Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, AN ANCIENT PROPHECY, by PHILIP FRENEAU



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AN ANCIENT PROPHECY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: When a certain great king, whose initial is g
Last Line: And your lion shall growl, but hardly bite more. --
Subject(s): American Revolution; Cornwallis, Charles (1738-1805); George Iii, King Of England (1738-1820)


(Written soon after the surrender of Cornwallis)

WHEN a certain great King, whose initial is G.,
Forces stamps upon paper and folks to drink tea;
When these folks burn his tea and stampt-paper, like stubble,
You may guess that this King is then coming to trouble.

But when a Petition he treads under feet,
And sends over the ocean an army and fleet,
When that army, half famished, and frantic with rage,
Is cooped up with a leader whose name rhymes to cage;
When that leader goes home, dejected and sad;
You may then be assur'd the King's prospects are bad.

But when B. and C. with their armies are taken
This King will do well if he saves his own bacon:
In the year Seventeen hundred and eighty and two
A stroke he shall get, that will make him look blue;
And soon, very soon, shall the season arrive,
When Nebuchadnezzar to pasture shall drive.

In the year eighty-three, the affair will be over
And he shall eat turnips that grow in Hanover;
The face of the Lion will then become pale,
He shall yield fifteen teeth and be sheared of his tail --
O King, my dear King, you shall be very sore,
From the Stars and the Stripes you will mercy implore,
And your Lion shall growl, but hardly bite more. --





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