Epistle from Tom Crib to Big Ben


What ! Ben , my old hero, is this your renown?
Is this the new go ? — kick a man when he's down!
When the foe has knockt under, to tread on him then —
By the fist of my father, I blush for thee, Ben !
" Foul! foul! " all the lads of the Fancy exclaim —
C HARLEY S HOCK is electrified — B ELCHER spits flame —
And M OLYNEUX — ay, even B LACKY cries " shame! "

Time was, when J OHN B ULL little difference spied
'Twixt the foe at his feet and the friend at his side:
When he found (such his humor in fighting and eating)
His foe, like his beef-steak, the sweeter for beating.
But this comes, Master Ben , of your curst foreign notions.
Your trinkets, wigs, thingumbobs, gold lace and lotions;
Your Noyaus, Cura├ºoas, and the devil knows what —
(One swig of Blue Ruin is worth the whole lot!)

Your great and small crosses — my eyes, what a brood!
A cross -buttock from me would do some of them good!)
Which have spoilt you, till hardly a drop, my old porpoise,
Of pure English claret is left in your corpus;
And (as J IM says) the only one trick, good or bad,
Of the Fancy you 're up to, is fibbing , my lad.
Hence it comes, — B OXIANA , disgrace to thy page! —
Having floored, by good luck, the first swell of the age,
Having conquered the prime one , that milled us all round.
You kickt him, old Ben , as he gaspt on the ground!
Ay — just at the time to show spunk, if you 'd got any —
Kickt him and jawed him and lagged him to Botany!
Oh, shade of the Cheesemonger! you, who, alas!
Doubled up by the dozen those Moun-seers in brass,
On that great day of milling , when blood lay in lakes,
When Kings held the bottle, and Europe the stakes,
Look down upon Ben — see him, dung-hill all o'er,
Insult the fallen foe that can harm him no more!
Out, cowardly spooney! — again and again,
By the fist of my father, I blush for thee, Ben .
To show the white feather is many men's doom,
But, what of one feather? — Ben shows a whole Plume .
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