Epistle From Tom Crib To Big Ben. Concerning Some Foul Play In A Late Transaction.

A poem by Thomas Moore

"Ahi, mio 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--
CHARLEY SHOCK is electrified--BELCHER spits flame--
And MOLYNEUX--ay, even BLACKY[4] cries "shame!"

Time was, when JOHN BULL 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, Curacoas, and the devil knows what--
(One swig of Blue Ruin[5] 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 JIM says) the only one trick, good or bad,
Of the Fancy you're up to, is fibbing, my lad.
Hence it comes,--BOXIANA, 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[6] him to Botany!
Oh, shade of the Cheesemonger![7] 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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