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All Peter did on this occasion
Was writing some sad stuff in prose.
When poets criticize; their station
The Devil then sent to Leipsic fair
For Born's translation of Kant's book; A world of words, tail foremost, where Right, wrong-false, true-and foul and fairAs in a lottery-wheel are shook.
Five thousand crammed octavo pages
Thereon deserves just seven months' wages
I looked on them nine several days,
And then I saw that they were bad; A friend, too, spoke in their dispraise,— He never read them; with amaze
I found Sir William Drummond had.
When the book came, the Devil sent
Fire which ex luce præbens fumum
Made him beyond the bottom see
Of truth's clear well. When I and you, Ma'am, Go, as we shall do, subter humum,
We may know more than he.
Now Peter ran to seed in soul
Into a walking paradox
(For he was neither part nor whole, Nor good nor bad, nor knave nor fool) Among the woods and rocks.
Furious he rode where late he ran,
Lashing and spurring his tame hobby; Turned to a formal puritan,
A solemn and unsexual man,—
He half believed White Obi.
This steed in vision he would ride,
After these ghastly rides, he came
Home to his heart, and found from thence Much stolen of its accustomed flame; His thoughts grew weak, drowsy, and lame Of their intelligence.
To Peter's view, all seemed one hue;
He was no whig, he was no tory;
No deist and no Christian he ;-
Nothing was all his glory.
One single point in his belief
From his organization sprung,The heart-enrooted faith, the chief Ear in his doctrines' blighted sheaf, That "happiness is wrong."
So thought Calvin and Dominic;
So think their fierce successors, who Even now would neither stint nor stick Our flesh from off our bones to pick, If they might "do their do."
His morals thus were undermined:
The old Peter Bell, the hard old potter, Was born anew within his mind;
He grew dull, harsh, sly, unrefined,
In the death-hues of agony
Lambently flashing from a fish,
Shades like a rainbow's rise and flee,
So in his Country's dying face
He looked-and, lovely as she lay, Seeking in vain his last embrace,
Wailing her own abandoned case,
With hardened sneer he turned away :
And coolly to his own Soul said:
"Do you not think that we might make
A poem on her when she's dead?—
Or no! a thought is in my head!
Her shroud for a new sheet I'll take.
"My wife wants one.-Let who will bury This mangled corpse! And I and you, My dearest Soul, will then make merry, As the Prince Regent did with Sherry,— Ay, and at last desert me too."
And so his soul would not be gay,
But moaned within him; like a fawn
Moaning within a cave, it lay
Wounded and wasting, day by day,
Till all its life of life was gone.
As troubled skies stain waters clear,
Now made his verses dark and queer;
For he now raved enormous folly,
Of baptisms, Sunday-schools, and graves. 'Twould make George Colman melancholy To have heard him, like a male Molly, Chanting those stupid staves.
Yet the Reviews, who heaped abuse
Praise him, for those who feed 'em.
He was a man too great to scan ;
As soon as he read that, cried Peter,
To make a better thing of metre
Then Peter wrote odes to the Devil ;
In one of which he meekly said :
"May Carnage and Slaughter,
"May Death and Damnation
Flit up from Hell with pure intent!
Slash them at Manchester,
Glasgow, Leeds, and Chester;
Drench all with blood from Avon to Trent !
"Let thy body-guard yeomen
Hew down babes and women,
And laugh with bold triumph till heaven be rent! When Moloch in Jewry
Munched children with fury,
It was thou, Devil, dining with pure intent."
PART VII.-DOUBLE DAMNATION.
THE Devil now knew his proper cue.
Soon as he read the ode, he drove
"Pray find some cure, or sinecure,
To feed from the superfluous taxes
A friend of ours-a poet : fewer
Have fluttered tamer to the lure
Than he." His lordship stands and racks his
Stupid brains, while one might count
As many beads as he had boroughs,—
"It happens fortunately, dear sir,
I can. I hope I need require
That he'll be worthy of his hire."