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Except whatever ‘ the men ’ might find
To tickle the fancy or please the mind.”
Thus pleasantly chatting, when all was “took down,”
He looked at the bills and bought out the town.
Still Jenkins had terrible griefs to bear,
And as Jenkinses never were known to swear,
He affirmed: “He'd be d — d if he'd stand 'em.”
And so he launched forth in a speech at the rate
Of Phoebus's horses when Phaeton sate
On the box and drove ‘em tandem.
“In a peaceable way he had entered the town,
Yet we had a hostile spirit shown ;”
If he had said “horse steal” to me it appears,
The kettle had had the pot by the ears--
“Had stolen his horses and tried to shoot down
His men in a charge inoffensively made,
Which greatly displeased his entire brigade;
Who swore that unless we paid all their losses,
Or begging their pardon returned them their ‘ losses,’
The d — d little town should in ashes be laid.
He felt for his men, he was bound to confess it,
And whatever their wrong was compelled to redress it,
And to settle the matter desired to call
Our worthy Town Fathers together.”
Such was the substance of what he “let fall” --
From the “change in the wind” we augured a “squall,”
And not wishing a “change in the weather,”
Concluded to send our Burgess right down,
With the onerous duty of “saving the town,”
Who managed the business lie found to be done,
In a mode that “did credit” in more ways than one,
To our ancient and goodly Borough;
To the knowledge of these if you wish to attain,
Go ask certain lenders of scrip to explain--
Now, gentlemen, please don't become so profane,
You all shall be paid — to-morrow.
Now Jenkins determined to leave us awhile,
But first thought it best to disarm us.
Believing perhaps our powder might spoil,
Or that pistols and guns might harm us.
And hence he issued an order requiring
All persons within the precincts of the town,
All rights being forfeited by them by firing
(And oh! how we trembled at Jenkins's frown)
Upon the benignant confederate forces,
And wickedly stealing the best of their horses,
At once to deliver all arms and munitions
To officers named to make proper disposal,
On pain of reprisal for any omissions,
And punishment dire for every refusal.
But whether compliance was honestly made,
Or a feigned respect to the order was paid,
We all were swift his commands to obey,
And have our names on his books “put down,”
'Twas really a laughable farce to play,
Though done, of course, “to preserve the town.”
Such a motley collection of arms I swear,
Has never before been exhibited here.
There were swords without hilts and guns without locks,
Stocks without barrels and barrels without stocks;
Pistols as big as your finger, and e'en
A two-ounce vial of powder was seen.
And I stood and looked on as my friends passed by,
And to whate'er they carried I gave “half an eye.”
“Hollo, dear N----, what is that you have there t”
“Oh! nothing — or only a trifle.”
I caught a slight glimpse, and it was, I declare,
A telescopic rifle.
And then friend F----came along and got booked
For a load that would break down a mason;
Five muskets--two sabres — astonished I looked
For howitzer, cannon, and caisson.
VII. But Jenkins now returns again,
And Lee and his army following them,
Grief, terror, and desolation
Throughout our lovely valley fling,
And nearer, nearer, nearer bring
Destruction to the nation.
The first to come over the roads was Rhodes,
And then brigade, division, and corps
Into the town with clatter and roar,
In one unceasing current pour;
Divisions almost half a score:
Johnson's, Anderson's, Picket's, and Hood's,
On, and on, and onward still,
McLaw's, and Pender's, and Heath's, until
The corps of Ewell and A. P. Hill,
And “Bull-dog” Longstreet, all were found
Encamped throughout the neighborhood round,
These rebels were flushed with insolent pride,
Believing an irresistible tide
Like the waves of a deep-flowing river,
Was sweeping the nation far and wide,
Engulfing us ‘neath it forever.
“We're back in the Union again,” they cried
And endless their boasting and vaunting;
“You'll in it remain,” was all we replied,
Though endless their gibes and their taunting
While Hood's division was passing through,
A lady sporting the “Red, White, and Blue,”
From a bosom whence traitor ne'er won it,
Was hailed by an insolent reb, who cried,
As he our own loved emblem spied,
“A breastwork, lady, please bear in mind,
Hood's boys delight to storm, when they find
The Yankee colors on it.”
These rebs were an ignorant set, to be sure,
Nor was their language always pure;
For reading, and writing, and such little arts,
Are not esteemed “essential parts,”
Among our Southern cousins;
And one of them asked, in a drawling tone,
A dirty, lousy son of a gun,
“What fur do yo'ns fight us'ns?”
A lady, Blackwood says and knows,
Cried out as the rebs passed by,
“To the Red Sea Pharaoh's army goes,”
But things since veered awry.
For when old Pharaoh led before,
His army to the Red Sea's shore,
Moses was passing through;
But this time “Moses” might be seen
On Pharaoh's side, sufficiently “green,”
To enter the Red Sea too.
Now Moses (I dreamed) went round to see
That all our merchandise might be
(In Blackwood find the text)
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