Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
John Codline and John Bull
WITH his ship all well mann’d, and “chock full of fight,”
John Codline was ploughing the ocean one night.
As fortune would have it, John Bull came that way,
And thought Mr. Codline some Frenchman astray.
“Who are you?” cries Codline—Sir Bull was quite mum—!        5
And in lieu of a word gave Codline a gun.
“Egad! that’s plain English, my own mother tongue,”
Cries Codline—“I’ll give you as good as you flung.
The sauce I now hear, oft before I have heard—
So now, my good fellow, see who’s the last word.”        10
Broadside and broadside, then at it they went,
Till Bull cried, “Peccavi,—this ain’t what I meant.
I thought you a Frenchman, and fear’d not your size,
Well knowing the larger—the greater the prize.”
“A good one,” cries Codline—“this blundering hit        15
May learn you to profit by loss of your wit.
Hereafter, when Codline you happen to meet,
On Neptune’s highway, on river, or street—
Be civil, friend Bull, for we fear not a straw,
Your ‘ultima ratio’—your old cannon law.”        20

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