Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
Royal Consultations
By Philip Freneau (1752–1832)
 
Relative to the disposal of Lord Wellington’s Army

SAID the Goth to the Vandal, the prince to the king,
Let us do a mad action to make the world ring:
With Wellington’s army we now have the means
To make a bold stroke and exhibit new scenes.
 
A stroke at the States is my ardent desire,        5
To waste, and harass them with famine and fire;
My vengeance to carry through village and town,
And even to batter their capitol down.
 
The Vandal then answer’d, and said to the Goth,
Dear George, with yourself I am equally wroth:        10
Of Wellington’s army dispose as you please:
It is best, I presume, they should go beyond seas;
For, should they come home, I can easily show
The hangman will have too much duty to do.
 
So, away came the bruisers, and when they came here,        15
Some mischief they did, when no army was near:
They came to correct, and they came to chastise,
And to do all the evil their heads could devise.
 
At Washington city they burn’d and destroy’d,
Till among the big houses they made a huge void;        20
Then back to their shipping they flew like the wind,
But left many more than five hundred behind
Of wounded and dead, and others say, double;
And thus was the hangman excused from some trouble.
 
Alexandria beheld them in battle array;        25
Alexandria they plunder’d a night and a day;
Then quickly retreated, with moderate loss,
Their forces conducted by Cockburn and Ross.
 
At Baltimore, next, was their place of attack;
But Baltimore drove them repeatedly back;        30
There Rodgers they saw, and their terror was such,
They saw they were damn’d when they saw him approach.
 
The forts were assail’d by the strength of their fleet,
And the forts in disorder beheld them retreat,
So shatter’d and crippled, so mangled and sore,        35
That the tide of Patapsco was red with their gore.
 
Their legions by land no better succeeded—
In vain they manœuvred, in vain they paraded,
Their hundreds on hundreds were strew’d on the ground;
Each shot from the rifles brought death or a wound.        40
One shot from a buckskin completed their loss,
And their legions no longer were headed by Ross!
 
Where they mean to go next, we can hardly devise,
But home they would go, if their master was wise.
 
Yet folly so long has directed their course;        45
Such madness is seen in the waste of their force,
Such weakness and folly, with malice combined,
Such rancour, revenge, and derangement of mind,
That, all things consider’d, with truth we may say,
Both Cochrane and Cockburn are running away. 1        50
 
To their regent, the prince, to their master, the king,
They are now on the way, they are now on the wing,
To tell them the story of loss and disaster,
One begging a pension, the other a plaster.
Let them speed as they may, to us it is plain        55
They will patch up their hulks for another campaign,
Their valour to prove, and their havoc to spread,
When Wellington’s army is missing or dead.
 
Note 1. About this time, September, 1814, the Admirals Cochrane and Cockburn quitted the coast of the United States in their respective flag-ships. [back]
 
 
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