Fair ladies and maids of all ages,
Little girls and cadets howe’er youthful,
Home-guards, quartermasters and sages,
Who write for the newspapers so truthful!
Clerks, surgeons, and supes—legislators,
Staff officers, (fops of the Nation,)
And even you, dear speculators,
Come list to my song of starvation!

Chorus.—For we soldiers have seen something rougher
Than a storm, a retreat, or a fight,
And the body may toil on, and suffer
With a smile, so the heart is all right!

Our bugles had roused up the camp,
The heavens looked dismal and dirty,
And the earth looked unpleasant and damp,
As a beau on the wrong side of thirty;
We were taking these troubles with quiet,
When we heard from the mouths of some rash ones,
That the army was all put on diet,
And the Board had diminish’d our rations!

Reduce our rations at all?
It was difficult, yet it was done—
We had one meal a day—it was small—
Are we now, Oh, ye gods! to have none?
Oh, ye gentlemen issuing rations,
Give at least half her own to the State,
Put a curb on your maddening passions,
And, commissaries—commiserate!

Tell me not of the Lacedæmonian,
Of his black broth and savage demeanor,
We keep up a fare less Plutonian,
Yet I’d swear our corn coffee is meaner!
Tell me nothing of ancients and strangers,
For, on seeing our Southern-bred Catos,
I have laugh’d at old Marion’s Rangers,
Who feasted on roasted potatoes!

Erewhile we had chicken and roasters,
For the fowls and pigs were ferocious,
We would send them to shoot Pater Nosters,
And the deed was not stamped as atrocious;
But since we have been shot for the same,
We parch corn—it is healthier, but tougher—
The chickens and pigs have got tame,
But the horses and mules have to suffer.

But the “corn-fed” is proof to all evils,
Has a joke for all hardships and troubles,
In honor and glory he revels,
Other fancies he looks on as bubbles!
He is bound to be free, and he knows it,
Then what cares he for toil and privation!
He is brave, and in battle he shows it,
And will conquer in spite of starvation!