Tradesman's farewell/Battle of Toulouse

Tradesman's farewell  (1816) 
Battle of Toulouse


COME, all ye sons of Britain, and hear my loyal lay,
I'll sing the tenth of April, that very glorious day,
When Britons boldly did advance, with justice for their guide;
To gain fresh laurels to the cause which forms their nations pride.

On the seventeenth of February, our army did advance,
Commanded by Lord Wellington, the dread of foes in France,
And boldly we pursued them for many weary leagues;
Our country's cause enabled us to conquer all fatigues.

Near Orthes we o'ertook them, and there hop'd they would have stay'd,
As Marshal Soult would sain have done, yet he was sore afraid,
They made a stand for battle, but their efforts were in vain;

They got their jackets dusted well, and ran away again.

Though sorely vex’d our army was, to see their courage fail'd,
Again we did pursue them, and many days we toil'd;
Till coming to Grenada, we there did understand
The welcome news, that near Toulouse, they were to make a stand.

Twas on the morning of the 6th we cross'd the fam'd Garonne,
Upon whose limpid streams our arms in radiant splendour shone;
And burning with impatience, we waited many a day,
Expecting there to meet our foes, and shew them British play.

Now, on the following morning the sun resplendent rose,
As if to be a witness of the downfal of our foes;
Scarce pass'd an hour, when up we came, began the bloody fight;
We fought all day, and made not end, till Phoebus set at night.

Assist me now, ye Muses, apoligize my lay,
For wcak's the power of human tongue, to sing that glorious day!
Such great achievements were perform'd, such noble deeds of fame,
It will our country's annals grace, while Britain bears a name.

The third division manfully begun the bloody work,
And drove them up to their redoubts, like cowards there to lurk;
The Spaniards most furiously attacked them again,
Until the verdant plains were drench'd with blood of hundreds slain.

The battle rag'd most dreadfully, and many a hero lies!
The fire and smoke obscur'd the sun, and thunder reach'd the skies!
Their positions being so strong, they thought we there should yield,
Which cost us many a gallant hcat to drive them from the field.

The sixth division next came up, within the range of shot;
And shot and shells mow'd down our ranks, they play'd so dreadful hot;
But still we march'd undauntedly, although our men did fall,
Resolved when we came up to them to pay them once for all.

The Portuguese and Spaniards, both fought with courage bold,
While our artillery proclaim’d their worth by weight in gold;
But when the Rocket boys came up, and they their skill did try,
The English devils whiz'd so thick, the French began to fly

Our Rockets hot among them flew, and dreadful havock made,
With men and horses tumbled down, and heaps on heaps were laid;

No longer could they stand our fire, it play’d so very hot;
They ran, and left in their redoubts two hundred on the spot.

The 42d and 79th they play'd their part like men;
Tho’ several times they were repuls'd, they charg'd the hill again;
We lost most of our Officers, our men in heaps were laid;
But still we scorn'd to quit the field, where'er a Frenchman staid.

The 88th the Irish boys, must not be here forgot;
Where'er they went they fought like men, oppos'd to shell and shot;
And every regiment play'd its part—I will not mention more;
Its known to all what Britons are, they have been try'd before.

But now the war is ended, and Boney's reign is o'er,
And we shall all be welcome upon our native shore,
In praise of Wellington and Hill, let none their glass refuse:
Likewise to every British Boy, that fought before Toulouse.

This work was published before January 1, 1928, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.