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About this Poem 

From Ballads and Songs (London: Cassell and Company, 1896).


The Yankee Volunteers

  "A surgeon of the United States' army says that on inquiring of
  the Captain of his company, he found that NINE-TENTHS of the men
  had enlisted on account of some female difficulty."—Morning Paper.

Ye Yankee Volunteers!
  It makes my bosom bleed
  When I your story read,
     Though oft 'tis told one.
  So—in both hemispheres
  The women are untrue,
  And cruel in the New,
     As in the Old one!

  What—in this company
  Of sixty sons of Mars,
  Who march 'neath Stripes and Stars,
     With fife and horn,
  Nine-tenths of all we see
  Along the warlike line
  Had but one cause to join
     This Hope Forlorn?

  Deserters from the realm
  Where tyrant Venus reigns,
  You slipp'd her wicked chains,
     Fled and out-ran her.
  And now, with sword and helm,
  Together banded are
  Beneath the Stripe and Star
     Embroider'd banner!

  And is it so with all
  The warriors ranged in line,
  With lace bedizen'd fine
     And swords gold-hilted—
  Yon lusty corporal,
  Yon color-man who gripes
  The flag of Stars and Stripes—
     Has each been jilted?

  Come, each man of this line,
  The privates strong and tall,
  "The pioneers and all,"
     The fifer nimble—
  Lieutenant and Ensign,
  Captain with epaulets,
  And Blacky there, who beats
     The clanging cymbal—

  O cymbal-beating black,
  Tell us, as thou canst feel,
  Was it some Lucy Neal
     Who caused thy ruin?
  O nimble fifing Jack,
  And drummer making din
  So deftly on the skin,
     With thy rat-tattooing—

  Confess, ye volunteers,
  Lieutenant and Ensign,
  And Captain of the line,
     As bold as Roman—
  Confess, ye grenadiers,
  However strong and tall,
  The Conqueror of you all
     Is Woman, Woman!

  No corselet is so proof
  But through it from her bow
  The shafts that she can throw
     Will pierce and rankle.
  No champion e'er so tough,
  But's in the struggle thrown,
  And tripp'd and trodden down
     By her slim ankle.

  Thus always it was ruled:
  And when a woman smiled,
  The strong man was a child,
     The sage a noodle.
  Alcides was befool'd,
  And silly Samson shorn,
  Long, long ere you were horn,
     Poor Yankee Doodle!

This poem is in the public domain. 

This poem is in the public domain. 

William Makepeace Thackeray

William Makepeace Thackeray, born July 18, 1811, was an English writer best known for his novels, particularly The History of Henry Esmond, Esq. (The Mershon Company Publishers, 1852) and Vanity Fair (Bradbury and Evans, 1848). While in school, Thackeray began writing poems, which he published in a number of magazines, chiefly Fraser and Punch. He died on December 24, 1863.

by this poet

  Wearied arm and broken sword
    Wage in vain the desperate fight:
  Round him press a countless horde,
    He is but a single knight.
  Hark! a cry of triumph shrill
    Through the wilderness resounds,
  As, with twenty bleeding wounds,
    Sinks the warrior, fighting still.

  Now they heap the fatal pyre
There was a king of Yvetot, Of whom renown hath little said, Who let all thoughts of glory go, And dawdled half his days a-bed; And every night, as night came round, By Jenny, with a nightcap crowned, Slept very sound: Sing ho, ho, ho! and he, he, he! That's the kind of king
  In tattered old slippers that toast at the bars,
  And a ragged old jacket perfumed with cigars,
  Away from the world and its toils and its cares,
  I've a snug little kingdom up four pair of stairs.

  To mount to this realm is a toil, to be sure,
  But the fire there is bright and the air rather pure;