1777 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Gen. John Burgoyne

Anonymous, "Burgoyne's Proclamation versified" Public Advertiser (13 September 1777).



Be it known unto you all that here I come,
With Cannons and Muskets, with Fife and with Drum;
In Command so ferocious, should any one dare
To oppose me, Destruction is surely his Share.
From Germany Soldiers I've brought — for their Booty;
The brave English Corps have follow'd from Duty;
Three thousand fierce Savages close at my Back,
To scalp, tomahawk, to carve, cut and hack;
In torturing exquisite, Anguish prolong,
Whilst we tickle the Bye-standers with the Death Song.
Be, therefore, advis'd — join your Forces with mine;
Regardless of Interest freely combine:
For if you do not, not a Soul shall remain—
Your Females all ravish'd, your Men shall be slain;
Your Houses destroy'd, your Farms sow'd with Salt;
Our Ravages doubl'd wherever we halt:
No Mercy be shewn to your Children or Wives,
Nor the Beasts we don't want escape with their Lives.
Submit then to Mildness, to Power benignant,
Nor thus, by resisting, seem longer indignant;
From Submission you'll feel what Blessings will spring—
His Majesty's known for a good-natur'd King.
On absolute Truth, though you place small Reliance,
And Power despotic increases Defiance,
Yet be well assur'd when you once have submitted,
Your Grievances will, to your Folly, be fitted.