The Prophetic Egg
The following lines appeared in the early part of 1777, with this introduction. "As the superstition and weakness of human nature is such, that sometimes the most trivial circumstance; or grossest absurdity is attended with serious consequences, we acquaint the timid and credulous, that characters inscribed on adamant are much more durable than when wrote only on an egg-shell. And also inform the public, that about the time the prophetic egg was laid in the town of Plymouth, with this wonderful prediction wrote on its Shell, "0h, oh, America, Howe shall be thy conqueror," a hermit, resembling the Genius of America, who had resided in a certain forest from the first settlement of the country, found the following lines inscribed on a fragment of marble near his cave, visited by the curious from all parts of Europe, for the remarkable echo, which oft reverberated in loud peals, heard beyond the Atlantic."
ANOTHER PROPHECY 1
BRITANNIA sinks beneath her crimes,
She dies - she dies - let empire rise,
And freedom cheer the western skies.
When every art and menace fails,
And Tory lies and Tory tales,
Are universally abhorr'd,
They now pretend to fear the Lord.
Instead of virtue, a long face;
Instead of piety, grimace;
Pretend strange revelation give,
And intimation sent from Heaven.
To carry on the schemes of Bute,
A speaking egg they substitute.
A strange phenomenon indeed,
The stratagem must sure succeed;
And every mortal die with fear,
When they the sad prediction hear.
The egg was laid without the tent,
Ergo, it was from Heaven sent.
The egg was found within a barn,
Ergo, from it, we surely learn,
When eggs can speak what fools indite,
And hens can talk as well as write,
When crocodiles shed honest tears,
And truth with hypocrites appears;
When every man becomes a knave,
And feels the spirit of the slave;
And when veracity again,
Shall in a Tory's bosom reign;
When vice is virtue, darkness light,
And freemen are afraid to fight;
When they forget to play the men,
And with the spirit of a hen,
Desert the just and sacred cause;
And opening Heaven smiles applause
On such a bloody, barbarous foe,
Then I'll be conquered by a Howe.
1 Another prophecy. The credulity of
the ignorant was often imposed on by the advocates of both parties,
during the revolution. The following extract from a letter, written
a short time after the battle at Trenton, will explain itself.
"The enemy appear to be panic-struck in the extreme. God
prospers our arms in an extraordinary
manner. There is to be an eclipse of the sun to-day, and we mean, if possible, to attack the Germans as soon as it begins, and take advantage of their ignorant superstition."