The Fate of John Burgoyne | American Revolution War Song

About the author

Frank Moore
Frank Moore

Frank Moore was a journalist and Revolutionary historian. He published a number of books on the American Revolution during his career in the mid-19th century, including Songs and Ballads of the American Revolution, Diary of the American Revolution and The Patriot Preachers of the American Revolution.

A very few ballads were published during the year 1777. “For some reason the Muse is asleep,” says the editor of the New Jersey Journal, shortly after the defeat of Burgoyne.

The Fate of John Burgoyne

WHEN Jack, the King’s commander,
Was going to his duty,
Through all the crowd be smil’d and bow’d,
To every blooming beauty.

The city rung with feats he’d done,
In Portugal and Flanders,
And all the town thought he’d be crown’d
The first of Alexanders.

To Hampton Court he first repairs,
To kiss great George’s hand, sirs,
Then to harangue on state affairs,
Before he left the land, sirs.

The “lower house” sat mute as mouse,
To hear his grand oration;
And “all the peers” with loudest cheers,
Proclaim’d him to the nation.

Then off he went to Canada,
Next to Ticonderoga,
And quitting those, away he goes,
Straightway to Saratoga.

With great parade his march he made,
To gain his wished for station,
When far and wide his minions hied,
To spread his “Proclamation.”

To such as staid he offers made,
Of “pardon on submission;
But savage bands should waste the lands
Of all in opposition.”

But ah, the cruel fate of war !
This boasted son of Britain,
When mounting his triumphal car,
With sudden fear was smitten.

The sons of freedom gathered round,
His hostile bands confounded,
And when they’d fain have turn’d their back,
They found themselves surrounded!

In vain they fought, in vain they fled,
Their chief, humane and tender,
To save the rest, soon thought it best
His forces to surrender.

Brave St. Clair when he first retired,
Knew what the fates portended;
And Arnold and heroic Gates,
His conduct have defended.

Thus may America’s brave sons
With honor be rewarded,
And be the fate of all her foes,
The same as here recorded.

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