A recap of the news of the year which included The War of 1812. This is a far less cheerful recap of a bloody time.
GOOD morning honest friends, and patrons, d'ye'see,
I've come Lawyer-like to levy a fee;
Also, to bring by way of retrospection,
A view of things past to your recollection --
Which perhaps is not pleasing, but never mind that,
What more than the SKIN can you have of a CAT?
Again Father Time thro' fortunes so drear,
Has bro't us about another New Year --
And as you all know that News Boys go yearly,
To proffer their patrons their compliments sincerely,
You won't be surpris'd if I like a Frenchman,
Should now beg your pardon, and crave your attention: --
News Boys, like other great men of the nation,
Too frequently act without consideration;
And as I have had no communication
With sage, or with muse -- or e'en inspiration,
I hope on giving this an examination,
You'll judge of its defects with due moderation.
Stern Winter, as usual, with his cheerless train,
Too oft has envelop'd me in sleet and rain,
And pinch'd me with frosts, as on I must go,
To give you the news thro' wind and thro' snow --
And now my good friends, your bounty I'd cheer,
Wishing you, as is usual, a happy New Year.
You all have been told these three years or more,
How Europe is bleeding at every pore --
How Bona assaults and Britain assails
Our merchantmen's cargoes, and pocket th' avails --
How they issue their orders, proclaim their decrees,
And swear that they'll always do just as they please --
And tell to our faces the devil a jot
Of "honor" or "energy" our nation has got --
But what of all this? Napoleon's our friend,
As I unto you will prove in the end,
And "loves" us as well as a wolf loves a lamb,
Or a hungry old soldier a piece of smok'd ham.
'Gainst England we now must all of us fight,
And swear administration do nought but what's right --
We must stop up our ears when a fed tells a story,
And though we don't hear him must call him a tory.
But this is quite thread-bare, you've all heard enough
Of Embargoes, French burnings, old tories and stuff,
Of sinkings, of scut'lings, of French privateers,
And all the misdeeds practis'd on us for years:
Of gun-boats, torpedoes, and other machines
Produc'd by great Jefferson's hard cudgel'd brains.
"But alas and alack for the torpedo war,
"Whose terrors Fame's trumpet had sounded afar,
"For the cocks bottom upwards disturb not the seas,
"And the mighty blow-ORS turn to little blow-EES!"
Thus to dive in dark foggy-night, deep in balloon,
To blow up the ocean and spatter the moon --
Or blow up old Neptune and shiver his car,
With Fulton's great engine of terrapin war
Was nothing but stuff -- or I may say bubble,
A bubble invented for nothing but trouble.
Comical ditties and comical rhymes,
I think best adapted to comical times,
But as now I'm to speak of conduct most vile,
Perhaps it is best to alter my style; --
Behold th' appalling, dismal scenes,
Surpassing far the nightly dreams
That haunt the murderer's guilty breast,
And keep him from his slumb'ring rest --
'Tis in the streets of Baltimore,
Th' assassins pant for human gore!
See a dark group, a ruffian host,
Proceeding on like sullen ghost
That lightly stalks by light of moon,
And ranges o'er the church-yard's gloom!
Forward they rush, a man they meet,
Blow follows blow -- he stiffens at their feet --
A man lies wel'ring in his gore,
And vengeance, unsated, feels no more!
There LINGAN pours his life blood out,
And heaps on heaps their hellish phrenzy glut!
LINGAN the grave, his country's boast,
Thus doom'd to fall by Jac'bia host!
"Vain mortal man, approach the blood-stained floor,
"And mark th' effects of mobs, unawed by civil power!"
We will next take a view of BELLONA'S car,
And Madison's new-fangled paper-shot war: --
First proclamation thunders roar
Along the banks of Erie's shore.
'Tis there the warlike gallant Hull,
First tries the Indian tribes to gull, --
Tells Britain's folks he's come in peace,
To shoot them down like ducks or geese,
Unless with him they will unite,
And 'gainst their lawful sovereign fight.
But soon this mighty conq'ror's course,
Is stop'd by far inferior force.
Brock sends th' "exterminating" man
No sooner back to Michigan,
Then he, so skilful and adroit,
Surrenders up old Fort Detroit!!!
Next turn your eyes to Queenston heights,
And see how brave VAN RENSSELAER fights!
Not in the modern mode, by writing,
But plain old-fashion'd true blue fighting.
A hero rises now forthwith,
Whose name is ALEXANDER SMYTH!
In wit and eloquence profound,
He strews his proclamations round.
But after all his coaxing slum,
Scarcely a man would quit his home,
Except a few poor simple elves,
Who tho't to signalise themselves
By taking some poor Indian's scalp,
Virginia's Quixotte son to help.
And now to pay them for their trouble,
Smyth only got them in a hobble --
For when he found his paper shot,
Had rais'd the British ire too hot,
He soon retreated from their sight,
Which prov'd he'd rather write than fight!
Now set your face still farther north,
And see old Dearborn sally forth
In rapid strides, like Terrapin,
The town of Montreal to gain.
"Forward march" -- "now wheel about" --
What? Dearborn's army put to rout?
No -- just come back to winter here,
And fix for war -- another year!!!
DECATUR brave, and gallant HULL,
Show'd yankee play to Johnny Bull;
And, notwithstanding all his scorns,
Taught him that FEDS can lop his horns.
The cabinet of our wise President, JAMES,
Perhaps at this time some attention claims --
But nought of importance now occurs to my mind,
Excepting that EUSTIS, or Useless's resign'd,
And ALBERT th' Italian still retains his seat,
Where the cash and the credit of our nation both meet.
In Congress-Hall, where all is bubble,
They bubble up the nation's trouble:
In vain does QUINCY raise his voice,
To stop the nation's downward course.
In vain is RANDOLPH'S el'quence fir'd,
To blast the schemes he once admir'd.
But if we must to ruin reel,
He's been a main-spoke in the wheel.
I do dislike this saucy elf,
He's so besotted with himself.
But hold my truant tongue - pray stay,
Or I shall talk away the day.
To those who patronise my labors,
My worthy, good and honest neighbors,
On such I call each blessing down,
That worldly happiness can crown.
May husbands all, be kind and clever,
May wives resemble pleasant weather,
The wicked turn from evil ways,
Both old and young see better days,
And every maid in this year find
A husband suited to her mind.
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