The Poetical Works of Thomas Hood, by Thomas Hood

A Waterloo Ballad.

To Waterloo, with sad ado,

And many a sigh and groan,

Amongst the dead, came Patty Head,

To look for Peter Stone.

“O prithee tell, good sentinel,

If I shall find him here?

I’m come to weep upon his corse,

My Ninety-Second dear!

“Into our town a sergeant came,

With ribands all so fine,

A-flaunting in his cap — alas!

His bow enlisted mine!

“They taught him how to turn his toes,

And stand as stiff as starch;

I thought that it was love and May,

But it was love and March!

“A sorry March indeed to leave

The friends he might have kep’ —

No March of Intellect it was,

But quite a foolish step.

“O prithee tell, good sentinel,

If hereabout he lies?

I want a corpse with reddish hair,

And very sweet blue eyes.”

Her sorrow on the sentinel

Appear’d to deeply strike:—

“Walk in,” he said, “among the dead,

And pick out which you like.”

And soon she picked out Peter Stone,

Half turned into a corse;

A cannon was his bolster, and

His mattrass was a horse.

“O Peter Stone, O Peter Stone,

Lord, here has been a skrimmage!

What have they done to your poor breast

That used to hold my image?”

“O Patty Head, O Patty Head,

You’re come to my last kissing;

Before I’m set in the Gazette

As wounded, dead, and missing!

“Alas! a splinter of a shell

Right in my stomach sticks;

French mortars don’t agree so well

With stomachs as French bricks.

“This very night a merry dance

At Brussels was to be; —

Instead of opening a ball,

A ball has open’d me.

“Its billet every bullet has,

And well it does fulfil it; —

I wish mine hadn’t come so straight.

But been a ‘crooked billet.’

“And then there came a cuirassier

And cut me on the chest; —

He had no pity in his heart,

For he had steel’d his breast.

“Next thing a lancer, with his lance,

Began to thrust away;

I call’d for quarter, but, alas!

It was not Quarter-day.

“He ran his spear right through my arm,

Just here above the joint; —

O Patty dear, it was no joke,

Although it had a point.

“With loss of blood I fainted off,

As dead as women do —

But soon by charging over me,

The Coldstream brought me to.

“With kicks and cuts, and balls and blows,

I throb and ache all over;

I’m quite convinc’d the field of Mars

Is not a field of clover!

“O why did I a soldier turn

For any royal Guelph?

I might have been a Butcher, and

In business for myself!

“O why did I the bounty take?

(And here he gasp’d for breath)

My shillingsworth of ‘list is nail’d

Upon the door of death!

“Without a coffin I shall lie

And sleep my sleep eternal:

Not ev’n a shell— my only chance

Of being made a Kernel!

“O Patty dear, our wedding bells

Will never ring at Chester!

Here I must lie in Honor’s bed,

That isn’t worth a tester!

“Farewell, my regimental mates,

With whom I used to dress!

My corps is changed, and I am now

In quite another mess.

“Farewell, my Patty dear, I have

No dying consolations,

Except, when I am dead, you’ll go

And see th’ Illuminations.”

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/h/hood/thomas/poetical-works/poem128.html

Last updated Friday, March 7, 2014 at 20:51