bounded like Congo, and bade you defiance:
And plac’d on his running his greatest reliance.
But Fate overtook him and brought him before ye,
To shew how Rebellion will wind up her story.
 
Then cheer up, my lads, if the Prospect grows rougher,        25
Remember from whence, and for whom ’tis ye suffer:
From men whom mild Laws, and too happy condition,
Have puffed up with Pride and inflamed with sedition.
For George, whose reluctance to punish Offenders
Has strengthened the hands of these upstart Pretenders.        30
 
 
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