Page images
PDF
EPUB

XII.

But a stone bastion, with a narrow gorge,

And walls as thick as most sculls born as yet; Two batteries, cap-a-pee, as our St George,

Case-mated one, and t'other « a barbette, »
Of Danube's bank took formidable charge;

While two and twenty cannon duly set,
Rose over the town's right side, in bristling tier,
Forty feet high, upon a cavalier.

XII.

But from the river the town 's open quite,

Because the Turks could never be persuaded A Russian vessel e'er would heave in sight;

And such their creed was, till they were invaded, When it grew rather late to set things right.

But as the Danube could not well be waded,
They looked upon the Muscovite flotilla,
And only shouted, « Alla!» and « Bis Millah ! »

XIV.

The Russians now were ready to attack;

But oh, ye goddesses of war and glory, How shall I spell the name of each Cossacque

Who were immortal, could one tell their story? Alas! what to their memory can lack?

Achilles' self was not more grim and gory Than thousands of this new and polished nation, Whose names want nothing but—pronunciation.

XV.

Still I 'll record a few, if but to increase

Our euphony—there was Strongenoff, and Strokonoff, Meknop, Serge Lwdw, Arseniew of modern Greece,

And Tschitsshakoff and Roguenoff, and Chokenoff,
And others of twelve consonants a-piece;

And more might be found out if I could poke enough
Into gazettes; but fame (capricious strumpet)
It seems has got an ear as well as trumpet,

XVI.

And cannot tune those discords of narration,

Which may be names at Moscow, into rhyme. Yet there were several worth commemoration,

As e'er was virgin of a nuptial chime;
Soft words too, fitted for the peroration

Of Londonderry drawling against time,
Ending in «ischskin,» a ousckin,» « iffskchy,» «ouski,»
Of whom we can insert but Rousamouski,-

[ocr errors]

XVII.

Scherematoff and Chrematoff, Koklophti,

Koclobski, Kourakin, and Mouskin Pouskin, All

proper men of weapons, as e'er scoffed high Against a foe, or ran a sabre through skin : Little cared they for Mahomet or mufti,

Unless to make their kettle-drums a new skin Out of their hides, if parchment had grown dear, And no more handy substitute been near.

[ocr errors]

XVII.

Then there were foreigners of much renown,

Of various nations, and all volunteers; Not fighting for their country or its crown,

But wishing to be one day brigadiers; Also to have the sacking of a town;

A pleasant thing to young men at their years. 'Mongst them were several Englishmen of pith, Sixteen called Thomson, and nineteen named Smith.

XIX.

Jack Thomson and Bill Thomson ;-all the rest

Had been called Jemmy, after the great bard; I don't know whether they had arms or crest,

But such a godfather 's as good a card. Three of the Smiths were Peters; but the best

Amongst them all, hard blows to inflict or ward, Was he, since so renowned «in country quarters At Halifax;» but now he served the Tartars.

XX.

The rest were Jacks and Gills and Wills and Bills;

But when I've added that the elder Jack Smith Was born in Cumberland among the hills,

And that his father was an honest blacksmith, I've said all I know of a name that fills

Three lines of the dispatch in taking «Schmaksmith,» A village of Moldavia's waste, wherein He fell, immortal in a bulletin.

XXI.

I wonder (although Mars no doubt 's a god I

Praise) if a man's name in a bulletin May make up for a bullet in his body?

I hope this little qustion is no sin, Because, though I am but a simple noddy,

I think one Shakspeare puts the same thought in The mouth of some one in his plays so doating, Which many people pass for wits by quoting.

XXII.

Then there were Frenchmen, gallant, young,

and

gay: But I'm too great a patriot to record Their Gallic names upon a glorious day;

I'd rather tell ten lies than say a word
Of truth;—such truths are treason: they betray

Their country, and as traitors are abhorred,
Who name the French in English, save to show
How peace should make John Bull the Frenchman's foe.

XXIII.

The Russians, having built two batteries on

An isle near Ismail, had two ends in view; The first was to bombard it, and knock down

The public buildings and the private too, No matter what poor souls might be undone.

The city's shape suggested this, 't is true; Formed like an amphitheatre, each dwelling Presented a fine mark to throw a shell in.

XXIV.

The second object was to profit by

The moment of the general consternation, To attack the Turk's flotilla, which lay nigh,

Extremely tranquil, anchored at its station :
But a third motive was as probably

To frighten them into capitulation;
A phantasy which sometimes seizes warriors,
Unless they are game as bull-dogs and fox-terriers.

XXV.

A habit rather blameable, which is

That of despising those we combat with, Common in many cases, was in this

The cause of killing Tchitchitzkoff and Smith; One of the valourous «Smiths» whom we shall miss

Out of those nineteen who late rhymed to « pith; But 't is a name so spread o'er «sir» and « madam,» That one would think the FIRST who bore it « ADAM.“

XXVI.

The Russian batteries were incomplete,

Because they were constructed in a hurry. Thus the same cause which makes a verse want feet,

And throws a cloud o'er Longman and John Murray, When the sale of new books is not so fleet

As they who print them think is necessary,
May likewise put off for a time what story
Sometimes calls a murder,» and at others a glory.»

« PreviousContinue »