Jonathan Swift

30 November 1667 – 19 October 1745 / Dublin

Jack Frenchman’s Lamentation -

Ye Commons and Peers,
Pray lend me your ears,
I'll sing you a song, (if I can,)
How Lewis le Grand
Was put to a stand,
By the arms of our gracious Queen Anne.

How his army so great,
Had a total defeat,
And close by the river Dender:
Where his grandchildren twain,
For fear of being slain,
Gallop'd off with the Popish Pretender.

To a steeple on high,
The battle to spy,
Up mounted these clever young men;
But when from the spire,
They saw so much fire,
Most cleverly came down again.

Then on horseback they got
All on the same spot,
By advice of their cousin Vendosme,
O Lord! cried out he,
Unto young Burgundy,
Would your brother and you were at home!

While this he did say,
Without more delay,
Away the young gentry fled;
Whose heels for that work,
Were much lighter than cork,
Though their hearts were as heavy as lead.

Not so did behave
Young Hanover brave,
In this bloody field I assure ye:
When his war-horse was shot
He valued it not,
But fought it on foot like a fury.

Full firmly he stood,
As became his high blood,
Which runs in his veins so blue:
For this gallant young man,
Being a-kin to QUEEN ANNE,
Did as (were she a man) she would do.

What a racket was here,
(I think 'twas last year,)
For a little misfortune in Spain!
For by letting 'em win,
We have drawn the puts in,
To lose all they're worth this campaign.

Though Bruges and Ghent
To Monsieur we lent,
With interest they shall repay 'em;
While Paris may sing,
With her sorrowful king,
Nunc dimittis instead of Te Deum.

From this dream of success,
They'll awaken, we guess,
At the sound of great Marlborough's drums,
They may think, if they will,
Of Ahnanza still,
But 'tis Blenheim wherever he comes.

O Lewis perplex'd,
What general next!
Thou hast hitherto changed in vain;
He has beat 'em all round,
If no new one's found,
He shall beat 'em over again.

We'll let Tallard out,
If he'll take t'other bout;
And much he's improved, let me tell ye,
With Nottingham ale
At every meal,
And good beef and pudding in belly.

But as losers at play,
Their dice throw away,
While the winners do still win on;
Let who will command,
Thou hadst better disband,
For, old Bully, thy doctors are gone.
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