Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
Brother Jonathan’s Epistle to Johnny Bull—1814
O, JOHNNY BULL, my joe, John, I wonder what you mean?
Are you on foreign conquest bent, or what ambitious scheme?
Ah! list to brother Jonathan, your fruitless plans forego;
Remain on your fast-anchor’d isle, O Johnny Bull, my joe.
O, Johnny Bull, my joe, John, don’t come across the main;        5
Our fathers bled and suffer’d, John, our freedom to maintain;
And him who in the cradle, John, repell’d the ruthless foe,
Provoke not, when to manhood grown, O Johnny Bull, my joe.
O, Johnny Bull, my joe, John, you’ve proud and haughty grown;
The ocean is a highway, which you falsely call your own:        10
And Columbia’s sons are valiant, John, nor fear to face the foe,
And never yield to equal force, O Johnny Bull, my joe.
O, Johnny Bull, my joe, John, your Peacocks keep at home,
And ne’er let British seamen in a Frolic hither come,
For we’ve Hornets, and we’ve Wasps, John, who, as you doubtless know,        15
Carry stingers in their tails, O Johnny Bull, my joe.
When I name our naval heroes, John, O! hear old England’s groans:
There’s Bainbridge, Porter, Blakely, Decatur, Hull, and Jones;
And while for gallant Lawrence our grateful tears shall flow,
We never will give up the ship, O Johnny Bull, my joe.        20
O, Johnny Bull, my joe, John, on Erie’s distant shore
See how the battle rages, and loud the cannons roar;
But Perry taught our seamen to crush the assailing foe—
He met, and made them ours, O Johnny Bull, my joe.
O, Johnny Bull, my joe, John, behold on Lake Champlain,        25
With more than equal force, John, you tried your fist again:
But the cock saw how ’t was going, and cried “cock-a-doodle-doo,”
And Macdonough was victorious, O Johnny Bull, my joe!
Your soldiers on the land, John, on that eventful day,
Mark’d the issue of the conflict, and then they ran away:        30
And Macomb would have Burgoyn’d, John, your Governor Prevost;
But, ah! he was too nimble, O Johnny Bull, my joe.
O, Johnny Bull, my joe, John, in night attacks and day,
We drove you from Fort Erie—flogg’d you at Chippeway:
There’s Porter, Brown and Ripley, Scott and Gaines to face the foe,        35
And they use the bayonet freely, O, Johnny Bull, my joe.
What though at Washington, a base marauding band
Our monuments of art, John, destroy’d with ruthless hand:
O, it was a savage warfare, John, beneath a generous foe,
And brings the most disgrace on you, O Johnny Bull, my joe.        40
O, Johnny Bull, my joe, John, don’t send your Cochrane o’er,
Few places are assailable, on this our native shore:
And we’ll leave our homes and friends, John, and crush the reptile foe
That dares pollute our native soil, O Johnny Bull, my joe.
O, Johnny Bull, my joe, John, when all your schemes had fail’d,        45
To wipe away the stigma, John, for New Orleans you sail’d:
But heavier woes await thee, John, for Jackson meets the foe,
Who’s name and fame’s immortal, O Johnny Bull, my joe!
O, Johnny Bull, my joe, John, your Packenham’s no more:
The blood of your invincibles crimsons our native shore:        50
No Hampton scenes are here, John, to greet a savage foe,
Nor booty—no, nor beauty, O Johnny Bull, my joe.
O, Johnny Bull, my joe, John, your heroes keep at home;
In high spirits they come hither, but they’re carried back in rum.
You say your sons are valiant, John: I grant they may be so:        55
But more valiant are our Yankee boys, O, Johnny Bull, my joe.
Your schemes to gather laurels here, I guess were badly plann’d:
We have whipp’d you on the ocean, John, we’ve thresh’d you on the land:
Then hie thee to old England, John, your fruitless plans forego,
And stick to thy fast-anchor’d isle, O, Johnny Bull, my joe.        60

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