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Stanzas Written In Anticipation Of Defeat
by [?]


Stanzas Written in Anticipation of Defeat.[1]

1828.

Go seek for some abler defenders of wrong,
If we must run the gantlet thro’ blood and expense;
Or, Goths as ye are, in your multitude strong,
Be content with success and pretend not to sense.

If the words of the wise and the generous are vain,
If Truth by the bowstring must yield up her breath,
Let Mutes do the office–and spare her the pain
Of an Inglis or Tyndal to talk her to death.

Chain, persecute, plunder–do all that you will–
But save us, at least, the old womanly lore
Of a Foster, who, dully prophetic of ill,
Is at once the two instruments, AUGUR[2] and BORE.

Bring legions of Squires–if they’ll only be mute–
And array their thick heads against reason and right,
Like the Roman of old, of historic repute,[3]
Who with droves of dumb animals carried the fight;

Pour out from each corner and hole of the Court
Your Bedchamber lordlings, your salaried slaves,
Who, ripe for all job-work, no matter what sort,
Have their consciences tackt to their patents and staves.

Catch all the small fry who, as Juvenal sings,
Are the Treasury’s creatures, wherever they swim;
With all the base, time-serving toadies of Kings,
Who, if Punch were the monarch, would worship even him;

And while on the one side each name of renown
That illumines and blesses our age is combined;
While the Foxes, the Pitts, and the Cannings look down,
And drop o’er the cause their rich mantles of Mind;

Let bold Paddy Holmes show his troops on the other,
And, counting of noses the quantum desired,
Let Paddy but say, like the Gracchi’s famed mother,
“Come forward, my jewels”–’tis all that’s required.

And thus let your farce be enacted hereafter–
Thus honestly persecute, outlaw and chain;
But spare even your victims the torture of laughter,
And never, oh never, try reasoning again!

NOTES:
[1] During the discussion of the Catholic question in the House of Commons last session.

[2] This rhyme is more for the ear than the eye, as the carpenter’s tool is spelt auger.

[3] Fabius, who sent droves of bullock against the enemy.