« AnteriorContinuar »
• Alas, O king!
Gebir, p. 28. I onit noticing some edifying Ithyphallics of Savagius, wisliing to keep the proper veil over thicon, if his grave but somewhat indiscreet worshipper will suffer it; but certainly these teachers of great moral lessons' are apt to be found in strange company.
They threw their pens down in divine disgust,
SAINT PETER sat by the celestial gate:
His keys were rusty, and the lock was dull, So little trouble had been given of late :
Not that the piace by any means was full,
The devils had ta'en a longer, stronger puil,
And hoarse with having little else to do,
Or curb a runaway young star or two,
Broke out of bounds o'er the ethereal blue,
What ange's shrink from: even the very devil
So surfeited with the infernal revel:
It almost quench d his innate thirst of evil.
Which peopled earth no better, hell as wont,
With nothing but new names subscribed upon't: 'Twill one day finish : meantime they increase,
With seven heads and ten horns,' and all in front, Like Saint John's foretold beast; but ours are borni Less formidable in the head than horn.
Finding their charges past all care below;
Save the recording angel's black bureau;
With such rapidity of vice and woe,
Died George the Third ; although 10 tyrant, onc
Left him nor mental nor external sun;
A worse king never left a realm undone!
That he was forced, against his will no doubt (Just like those cherubs, earthly ministers),
For soine resource to turn himself about,
To aid him ere he should be quite worn out,
His burial made some pomp; there was profusion
Of aught but tears-save tliose shed by collusion.
Of elegy there was the due infusion-
And yet they had even then enough to do,
So many kingdoms fitted up anew;
Till at the crowning carnage, Waterloo,
The fools wlio flock'd to swell or see the show,
Made the attraction, and the black the woc.
There throbbil not there a thought which pierced But he, with first a start and then a wink, the pall;
Said, .There's another star gone out, I think !' And when the gorgeous coffin was laid low,
XVII. It seem'd the inockery of hell to fold
But ere he could return to his repose, The rottenness of eighty years in gold.
A cherub fiapp'd his right wing o'er his eyesXI.
At which Saint Peter yawn'd, and rubb'd his nose; So mix his body with the dust! It might
‘Saint porter,' said the Angel, 'prithee rise! Return to what it must far sooner, were
Waving a goodly wing, which glow'd, as glows The natural compound left alone to fight
An earthly peacock's tail, with heavenly dyes; Its way back into earth, and fire, and air ;
To which the Saint replied, Well, what's the
matter? But the unnatural balsams merely blight
Is Lucifer come back with all this clatter?
No,' quoth the cherub; 'George the Third is dead.'
*And who is Gcorge the Third Preplied the XII.
apostle ; lle's dead-and upper earth with him has done;
• What George ? What Third ?, 'The king of He's buried; save the undertaker's bill,
England,' said Or lapidary scrawl, the world has gone
The angel. "Well! he won't find kings to jostle For him, unless he left a German will.
Him on his way, but does he wear his head ? But where's the proctor who will ask his son?
Because the last we saw here had a tussle, In whom his qualities are reigning still,
And ne'er would have got into heaven's good Except that household virtuc, most uncommon,
graces, Of constancy to a bad, ugly woman.
Had he not flung his head in all our faces.
XIX "God save the king! It is a large econoniy
'He was, if I remember, king of France; In God to save the like; but if He will
That head of his, which could not keep a crowdi Be saving, all the better; for not one am I
On carth, yet ventured in my face to advance Of those who think damnation better still :
A claim to those of martyrs-like my own: I hardly know, too, if not quite alone am I
If I had had my sword, as I had once In this small hope of bettering future ill
When I cut ears off, I had cut him down;
I only knock'd his head from out his hand.
And then he set up such a headless how, 'Tis blasphemous; I know one may be damn'd
That all the saints came out and took him in; For hoping no one else may e'er be so;
And there he sits by St. Paul, cheek by jowl; I know my catechism ; I know we're cramm'd That fellow Paul-the parvenu! The skin With the best doctrines till we quite o'erflow;
Of Saint Bartholomew, which makes his cowl I know that all save England's church have
In heaven, and upon earth redeem'd his sin, shamm'd;
So as to make a martyr, never sped
• But had it come up here upon its shoulders,
There would have been a different tale to tell; God help us all! God help me too! I am,
The fellow-feeling in the saint's beholders God knows, as helpless as the devil can wish,
Seeins to have acted on them like a spell;
And so this very foolish head heaven solders
Back on its trunk: it may be very well,
And seems the custom here to overthrow
Whatever has been wisely done below.'
The angel answerd, · Peter! do not pout:
The king who comes has head and all entire, Saint Peter sat by the celestial gate,
And never knew much what it was about And nodded o'er his keys; when, lo! there came He did as doth the puppet-by its wire, A wondrous noise he had not heard of late
And will be judged like all the rest, no doubt: A rushing sound of wind, and stream, and Aame ; My business and your own is not to inquire In short, a roar of things extremely great,
Into such matters, but to mind our cueWhich would have made all save a saint exclaim Which is to act as we are bid to do.'
There's scarce a scribbler has not one to show, While thus they spake, the angelic caravan,
From the fiends' leader to the angels' prince. Arriving like a rush of mighty wind,
There also are some altar-pieces, though Cleaving the fields of space, as doth the swan
I really can't say that they much evince Some silver stream (say Ganges, Nile, or Inde,
One's inner notions of immortal spirits ; Or Thames, or Tweed), and midst the m an old man
But let the connoisseurs explain their merits. With an old soul, and both extremely blind,
XXX. . Halted before the gate, and in his shroud
Michael flew forth in glory and in good, Seated their fellow-traveller on a cloud.
A goodly work of Him from whom all glory XXIV.
And good arise ; the portal pass'd-he stood; But bringing up the rear of this bright host,
Before him the young cherubs and saints hoary A Spirit of a different aspect waved
(I say young, begging to be understood His wings, like thunder-clouds above some coast
By looks, not years, and should be very sorry Whose barren beach with frequent wrecks is
To state, they were not older than St. Peter, paved;
But nierely that they seem'd a little sweeter). His brow was like the deep when tempest-toss'd ;
XXXI. Fierce and unfathomable thoughts engraved
The cherubs and the saints bow'd down before Eternal wrath on his immortal face,
That archangelic hierarch, the first
Of essences angelical, who wore
The aspect of a god : but this ne'er nursed
Pride in his heavenly bosom, in whose core Ne'er to be enter'd more by him or Sin,
No thought, save for his Maker's service, durst With such a glance of supernatural hate,
Intrude, however glorified and high ;
He knew him but the viceroy of the sky.
He and the sombre silent Spirit metOf course his perspiration was but ichor,
They knew each other both for good and ill; Or some such other spiritual liquor.
Such was their power, that neither could forget XXVI.
His former friend and future foe; but still The very cherubs huddled all together,
There was a high, immortal, proud regret Like birds when soars the falcon; and they felt
In either's eye, as if 'twere less their will A tingling to the tip of every feather,
Than destiny to inake the eternal years And form'd a circle like Orion's belt
Their date of war, and their champ cios the Around their poor old charge ; who scarce knew
Froin Job, that Satan ha:h the power to pay
And that •the sons of God,' like those of clay, XXVII.
Must keep him company; and we inight show As things were in this posture, the gate flew
From the same book, in how polite a way Asunder, and the flashing of its linges
The dialogue is held between the powers Flung over space an universal hue
of Good and Evil-but 'twould take up hours. Of many-colour'd faine, until its tinges Reach'd even our speck of earth, and made a new
XXXIV. Aurora borealis spread its fringes
And this is not a theologic tract, O'er the North Pole; the same seen, when ice. To prove with Hebrew and with Arabic, bound,
If Job be allegory or a fact, By Captain Parry's crew, in Melville's Sound.'
But a true narrative ; and thus I pick
From out the whole but such and such an act,
As sets aside the slightest thought of trick.
'Tis every tittle true, beyond suspicion, Radiant with glory, like a banner streaming
And accurate as any other vision. Victorious from some world-o'erthrowing fight :
The spirits were in neutral space, before
The gate of heaven : like castern thresholds is Johanna Southcote, or Bob Southey raving.
The place where Death's grand cause is argued
And souls despatch'd to that world or to this; Twas the archangel Michael: all inen know
And therefore Michael and the other wore The make of angels and archangels, since
A civil aspect; though they did not kiss,
Yet still between his Darkness and his Brightness
Assert my right as lord ; and even had
I such an inclination, 'twere (as you
That hell has nothing better left to do Pressing one radiant arm just where below
Than leave thein to themselves ! so much more The heart in good men is supposed to tend.
mad He turn'd as to an equal, not too low,
And evil by their own internal curse, But kindly ; Satan met his ancient friend
Heaven cannot make them better, nor I worse. With more hauteur, as inight an old Castilian
XLII. Poor noble meet a mushroom rich civilian,
• Look to the earth, I said, and say again : XXXVII.
When this old, blind, mad, helpless, weak, poor
worm He merely bent his diabolic brow An instant; and then raising it, he stood
Began in youth's first bloom and Aush to reign,
The world and he both wore a different form, In act to assert his right or wrong, and show
And much of earth and all the watery plain Cause why King George by no means could or
Of ocean call'd him king: through many a storm should
His isles had floated on the abyss of time; Make out a case to be exempt from woe
For the rough virtues chose them for their clime. Eternal, more than other kings, endued With better sense and hearts, whom history men.
'He came to his sceptre young; he leaves it old : Who long have 'paved hell with their good in
Look to the state in which he found his realm, tentions,
And left it : and his annals too behold,
How to a minion* first he gave the helm : Michael began: “What wouldst thou with this How grew upon his heart a thirst for gold, man,
The beggar's vice, which can but overwhelm Now dead, and brought before the Lord! The meanest hearts! And for the rest, but glance What ill
Thine eye along America and France. Hath he wrought since his mortal race Legan,
XLIV. That thou canst claim him?. Speak! and do thy will,
• 'Tis true, he was a tool from first to last If it be just; if in this earthly span
(I have the workmen safe); but as a tool He hath been greatly failing to fulfil
So let him be consumed. From out the past His duties as a king and mortal, say,
Of ages, since mankind have known the rule And he is thine; if not, let him have way.'
Of monarchs—from the bloody rolls amass'd
Of sin and slaughter--from the Cæsars' school XXXIX.
Take the worst pupil; and produce a reign Michael i' replied the Prince of Air,' even here
More drench'd with gore, more cumber'd with the Before the gate of Him thou servest, must
slain. I claim my subject: and will make appear
XLV. That as he was my worshipper in dust,
• He ever warr'd with freedom and the free: So shall he be in spirit, although dear
Nations as men, home subjects, foreign foes, To thee and thine, because nor wine nor lust So that they utter'd the word " Liberty!" Were of his weaknesses, yet on the throne
Found George the Third their first opponent. He reign'd o'er millions to serve me alone.
History was ever stain'd as his will be
With national and individual woes!
I grant his household abstinence; I grant Once, more thy Master's: but I triumph not
His neutral virtues, which most monarchs want; In this poor planet's conquest; nor, alas,
XLVI. Need He thou servest envy me my lot :
'I know he was a constant consort; own With all the myriads of bright worlds which pass
He was a decent sire, and middling lord.
All this is much, and most upon a throne ;
His temperance, if at Apicius' board,
I grant him all the kindest can accord :
And this was well for him, but not for those * No saint in the course of his religious warfare was more sensible of the unhappy failure of pious
Millions who found him what oppression chose. resolves than Dr. Johnson : he said one day, talking to an acquaintance on this subject, “Sir, hell is paved with good intentions.'
• Lord Bute.
LIII. The New World shook him off: the Old yet This was a signal unto such damnd souls groans
As have the privilege of their damnation Beneath what he and his prepared, if not
Extended far beyond the mere contro ls Completed: he leaves heirs on many thrones
Of worlds past, present, or to come : nó station To all his vices, without what begot
Is theirs particularly in the rolls Compassion for him--his tame virtues; drones Of Hell assign'd; but where their inclination
Who sleep, or despots who have now forgot Or business carries them in search of game,
They are proud of this, as very well they may, * Five millions of the primitive,* who hold
It being a sort of knighthood, or gilt key The faith which makes ye great on earth, im.
Stuck in their loins; or like to an entré plored
Up the back stairs, or such freemasonry. A part of that vast all they held of old
I borrow my comparisons from clay, Freedom to worship-not alone your Lord,
Being clay myself. Let not those spirits be Michael, but you, and you, Saint Peter! Cold
Offended with such base low likenesses; Must be your souls, if you have not abhorr'd
We know their posts are nobler far than these.
When the great signal ran from heaven to hell
About ten million times the distance reckon'd * True ! he allowed them to pray God: but as
From our sun to its earth, as we can tell
How much time it takes up, even to a second, base
For every ray that travels to dispel
The fogs of Londoni, through which; dimly With those who did not hold the sa ints in awe.'
beacon'd, But here Saint Peter started from his place,
The weathercocks are gilt some thrice a year, And cried, 'You may the prisoner withdraw;
If that the summer is not too severe.
I say that I can tell-'twas half a minute :
I know the solar beams take up more time My office (and his is no sinecure),
Ere, pack'd up for their journey, they begin it; Than see this royal Bedlam bigot range
But then their telegraph is less sublime: The azure fields of heaven, of that be sure !
And if they ran a race, they would not win it Saint !' replied Satan, 'you do well to avenge
'Gainst Satan's couriers bound for their own cline. The wrongs he made your satellites endure
The sun takes up some years for every ray And if to this exchange you should be given,
To reach its goal—the devil not half a day.
Upon the verge of space, about the size
Pray, not so fast; you both outrun discretion. (I've seen a something like it in the skies
In the Ægean, ere a squall); it hear'd,
Like an aërial ship, it tack'd and steerd, Even saints sometimes forget themselves in Or was steer'd (I am doubtful of the grainmar session.
Of the last phrase, which makes the stanza stammer; Have you not more to say 9_'No.'_ ls you please, I'll trouble you to call your witnesses.'
But take your choice); and then it grew a cloud;
And so it was-a cloud of withesses:
Of locusts numerous as the heavens saw these : Clouds farther off than we can understand,
They shadow'd with their inyflads space; their loud Although we find him sometimes in our skies And varied cries were like those of wild geese Infernal thunder shook both sea and land
(If nations may be liken d to a goose), In all the planets, and hell's batteries
And realized the hrase of 'hell broke loose.'
Here crash'd a sturdy oath of stout john Bill,
Who dainn d away his eyes as heretofore: