Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

Alas, O king!
Iberia bore him, but the breed accurst
Inclement winds blew blighting from north-east
• He was a warrior, then, nor seard the gods?'
Gebir, he fear'd the demons, not the gods,
Though them indeed his daily face adored:
And was no warrior, yet the thousand lives
Squander'd, as stones to exercise a sling,
And the tame cruelty and cold caprice--
Oh, madness of mankind! address'd, adored !-

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.

1.

They threw their pens down in divine disgust,
The page was so besmeard with blood and dust.

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,
But since the Gallic era 'eighty-eight,'

The devils had ta'en a longer, stronger puil,
And 'a pull all together,' as they say
At sca-which drew most souls another way,

II.
The angels all were singing out of tune,

And hoarse with having little else to do,
Excepting to wind up the sun and moon,

Or curb a runaway young star or two,
Or wild colt of a comet, which too soon

Broke out of bounds o'er the ethereal blue,
Splitting some planet with its playful tail,
As boats are sometimes by a wanton whale.

VI.
This by the way: 'tis not mine to record

What ange's shrink from: even the very devil
On this occasion his own work abhorr'd,

So surfeited with the infernal revel:
Though he himself had sharpen d every sword,

It almost quench d his innate thirst of evil.
(Here Satan's sole good work deserves insertion-
'Tis, that he has both generals in reversion.)

VII.
Let's skip a few short years of hollow peace,

Which peopled earth no better, hell as wont,
And heaven none--they form the tyrant's lease,

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.

III.
The guardian seraphs had retired on high,

Finding their charges past all care below;
Terrestrial business filled nought in the sky

Save the recording angel's black bureau;
Who found, indeed, the facts to multiply

With such rapidity of vice and woe,
That he had stripp'd off both his wings in quills,
And yet was in arrear of human ills.

VIII.
In the first year of freedom's second dawn

Died George the Third ; although 10 tyrant, onc
Who shielded tyrants, till each sense withdrawn

Left him nor mental nor external sun;
A better farmer ne'er brush'd dew from lawn,

A worse king never left a realm undone!
He died-but left his subjects still behind,
One half as mad-and t' other no less blind.

IV.
His business so augmented of late years,

That he was forced, against his will no doubt (Just like those cherubs, earthly ministers),

For soine resource to turn himself about,
And claim the help of his celestial peers,

To aid him ere he should be quite worn out,
By the increased demand for his remarks:
Six angels and twelve saints were named his clerks.

IX
He died I his death made no great știr on carth ;

His burial made some pomp; there was profusion
Of velvet, gilding, brass, and no great dearth

Of aught but tears-save tliose shed by collusion.
For these things may be bought at their true worth ;

Of elegy there was the due infusion-
Bought also; and the torches, cloaks, and banners,
Heralds, and relics of old Gothic manners,

V.
This was a handsome board-at least for heaven;

And yet they had even then enough to do,
So many conquerors' cars were daily driven,

So many kingdoms fitted up anew;
Each day, too, slew its thousands six or seven,

Till at the crowning carnage, Waterloo,

X.
Form'd a sepulchral melodrame. Of all

The fools wlio flock'd to swell or see the show,
Who cared about the corpse? The funeral

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?
What nature made him at his birth, as bare
As the mere million's base unmummied clay-

XVIII.
Yet all his spices but prolong decay.

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.
XIII.

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;
By circumscribing, with some slight restriction, But having but my keys, and not my brand,
The eternity of hell's hot jurisdiction.

I only knock'd his head from out his hand.
XIV.

XX.
I know this is unpopular; I know

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
And that the other twice two hundred churches Better than did this weak and wooden head.
And synagogues have made a damrid bad pur-

XXI.
chase.
XV.

• 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 not a whit more difficult to damn,

And so this very foolish head heaven solders
Than is to bring to land a late-look'd fish,
Or to the butcher to purvey the lamb;

Back on its trunk: it may be very well,

And seems the custom here to overthrow
Not that I am fit for such a noble dish,
As one day will be that immortal fry

Whatever has been wisely done below.'
Of almost everybody born to die.

XXII.

The angel answerd, · Peter! do not pout:
XVI.

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.'

XXIII.

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
And where he gazed, a gloom pervaded space.

Of essences angelical, who wore
XXV.

The aspect of a god : but this ne'er nursed
As he drew near, he gazed upon the gate

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.
As inade St. Peter wish himself witliin:
He patter'd with his keys at a great rate,

XXXII.
And sweated through his apostolic skin :

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

spheres. whither

XXXIII.
His guards had led hin, though they gently dealt But here they were in neutral space: we know
With royal manes (for by many stories,

Froin Job, that Satan ha:h the power to pay
And true, we learn the angels all are Tories). A heavenly visit thrice a year or so ;

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,
XXVIII.
And from the gate thrown open issued beaning

As sets aside the slightest thought of trick.
A beautiful and mighty Thing of Light,

'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 :

XXXV.
My poor comparisons must needs be teeming

The spirits were in neutral space, before
With earthly likenesses; for here the night
Of clay obscures our best conceptions, saving

The gate of heaven : like castern thresholds is Johanna Southcote, or Bob Southey raving.

The place where Death's grand cause is argued

o'er, XXIX.

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

XLI.
There pass'd a mutual glance of great politeness. . And these but as a kind of quit-rent, to

Assert my right as lord ; and even had
XXXVI.

I such an inclination, 'twere (as you
The Archangel bow'd, not like a modern beau, Well know) superfluous : they are grown so bad,
But with a graceful oriental bend,

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.

XLIII. tions,

'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,
XXXVIII.

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.

Whose

History was ever stain'd as his will be
XL

With national and individual woes!
Look to our earth, or rather mine: it was,

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.
In worship round Him, He may have forgot

All this is much, and most upon a throne ;
Yon weak creation of such paltry things:
I think few worth damnation save their kings.-

His temperance, if at Apicius' board,
Is more than at an anchorite's supper shown.

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.

XLVII.

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,
A lesson which shall be retaught them, wake They may range freely-being damn'd the same.
l'pon the thrones of earth; but let them quake!

LIV.
XLVIII.

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.
The foe to Catholic participation
In all the licence of a Christian nation.

LV.
XLIX.

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
A consequence of prayer, refused the law
Which would have placed them upon the same

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.
Ere heaven shall ope her portals to this Guelph,
While I am guard, may I be damn'd myself!

LVI.
L.

I say that I can tell-'twas half a minute :
Sooner will I with Cerberus exchange

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.
I'll try to coax our Cerberus up to heaven.'

LVII.
LI.

Upon the verge of space, about the size
Here Michael interposed : 'Good saint ! and devil! Of half-a-crown, a little speck appear'd

Pray, not so fast; you both outrun discretion. (I've seen a something like it in the skies
Saint Peter! you were wont to be more civil :

In the Ægean, ere a squall); it hear'd,
Satan! excuse this warmth of his expression, And, growing bigger, took another guise :
And condescension to the vulgar's level:

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.'

LVIII.

But take your choice); and then it grew a cloud;
LII.

And so it was-a cloud of withesses:
Then Satan türn'd and waved his swarthy hand, But such a cloud! No land ere saw a crowd
Which stirr'd with its electric qualities

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.'
Let off the artillery, which Milton mentions
A ne of Satan's inost sublime inventons.

LIX.

Here crash'd a sturdy oath of stout john Bill,
Roman Catholics.

Who dainn d away his eyes as heretofore:

« AnteriorContinuar »