Battle of Plattsburg.
SIR George Prevost, with all his host,
March'd forth from Montreal, sir,
Both he and they, as blythe and gay
As going to a ball, sir.
The troops he chose, were all of those
That conquer'd Marshal Soult, sir,
Who, at Garonne (the fact is known)
Scarce brought them to a halt, sir.
With troops like these, he thought with ease
To crush the Yankee faction;
23His only thought, was how he ought
To bring them into action
Your very names Sir George exclaims,
Without a gun or bayonet,
Will pierce like darts, thro' Yankee hearts,
And all their spirits stagnate.
Oh! how I dread, lest they have fled,
And left their puny fort, sir,
For sure Macomb won't stay at home,
To afford us any sport, sir;
Good bye, he said, to those that staid,
Keep close as mice or rats, snug,
We'll just run out, upon a scout,
To burn the town of Plattsburg.
Then up Champlain, with might and main,
He march'd in dread array, sir,
With fife and drum, to scare Macomb,
And drive him quite away, sir;
And side by side, their nation's pride,
Along the current beat, sir,
24Swore not to sup, till they eat up
McDonough and his fleet, sir.
Still onward came these men of frame
Resolv'd to give no quarter,
But to their cost, found out at last,
That they had caught a tartar.
At distance shot, awhile they fought,
By water and by land sir,
His knightship ran from man to man,
And gave his dread command, sir.
Britons, strike home; this dog, Macomb,
So well the fellow knows us,
Will just as soon jump o'er the moon
As venture to oppose us;
With quick despatch, light ev'ry match,
Man ev'ry gun and swivel,
Cross, in a crack, the Saranac,
And drive 'em to the devil
The Vermont ranks, that lin'd the banks,
Then pois'd the unerring rifles,
25And to oppose their haughty foes,
They found a perfect trifle;
Meanwhile the fort kept up such sport,
They thought the devil was in it;
Their mighty train play'd off in vain,
'Twas silenc'd in a minute.
Sir George, amaz'd, so wildly gaz'd,
Such frantic gambols acted,
Of all his men, not one in ten,
But thought him quite distracted.
He curs'd and swore, his hair he tore
Then jump'd upon his poney,
And gallop'd off towards the Bluff,
To look for Captain Downie.
But when he spied McDonough ride
In all the pomp of glory,
He hastened back to Saranac,
To tell the dismal story:
My gallant crews, oh! shocking news,
Are all or kill'd or taken,
Expect a few that just withdrew
In time to save their bacon.
Old England's pride must now subside,
Oh, how the news will shock her
To have her fleet not only beat,
But sent to Davy's locker.
From this sad day, let no one say
Britannia rules the ocean,
We've dearly bought the humbling thought,
That this is all a notion.
With one to ten, I'd fight 'gainst men,
But these are Satan's legions,
With malice fraught, come piping hot
From Pluto's darkest regions.
Helas mon dieu? what shall I do?
I smell the burning sulphur;
Set Britain's isle all rank and file,
Such men would soon engulf her.
That's full as bad — Oh, I'll run mad!
Those western hounds are summon'd,
Gaines, Scott and Brown, are coming down,
To serve me just like Drummond.
27Thick too, as bees, the Vermontese
Are swarming to the lake, sir,
And Izard's men, come back again,
Lie hid in ev'ry brake, sir.
Good Brisbane, beat a quick retreat,
Before their forces join, sir,
For sure as fate, they've laid a bait,
To catch us like Burgoyne, sir.
All round about, keep good look out
We'll surely be surrounded;
Since I could crawl, my gallant sou.
Was never so astounded.
The route began, sir George led on,
His men ran helter skelter;
Each tri'd his best to outrun the rest
To gain a place of shelter;
To hide their fear, they gave a cheer
And thought it mighty cunning —
He'll fight, say they, another day,
Who saves himself by running.