By the Roadside
By the Roadside
A BOSTON BALLAD
To get betimes in Boston town I rose this morning early,
Here's a good place at the corner, I must stand
and see the show.
Clear the way there Jonathan!
Way for the President's marshal way for the government cannon!
for the Federal foot and dragoons, (and the apparitions copiously tumbling.)
I love to look on the Stars and Stripes, I hope the fifes will play Yankee Doodle.
How bright shine the cutlasses of the foremost troops!
Every man holds his revolver, marching stiff through
A fog follows, antiques of the same come limping,
Some appear wooden-legged, and some appear bandaged
Why this is indeed a show it has called the dead out of the earth!
The old graveyards of the hills have
hurried to see!
Phantoms! phantoms countless by flank and rear!
Cock'd hats of mothy mould crutches
made of mist!
Arms in slings old men leaning on young men's shoulders.
What troubles you Yankee phantoms? what is all this chattering of bare gums?
Does the ague convulse your limbs? do you mistake your crutches for firelocks and level them?
If you blind your eyes with tears you will not see the President's marshal,
If you groan such groans you
might balk the government cannon.
For shame old maniacs bring down those toss'd arms, and let your white hair be,
Here gape your
great-grandsons, their wives gaze at them from the windows,
See how well dress'd, see how orderly they
Worse and worse can't you stand it? are you retreating?
Is this hour with the living too dead for you?
Retreat then pell-mell!
To your graves back back to the hills old limpers!
I do not think you belong
But there is one thing that belongs here shall I tell you what it is, gentlemen of Boston?
I will whisper it to the Mayor, he shall send a committee to England,
They shall get a grant from the Parliament,
go with a cart to the royal vault,
Dig out King George's coffin, unwrap him quick from the grave-clothes,
box up his bones for a journey,
Find a swift Yankee clipper here is freight for you, blackbellied clipper,
with your anchor shake out your sails steer straight toward Boston bay.
Now call for the President's marshal again, bring out the government cannon,
Fetch home the roarers
from Congress, make another procession, guard it with foot and dragoons.
This centre-piece for them;
Look, all orderly citizens look from the windows, women!
The committee open the box, set up the regal ribs, glue those that will not stay,
Clap the skull on top of
the ribs, and clap a crown on top of the skull.
You have got your revenge, old buster the crown is come to its own, and more than its own.