A Waterloo Ballad 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.

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“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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