A Waterloo Ballad.

A poem by Thomas Hood

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."

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