LAST night father Time, from his old tablet drew,
The last year of our Lord, and tuck'd in a new,
The priest usher'd forth with his water and wine
And christen'd the child 1809--
The ghosts of the year which had slumber'd in peace,
Gave a shriek from their caverns and sigh'd for release,
The death howl of midnight was heard from the sea,
And Ruin and Rapine proclaim'd - Jubilee -
The Genius of Empires disconsolate stood,
Gave a look of regret at the wrecks of the flood,
His keen piercing glance rent the curtain of space,
While the tears of mild pity besprinkl'd his face--
Look around thro' the globe, see my frail fabrics fall,
From the poles to the line, at destruction's loud call,
See havoc and murder ascend from the deep,
And Kings mourn lost scepters and Emperors weep;
Sound the tocsin aloud and let anarchy reign,
For freedom and Peace and mild virtue are slain--
Fair Goddess of Peace -- dear saint she's no more,
She has sung on our hills, and has wept on our shore;
The timid, mild dove from our green mountain's flown,
And nations may mourn for alas she is gone--
The new-born in vain sought the Goddess for nurse,
But war caught the infant and gave his free curse;
The proudest of tyrants, for Godfather stood,
And dipp'd the young nursling in Freedom's heart's blood.
Let the earth read its doom, and the ocean its fate--
On the first Discord reigns -- on the latter fell Fate--
From the time that young Cain cut the throat of his brother,
Each man tries his best to do worse than another.
Kind patrons the reason's as plain as your nose is,
Our dear little self is the sweetest of posies--
The keen-dog who hangs by his neck, do you see,
Would scarce hang for you sir, so selfish is he;
And right, wrong, and neither, are so much the practice
That mankind seem half mad - such sir, the fact is.
The Devil has printers and printers have devils,
Do you know which's the worst or the least of these evils?
Ash Cheetham my friend and he'll tell you the latter,
The Devil 'tis said, gives the palm to the hatter--
To tell you the truth Sir, I'm called printer's devil,
We're a fine jolly mess and on good things we revel.
On wars and on bloodshed, on tempests and winds,
On Hymen's sweet conquests and Venus' hinds--
On the dress which encircles the Cyprian maid,
The heart killing ringlet or more modern braid;
On the bosom of love and the lap of desire,
Great Faust did the same too, and he was our sire.
You've heard (and with truth too) that Nap's in a rage,
And that John Bull cares little his wrath t'assuage;
The blood-hounds of contest will keep them at bay,
'Tis Boney wants corn Sir, and Johney wants hay;
A dog of the meadow has join'd in the battle,
A good dog for sheep Sir, but bad for horn'd cattle;
He yelp'd hard at first, but a kick in the jaw,
Sent the cur to his kennel to feed on his maw.
The Spaniards, brave fellows, have left off their sleeping
They put Monseiur's eyes out when'ere he's a peeping
Into their cities - Let the fire of the Don
Give the world a fine sample of Spanish bon ton--
Of ourselves, honest creatures, pray what shall I say?
As the man to his cur did, come hither poor Tray?
Faithful Tray wags his tail and with good natur'd leer,
'Your conduct, kind master, to me seems most queer'--
Tray's dinner's embargo'd, he grew somewhat lean,
His master had flogg'd him in illnatur'd spleen.
Quoth the master, "Shall I e'er succumb to a dog'?
No, Musselman, this he was too fond of -- hog.
By this kind of route I've arriv'd at the embargo,
'Tis this I believe still makes Tommy's mare-go --
Tho frisking and jumping, he sticks to his saddle,
Sometimes he rides sideways, and sometimes astraddle;
'The warp'd wheels of office still move in rotation,
Tis one follow t'other all over the nation--
From the great magic that twirls little Eppes,
To the small village crank that grinds in Poughkeepsie,
I.E. the music of taphouses roaring encore
And leaving the landlord to mark up the score.
But no more of this stuff, and away with this pother;
We've holiday now, at least holiday's brother:
Lead the belle to the ball, and the maid to the altar,
Give grief sherry-wine and old care a rough halter.
Let your hand find your pocket, and money, your hand,
A two-shilling piece, Sir, a fine Christian land.
JANUARY 1st, 1809.