Union Songs

Under the Rose

Author not known©1800s

As Mars and Minerva were viewing some implements,
Bellona stepped forward and asked the news;
Or were they repairing those warlike instruments,
That are now growing rusty for want to be used?
The money is withdrawn and our trade is diminishing,
For mechanics are wandering without shoes or hose;
Come, stir up the wars and our trade will be flourishing,
This grand conversation was under the rose.

See how they transact in the States of America,
There renowned Independence sits on the throne!
They're not misguided by the schemes of a ministry,
That would extract marrow from the centre of a bone.
Had we enlarged that hero who set the world a-trembling,
Whose name was a terror to his imperial foes,
Although the day he lost it was bought by dissembling,
This grand conversation was under the rose.

He was a fine statesman, likewise a noble general,
His equal in France was never seen before,
His abilities were as bright as the diamond or mineral,
Which thousands may verify that lie in their gore.
It was thought he was guided by the hand of Providence,
Until his gallant army he did wildly expose,
And when fortune did slight him, it proved bitter consequence,
This grand conversation was under the rose.

Here's the farmer and comedian wish that great Buonaparte,
Would come on the stage and act a new play,
For they'll find their industry is led by a ministerial art,
And all is not sufficient, their debts for to pay.
But the acts of Napoleon would make the money fly about,
Until, combined in policy, they did him depose,
And thousands who rejected him would be glad to see him again,
This grand conversation was under the rose.

But Britannia of late has erected a grand residence,
Embellished with a hall and an emblem of peace;
And Her Majesty is crowned with the greatest of opulence,
But her sportsmen are idle and have no game to race.
Her anchors lay in harbour and her hearty tars want their grog,
The broom at the masthead shows the daring foes;
That she'll sweep the main ocean when she bravely heaves the log,
This grand conversation was under the rose.


From the collection of Alfred Williams

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