1812 7

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Little Epigrams on the Great Emperor
"Ralpho" [1]
The Hull Packet (December 15, 1812)

On his styling the Russians Bears.

Napoleon dubs the Russ a bear,
He might have added something more;
For now, 'tis ten to one he'll swear
This bear has prov'd a mighty bore.

On his retreat from Moscow.

Bonaparte at Moscow was roasted,[2] they say,
And since has been basted, while running away;
What wonder then now (as was long ago wish'd)
If we find the great Emp'ror about to be dish'd.


On Reading the Last French Bulletin.

Bonaparte begins to complain of the cold;
    Why what would the fellow desire?
Wherever the Renegade moves, we are told,
    He's surrounded with hot Russian fire.


1. The second epigram in this series, On his retreat from Moscow, is signed "Ralpho."

2. The Russians burned Moscow September 15-19 making the capital untenable. On October 19 the French began their disastrous retreat from Moscow.

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