Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
An Ancient Prophecy
By Philip Freneau (1752–1832)
 
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 stamp’d paper, like stubble,—
You may guess that this king is then coming to trouble.
 
But when a petition he treads under feet,        5
And sends over the ocean an army and fleet,
When that army, half-famished, and frantic with rage,
Is coop’d up with a leader, whose name rhymes to cage:
When that leader goes home, dejected and sad;
You may then be assured the king’s prospects are bad.        10
 
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 may get that will make him look blue:
And soon, very soon, will the season arrive,        15
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 sheered of his tail.        20
——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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