Another year of war, and descriptions of the naval battles in the War of 1812. And a reuse of some of the 1812 New Years verse, as well as the appearance of the unusual, and now famous, Matter-Clatter rhyme from the Christmas poem. There's also an awakened narrator, but this time to work, not to be part of a nightmare.
ONCE more returns the festive day of mirth,
When frolic-pleasure hails the New Year's birth;
The jest and jibe in quick succession pass, --
Wit, humor, beauty, sparkle 'round the glass;
Yet, 'mid the roaring laugh, the mirthful peal,
Let calm reflection one short moment steal
One moment give, ye laughter-loving throng,
List to the story of the child of song.
Three days had I labor'd -- and in verbage sublime,
I'd scribbled nine sheets -- but the Devil a rhyme
Would appear in the whole -- so all in a huff,
I sent to the flames a whole volume of stuff,
As smooth, at the least, as that lullaby trash,
Authors now-a-days publish -- "to compass the cash."
Having burnt myself out -- last night much oppress'd,
I went to my garret, and soon was at rest, --
Not thinking that Fate had a word now design'd
To enliven my Muse, or enlighten my mind.
The clock sounded five -- and awak'd by the chime,
I rais'd up my head -- which was now full of rhyme!
Transported -- I bid sleepy Somnus adieu,
And wrote just at day-light these verses for you.
But there's one thing my friends, I'd like to've forgot,
And that is -- (by my soul, I hate to tell what) --
Howe'er, as I've scribbled, and scribbled again,
To give you the efforts of quill and of brain,
I hope, that none of you'll think it the slightest offence
If now cap in hand I sue you for pence.
Each anxious eye for something looks,
From him who lives on type and books,
Nor can there be the slightest question,
That they are both of hard digestion:
I've trudg'd each week, as you have seen,
Against the winds howe'er so keen,
To please my patrons' curious views,
And zest their coffee with the news:
For news is now the highest wish;
Without it breakfast wants a dish.
Miss, like the famous Johnny Horner,
Picks out the sweets of Poet's corner,
Delighted reads some stanza there,
So sweet, so smooth, and all so fair,
Her tender heart bounds high with glee,
And whispers -- "SURE THE BARD MEANS ME!"
While through the columns which relate,
Elections' quirks and tricks of state,
His heavy eye the 'squire rolls,
And thinks of nothing but the Polls.
To EUROPE let us turn our eyes;
On her scourg'd plains what scenes arise;
The laurel towers, the olive dead,
Long, long from thence has freedom fled.
We see the "Island in the main,"
Support her drooping ally Spain;
Illustrious Wellington once more,
Rouses the cannon's levin roar:
On Pampeluna's crimson'd field,
We see the haughty Frenchmen yield.
The Corsic Despot's blighting band,
Chas'd from the Spaniards' harrass'd land,
Where long he'd scour'd each enfilade,
Where long had flash'd his reeking blade.
Yet further stretch reflection's glance,
And view the myriad hosts of France;
Like locusts spread their legions wide,
And roll to whelm war's stormy tide;
Napoleon pours his dreadful host,
Along the Elbe, and Baltic's coast;
Waves his wide destroying hand,
And curses Russia's mourning land.
Yet, prais'd be God, he's oft been beat,
And soon must in disgrace retreat.
From scenes like these in vain we fly,
To where COLUMBIA meets the eye;
Where once, as tuneful poets sung,
With joy so blithe the "welkin rung;"
No longer o'er these happy plains,
Contentment smiles, or freedom reigns --
Folly has grasp'd the ruler's mace,
And turban'd pomp fills wisdom's place.
Grundy, Eppes, Calhoun, Desha,
Jackson, Taylor, Fisk and Rhea,
And the big Speaker, Henry Clay,
Are now the patriots of the day.
To the great folks at gov'ment city,
I think I now will chant a ditty: --
"May't please your honors, what the devil
Makes you to France so monstrous civil?
Zounds, can't you see, for well the muse can,
Great Bonaparte's Gordian noose-plan;
You louts, he'll twist round our neck,
And hang us to his sov'reign beck.
His emissaries beat the bush,
While you, their tools, are crying -- hush!!
Pray may I ask what was the matter
When you all rais'd such noisy clatter,
And Williams pour'd his red-hot lava,
While rueful Albion cry'd pecavi?
Why, sirs, you've made a devlish blunder,
In spite of all your blaze and thunder,
Old England never will knock under,
At her command fleets yet unmoor,
And knock most rudely at our door.
But since to cool our fev'rish blood,
You've burst the sluice, and loos'd war's flood,
'Tis ours to trace its devious course,
Thro' all its progress from the source.
Twenty five thousand men and one,
This dreadful conflict first begun,
An army large enough on paper,
To cut a Proclamation caper.
But why recount to you again
The glories of the first campaign?
Last year their brilliancies I reckon'd,
So now I'll count to you the second.
Old Dearborn, first of Mars' dread race,
With coat, en mode trick'd off in lace,
Last Spring first made the cannon roar,
Around Ontario's ragged shore,
And e'en commenc'd the bloody work,
By boldly taking Little York --
One Snuff Box, and a little pork!!!
Continuing still the bloody fray,
Next to Fort George he bent his way,
And took -- what did not run away!
The billows of war's furious flood,
Did not agree with Dearborn's blood;
So he, 'midst fame and high renown,
Was forc'd to yield his laurel crown,
And fly for health to Boston-town, --
Where roguish Cupid, with his dart,
Shot this great hero thro' the heart!!!
But now comes on the tug of war;
Great WILKINSON, from Orleans far,
Comes puffing in his windy car,
More proud than mighty God of War.
ARMSTRONG too, like warlike dragon,
Comes thundering in Bellona's waggon;
And had his predecessor, MARS,
Muster'd out ten thousand cars,
To aid the "Knight of Golden Spurs,"
He had not made so great a rumbling,
E'en if his kingdom down was tumbling.
At Sackett's Harbor they arrive,
And there the scattering armies hive.
The expedition soon is plann'd
And ev'ry boat and ship is mann'd,
And for Montreal sail so grand.
Forward they push, and soon have orders
To trespass on the en'my's borders,
Where, sad to tell, sagacious Boyd,
By paltry force is quick decoy'd;
And tho' 'tis said our army beat,
Yet they were forced to retreat
Across St. Lawrence's rapid waters,
And there take up their winter quarters!
Chauncey's chas'd and fought Sir James,
And got -- his labor for his pains!
Thus ends, my friends, the last campaign,
The offspring of ambition's reign.
But hark! my friends, what sounds are those?
Methinks they spring from human woes!
'Tis true, alas! behold the scene! --
The widow's tears, the orphan's mein!
Behold the smoke in pillars rise,
Ascending to Niagara's skies!
Ye Gods! How long shall mad ambition rule,
How long shall man be bent to play the fool!
In Congress-hall our war-hawks muster,
And whine and bark and blow and bluster
About old red-coat Johnny Bull,
Who gives us such a devlish pull --
And pays us off in cannon-ball,
For every Proclamation-squall;
And as they cannot shoot the lout,
They swear that now they'll starve him out.
So now who plies the awl and shears,
Who constant at his work appears,
Who nails the shoe, who lifts the knife
To take the harmless victim's life,
Who twangs the bow, who drives the quill,
Who tends each groaning Printing Mill,
Or well employs his scanty means
To aid his country with Machines,
Machines to wash, and churn, and spin,
And still Potatoes into Gin,
Come ye and bring your humble dole,
With every churlish dotard soul,
Yea, all as one, Feds, Quids and Quacks,
With all your burdens on your backs;
Come Demos, come, bring in your cheer,
Potatoe-Gin and Barley-Beer.
With hearts of joy the flash assail,
And bid the happy New-Year hail.
But as for any beautious Miss,
Whom I can call my patroness,
I ask of her, one look of grace,
Which smiles and blossoms in her face.
Then will I wish all Time's displays,
Of many happy new years days.
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