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A Boston Ballad. (1854.)

Part of the cluster LEAVES OF GRASS.


1To get betimes in Boston town, I rose this morning  
Here's a good place at the corner—I must stand and  
 see the show.
2Clear the way there, Jonathan! Way for the President's marshal! Way for the govern- 
 ment cannon!
Way for the Federal foot and dragoons—and the appa- 
 ritions copiously tumbling.
3I love to look on the stars and stripes—I hope the  
 fifes will play Yankee Doodle.
4How bright shine the cutlasses of the foremost troops! Every man holds his revolver, marching stiff through  
 Boston town.
5A fog follows—antiques of the same come limping, Some appear wooden-legged, and some appear ban- 
 daged and bloodless.
6Why this is indeed a show! It has called the dead out  
 of the earth!
The old grave-yards 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 shoul- 
  [ begin page 240 ]ppp.00270.242.jpg 7What troubles you, Yankee phantoms? What is all  
 this clattering of bare gums?
Does the ague convulse your limbs? Do you mistake  
 your crutches for firelocks, and level them?
8If you blind your eyes with tears, you will not see the  
 President's marshal;
If you groan such groans, you might balk the govern- 
 ment cannon.
9For shame old maniacs! Bring down those toss'd  
 arms, and let your white hair be;
Here gape your great grand-sons—their wives gaze at  
 them from the windows,
See how well dress'd—see how orderly they conduct  
10Worse and worse! Can't you stand it? Are you  
Is this hour with the living too dead for you?
11Retreat then! Pell-mell! To your graves! Back! back to the hills, old limpers! I do not think you belong here, anyhow. 12But there is one thing that belongs here—shall I tell  
 you what it is, gentlemen of Boston?
13I will whisper it to the Mayor—he shall send a com- 
 mittee to England;
They shall get a grant from the Parliament, go with a  
 cart to the royal vault—haste!
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,  
 black-bellied clipper,
Up with your anchor! shake out your sails! steer  
 straight toward Boston bay.
14Now call for the President's marshal again, bring out  
 the government cannon,
  [ begin page 241 ]ppp.00270.243.jpg Fetch home the roarers from Congress, make another  
 procession, guard it with foot and dragoons.
15This centre-piece for them: Look! all orderly citizens—look from the windows,  
16The 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.
17You have got your revenge, old buster! The crown  
 has come to its own, and more than its own.
18Stick your hands in your pockets, Jonathan—you are  
 a made man from this day;
You are mighty cute—and here is one of your bargains.

Part of the cluster LEAVES OF GRASS.

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