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I want a hero : an uncommon want,
When every year and month sends forth a new one, Till, after cloying the gazettes with cant,
The age discovers he is not the true one;
I'll therefore take our ancient friend Don Juan,
Vernon, the butcher Cumberland, Wolfe, Hawke,
Prince Ferdinand, Granby, Burgoyne, Keppel, Howe, Evil and good, have had their tithe of talk,
And fill’d their sign-posts then, like Wellesley now; Each in their turn, like Banquo's monarchs, stalk,
Followers of fame, « nine farrow» of that sow: France, too, had Buonaparte and Dumourier, Recorded in the Moniteur and Courier.
Barnave, Brissot, Condorcet, Mirabeau,
Petion, Clootz, Danton, Marat, La Fayette Were French, and famous people as we know;
And there were others, scarce forgotten yet, Joubert, Hoche, Marceau, Lannes, Desaix, Moreau, With many
of the military set, Exceedingly remarkable at times, But not at all adapted to my rhymes.
Nelson was once Britannia's god of war,
And still should be so, but the tide is turn'd; There's no more to be said of Trafalgar,
'Tis with our hero quietly inurn’d; Because the army 's grown more popular,
At which the naval people are concern'd; Besides, the prince is all for the land-service, Forgetting Duncan, Nelson, Howe, and Jervis.
Brave men were living before Agamemnon,
And since exceeding valorous and sage, A good deal like him too, though quite the same none,
But then they shone not on the poet's page,
But can't find any in the present age