Monday, 15 June 2015

1815 - The Duchess of Richmond's Ball

On the eve of “Quatre-Bras”, mid June
In Rue de la Blanchisserie
Came the glitterati of the time
The Duke of Wellington to see.

Present at Duchess Charlotte's ball
Were Princes, Dukes and fighting men
Though as guest of honour, proud and tall,
Wellesley turned up after ten.

Picture, as it draws late, the scene
The Scots Guards dancing, unaware
What could this late arrival mean?
A rain-soaked soldier on the stair...

The officers freeze on the spot
The music fades away and dies
Napoleon's caught them on the hop
He's crossed the border – a surprise!

A map is quickly brought, perused
Quick consultation, battle plan
The assembly stunned by this stark news;
The game's afoot, thinks every man.

The ladies sense the change of mood
Farewells for many are Adieu!
But Bonaparte must be pursued
So thousands die at Waterloo...

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

15th June, 1815

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