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At least a quarter it can hardly be:
Thyself if false, as him if true? Thou
wast Too bitter-is it not so ?—in thy gloom Of passion ?"--"Passion !” cried the
phantom dim, “I loved my country, and I hated him. “What I have written, I have written:
let The rest be on his head or mine!” so
spoke Old “ Nominis Umbra ;” and while
speaking yet, Away he melted in celestial smoke. Then Satan said to Michael, “Don't
forget To call George Washington, and John
Horne Tooke, And Franklin ;”—but at this time there
was heard & cry for room, though not a phantom
stirr'd. At length with jostling, elbowing, and
the aid Of cherubim appointed to that post, The devil Asmodeus to the circle made His way, and look'd as if his journey
cost Some trouble. When his burden down
he laid, “ What's this?” cried Michael ; " why,
'tis not a ghost?” “ I know it," quoth the incubus ; "but he Shall be one, if you leave the affair to me. “Confound the renegado! I have sprain'd My left wing, he's so heavy; one would
think Some of his works about his neck were
chain'd. But to the point; while hovering o'er
the brink Of Skiddaw (where as usual it still
rain'd), I saw a taper, far below me, wink, And stooping, caught this fellow at a No less on history than the Holy Bible. “ The former is the devil's scripture, and The latter yours, good Michael: so the
affair Belongs to all of us, you understand. I snatch'd him up just as you see him
there, And brought him off for sentence out of
hand : I've scarcely been ten minutes in the
Here Satan said, “I know this man of
old, And have expected him for some time
here ; A sillier fellow you will scarce behold,
Or more conceited in his petty sphere : But surely it was not worth while to fold Such trash below your wing, Asmodeus
dear : We had the poor wretch safe (without
being bored With carriage) coming of his own accord. “But since he's here, let's see what he
has done." “Done !” cried Asmodeus," he antici
pates The very business you are now upon, And scribbles as if head clerk to the
Fates. Who knows to what his ribaldry may
run, When such an ass as this, like Balaam's,
prates ?” “Let's hear," quoth Michael, “what he
has to say: You know we're bound to that in every
way." Now the bard, glad to get an audience,
which By no means often was his case below, Began to cough, and hawk, and hem,
and pitch His voice into that awful note of woe To all unhappy hearers within reach Of poets when the tide of rhyme's in
flow; But stuck fast with his first hexameter, Not one of all whose gouty feet would
stir. But ere the spavin'd dactyls could be
spurr'd Into recitative, in great dismay Both cherubim and seraphim were heard To murmur loudly through their long
array; And Michael rose ere he could get a word
Of all his founder'd verses under way, And cried, “ For God's sake stop, my
friend ! 'twere bestNon Di, non homines-you know the
rest." A general bustle spread throughout the
Wbich seem'd to hold all verse in detes
tation : The angels had of course enough of song
When upon service; and the generation Of ghosts had heard too much in life, not
long Before, to profit by a new occasion : The monaroli, mute till then, exclaim'd,
" What! what! Pye come again? No more-no more of
Too long the assembly (he was pleased
to dread), And take up rather more time than a
day, To name his works-he would but cite a
few-“Wat Tyler "--" Rhymes on Blen
He had written praises of a regicide ;
whatever ; He had written for republics far and
wide, And then against them bitterer than
ever; For pantisocracy he once had cried Aloud, a scheme less moral than 'twas
clever ; Then grew a hearty anti-JacobinHad turu'd his coat and would have
turn'd his skin.
The tumult grew ; an universal cough Convulsed the skies, as during a de
bate, When Castlereagh has been up long
enough (Before he was first minister of state, I mean-the slaves heur now) ; some cried
"Off, off !" As at a farce; till, grown quite des
perate, The bard Saint Peter pray'd to interpose (Himself an author) only for his prose. 'The varlet was not an ill-favor'd knave :
A good deal like a vulture in the face, With a hook nose and a bawk's eye,
which gave A smurt and sharper-looking sort of
grace To his whole aspect, which, though
rather grave, Was by no means so ugly as his case ; But that, indeed, was hopeless as can be, Quite a poetic felony ** de se." Then Michael blew his trump, and stilld
the noise With one still greater. as is yet the mode On earth besides ; except some grum
bling voice. Which now and then will make a slight
in road Upon decorous silence, few will twice Lift up their lungs when fairly over
crow'd ; And now the bard could plead his own
bad cause, With all the attitudes of self-applause.
He had sung against all battles, and
again In their high praise and glory; he had
call'd Reviewing the ungentle craft," and
thien Become as base a criticas e'er crawl'd Fed, paid, and pamper'd by the very men By whom his muse and morals had
been maul'd: He had written much blank verse, and
blanker prose, And more of both than anybody knows.
He had written Wesley's life : here
turning round To Satan, “ Sir, I'm ready to write
yours, In two octavo volumes, nicely bound, With notes and preface, all that most
allures The pivus purchaser ; and there's no
ground For fear, for I can choose my own re
viewers : So let me have the proper documents, That I may add you to my other saints." Satan bow'd, and was silent. Well,
With amiable modesty, decline My offer, what says Michael ? There
are few Whose memoirs could be render'd
more divine. Mine is a pen of all work; not so new
As it was once, but I would make you
shine Like your own trumpet. By the way,
my own Has more of brass in it, and is as well
“But talking about trumpets, here's my
Vision ! Now you shall judge, all people ; yes,
you shall Judge with my judgment, and by my
decision Be guided who shall enter heaven or
fall. I settle all these things by intuition, Times present, past, to come, heaven,
hell, and all, Like King Alfonso. When I thus see
double, I save the Deity some worlds of trouble."
Who sell like Phaëton, but more at
ease, Into his lake, for there he did not drown;
A different web being by the Destinies Woven for the Laureate's final wreath,
whene'er Reform shall happen either here or there. He first sank to the bottom-like bis
works, But soon rose to the surface--like him.
self ; For all corrupted things are buoy'd like
corks, By their own rottenness, like as an elf, Or wisp that fits o'er a morass : he
lurks, it may be, still, like dull books on a
shelf, In his own den, to scrawl some “ Life"
or " Vision," As Welborn says—“the devil turn'd pre
He ceased, and drew forth an MS. ; and
Persuasion on the part of devils, saints, Or angels, now could stop the torrent ;
SO He read the first three lines of the
contents ; But at the fourth, the whole spiritual
show Had vanish'd, with variety of scents, Ambrosial and sulphureous, as they
sprang, Like lightning, off from his “ melodious
Those grand heroics acted as a spell : The angels stopp'd their ears and
plied their pinions ; The devils ran howling, deafen'd, down
to hell ; The ghosts fled, gibbering, for their
own dominions(For 'tis not yet decided where they
dwell, And I leave every man to his opinions); Michael took refuge in his trump-but,
lo ! His teeth were set on edge, he could not
IMPROMPTUS1 STRAHAN, Tonson, Lintot of the times, Patron and publisher of rhymes, For thee the bard up Pindus climbs,
My Murray, To thee, with hope and terror dumb, The unfledged MS, authors come ; Thou printest all-and sellest some
My Murray. Upon thy table's baize so green The last new Quarterly is seen, But where is thy new Magazine,
Saint Peter, who has hitherto been
known For an impetuous saint, upraised his
keys, And at the fifth line knock'd the poet
1 From letters addressed to Mr. Murray, or to Thomas Moore.
So we'll go no more a roving
So late into the night, Though the heart be still as loving,
And the moon be still as bright.
For the sword outwears its sheath,
And the soul wears out the breast, And the heart must pause to breathe,
And love itself have rest.
Oh, talk not to me of a name great in
story; The days of our youth are the days of
our glory; And the myrtle and ivy of sweet two
and-twenty Are worth all your laurels, though ever
so plenty. What are garlands and crowns to the
brow that is wrinkled ? 'Tis but as a dead flower with May-dew
be-sprinkled. Then away with all such from the head
that is hoary! What care I for the wreaths that can
only give glory! Oh, FAME!-if I e'er took delight in thy
Though the night was made for loving,
And the day returns too soon, Yet we'll go no more a roving By the light of the moon.
February 28, 1817. 1830.
THE world is a bundle of hay,
Mankind are the asses who pull ; Each tugs it a different way, And the greatest of all is John Bull.
November 5, 1820. 1830.
1 See the note on page 254.
'Twas less for the sake of thy high-sound
ing phrases, Than to see the bright eyes of the dear
one discover, She thought that I was not unworthy to
There chiefly I sought thee, there only I
found thee; Her glance was the best of the rays that
surround thee; When it sparkled o'er aught that was
bright in my story, I knew it was love, and I felt it was glory.
November, 1821. 1830.
ON THIS DAY I COMPLETE MY
The hope, the fear, tlie jealous care.
The exalted portion of the pain And power of love, I cannot share,
But wear the chain. But 'tis not thus--and it is not here Such thoughts should shake my soul,
Or binds his brow.
Glory and Greece, around me see !
Was not more free. Awake! (not Greece--she is awake !) Awake, my spirit! Think through
whom Thy life-blood tracks its parent lake,
And then strike home! Tread those reviving passions down,
Unworthy manhood !-unto thee
Of beauty be,
The land of honorable death
Away thy breath!
A soldier's grave, for thee the best ; Then look around, and choose thy ground,
And take thy rest. At Missolonghi, January 22, 1824 October 29, 1824.
Tis time this heart should be unmoved,
Since others it hath ceased to move : Yet, though I cannot be beloved,
Still let me love! My days are in the yellow leaf; The flowers and fruits of love are
gone ; The worm, the canker, and the grief
Are mine alone!
The fire that on my bosom preys
Is lone as some volcanio isle ; No torch is kindled at its blaze-
A funeral pile.