1778 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Gen. John Burgoyne

Anonymous, "A Song, on the Surrender of Lieutenant-General Burgoyne and his Army, to Major-General Gates" Connecticut Courant (13 January 1778).



As Jack, the King's commander,
Was going to his duty,
Thro' all the crowd he smil'd and bow'd
To every blooming beauty.

The city rung of feats he'd done
In Portugal and Flanders;
And all the town tho't he'd be crown'd
The first of Alexanders.

To Hampton court he first repairs,
To kiss great George's hand, Sir;
Then to harangue on state affairs
Before he left the land, Sir.

The Lower House sat mute as mouse
To hear his grand oration;
And all the Peers with loudest cheers
Proclaim'd him thro' the nation!

Then straight he went to Canada,
Next to Ticonderoga;
And, passing those, away he goes
Straitway to Saratoga.

With grand parade his march he made
To gain his wish'd for station,
Whilst far and wide his minions hie'd
To spread his PROCLAMATION.

"To such as staid he offers made
Of Pardon on SUBMISSION;
But savage bands should waste the lands
Of ALL in OPPOSITION."

But, ah! the cruel fate of war!
This boasted son of Britain,
When mounting his triumphal car,
With sudden fear was smitten.

The sons of Freedom, gather'd round,
His hostile bands confounded;
And when they'd fain have turn'd their backs,
They found themselves surrounded.

In vain they fought, in vain they fled,
Their Chief, humane and tender,
To save the rest soon tho't it best
His forces to surrender.

Brave St. Clair, when he first retir'd
Knew what the fates portended;
And Arnold, with heroic Gates,
His conduct have defended.

Thus may America's brave sons
With honor be rewarded;
And be the fate of all her foes
The same as here recorded.