The Yankee Volunteers
"A surgeon of the United States' army says that on inquiring of the Captain of his company, he found that NINE-TENTHS of the men had enlisted on account of some female difficulty."—Morning Paper. Ye Yankee Volunteers! It makes my bosom bleed When I your story read, Though oft 'tis told one. So—in both hemispheres The women are untrue, And cruel in the New, As in the Old one! What—in this company Of sixty sons of Mars, Who march 'neath Stripes and Stars, With fife and horn, Nine-tenths of all we see Along the warlike line Had but one cause to join This Hope Forlorn? Deserters from the realm Where tyrant Venus reigns, You slipp'd her wicked chains, Fled and out-ran her. And now, with sword and helm, Together banded are Beneath the Stripe and Star Embroider'd banner! And is it so with all The warriors ranged in line, With lace bedizen'd fine And swords gold-hilted— Yon lusty corporal, Yon color-man who gripes The flag of Stars and Stripes— Has each been jilted? Come, each man of this line, The privates strong and tall, "The pioneers and all," The fifer nimble— Lieutenant and Ensign, Captain with epaulets, And Blacky there, who beats The clanging cymbal— O cymbal-beating black, Tell us, as thou canst feel, Was it some Lucy Neal Who caused thy ruin? O nimble fifing Jack, And drummer making din So deftly on the skin, With thy rat-tattooing— Confess, ye volunteers, Lieutenant and Ensign, And Captain of the line, As bold as Roman— Confess, ye grenadiers, However strong and tall, The Conqueror of you all Is Woman, Woman! No corselet is so proof But through it from her bow The shafts that she can throw Will pierce and rankle. No champion e'er so tough, But's in the struggle thrown, And tripp'd and trodden down By her slim ankle. Thus always it was ruled: And when a woman smiled, The strong man was a child, The sage a noodle. Alcides was befool'd, And silly Samson shorn, Long, long ere you were horn, Poor Yankee Doodle!
This poem is in the public domain.
About this Poem
From Ballads and Songs (London: Cassell and Company, 1896).