Nonfiction > E.C. Stedman & E.M. Hutchinson, eds. > A Library of American Literature > 1765–1787
Stedman and Hutchinson, comps.  A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes.  1891.
Vol. III: Literature of the Revolutionary Period, 1765–1787
The Fate of John Burgoyne
Revolutionary Songs and Ballads
[Preserved in Griswold’s “Curiosities of American Literature.” 1843.]

WHEN Jack the king’s commander
  Was going to his duty,
Through all the crowd he smiled and bowed
  To every blooming beauty.
The city rung with feats he’d done        5
  In Portugal and Flanders,
And all the town thought he’d be crowned
  The first of Alexanders.
To Hampton Court he first repairs
  To kiss great George’s hand, sirs;        10
Then to harangue on state affairs
  Before he left the land, sirs.
The “Lower House” sat mute as mouse
  To hear his grand oration;
And “all the peers,” with loudest cheers,        15
  Proclaimed him to the nation.
Then off he went to Canada,
  Next to Ticonderoga,
And quitting those away he goes
  Straightway to Saratoga.        20
With great parade his march he made
  To gain his wished-for station,
While far and wide his minions hied
  To spread his “Proclamation.”
To such as stayed he offers made        25
  Of “pardon on submission;
But savage bands should waste the lands
  Of all in opposition.”
But ah, the cruel fates of war!
  This boasted son of Britain,        30
When mounting his triumphal car,
  With sudden fear was smitten.
The sons of Freedom gathered round,
  His hostile bands confounded,
And when they’d fain have turned their back        35
  They found themselves surrounded!
In vain they fought, in vain they fled;
  Their chief, humane and tender,
To save the rest soon thought it best
  His forces to surrender.        40
Brave St. Clair, when he first retired,
  Knew what the fates portended;
And Arnold and heroic Gates
  His conduct have defended.
Thus may America’s brave sons        45
  With honor be rewarded,
And be the fate of all her foes
  The same as here recorded.

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