A Prophecy

by Philip Freneau

Philip Freneau

WHEN a certain great king, whose initial is G.
Shall force stamps upon paper, and folks to drink tea;
When these folks burn his tea, and stampt paper, like stubble,
You may guess that this king is then coming to trouble.
But when a petition he treads under his feet,
And sends over the ocean an army and fleet;
When that army, half-starved, and frantic with rage,
Shall be coop'd up with a leader whose name rhymes to cage,
When that leader goes home dejected and sad,
You may then be assur'd the king's prospects are bad:
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 shall get that will make him look blue;
In the years eighty-three, eighty-four, eighty-five,
You hardly shall know that the king is alive;
In the year eighty-six the affair will be over,
And he shall eat turnips that grow in Hanover.
The face of the lion shall then become pale,
He shall yield fifteen teeth, and be sheer'd of his tail.
O king, my dear king, you shall be very sore,
The Stars and the Lilly shall run you on shore,
And your lion shall growl, but never bite more.

Last updated January 11, 2023