1778 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Gen. John Burgoyne

Indignatus, "To General Burgoyne" General Advertiser and Morning Intelligencer (22 July 1778).



Ill-starr'd Burgoyne! tho' friends, nay en'mies say,
You bravely fought, disdain'd to run away;
Yet still you fought in an inglorious cause,
Defending not divine, but human laws;
Not gen'rous Liberty, but the starv'd plan
Of one despotic, vengeful, bloody man.
Speak out, Sir, lest old age tell lies on youth,
Speak out, Burgoyne! disclose the total truth.
Though courts forsake thee, here with triumph rest,
Posterity will clasp you to her breast;
To latest times fair Freedom's cause defend,
Truth's, Honesty's, and Candour's faithful friend.
But if to party brib'd, (a willing tool)
More of the subtle knave than honest fool,
You between parties trim, and with mean zeal,
To save Germaine, or G—e, the truth conceal,
Those orders, those instructions, that employ'd
Your force Canadian, and that force destroy'd:
Mark well the bard — you B— joy may give,
Long on court favour splendidly may live;
But mark the bard — (perhaps a bard of prose,
Who would not swell your catalogue of foes)
There ends your glory — everlasting fame,
Must to abhorr'd existence damn your name.