Slike strani

And broke their skulls.-Upon the floor
Meanwhile sat Peter Bell, and swore,

And cursed his father and his mother;


And raved of God and sin and death,
Blaspheming like an infidel;

And said that with his clenched teeth
He'd seize the earth from underneath,
And drag it with him down to hell.


As he was speaking, came a spasm,

And wrenched his gnashing teeth asunder. Like one who sees a strange phantasm

He lay, there was a silent chasm
Betwixt his upper jaw and under.


And yellow death lay on his face;

And a fixed smile that was not human

Told, as I understand the case,

That he was gone to the wrong place :-
I heard all this from the old woman.


Then there came down from Langdale Pike A cloud, with lightning, wind, and hail;

It swept over the mountains like

An ocean, and I heard it strike

The woods and crags of Grasmere Vale.


And I saw the black storm come

Nearer, minute after minute;

Its thunder made the cataracts dumb;
With hiss and clash and hollow hum,
It neared as if the Devil was in it.


The Devil was in it :- he had bought

Peter for half-a-crown. And, when

The storm which bore him vanished, nought That in the house that storm had caught

Was ever seen again.


The gaping neighbours came next day—
They found all vanished from the shore.
The bible whence he used to pray
Half scorched under a hen-coop lay;

Smashed glass—and nothing more.



THE DEVIL, I safely can aver,

Has neither hoof nor tail nor sting;

Nor is he, as some sages swear,
A spirit neither here nor there,—
In nothing, yet in everything.


He is what we are: for sometimes
The Devil is a gentleman;
At others a bard bartering rhymes

For sack; a statesman spinning crimes ;
A swindler living as he can ;


A thief who cometh in the night,

With whole boots and net pantaloons, Like some one whom it were not right

To mention; or the luckless wight

From whom he steals nine silver spoons.


But in this case he did appear

Like a slop-merchant from Wapping,
And with smug face and eye severe

On every side did perk and peer
Till he saw Peter dead or napping.


He had on an upper Benjamin

(For he was of the driving schism) In the which he wrapped his skin From the storm he travelled in,

For fear of rheumatism.


He called the ghost out of the corse.

It was exceedingly like Peter,Only its voice was hollow and hoarse : It had a queerish look of course : Its dress too was a little neater.


The Devil knew not his name and lot, Peter knew not that he was Bell: Each had an upper stream of thought Which made all seem as it was not, Fitting itself to all things well.


Peter thought he had parents dear,
Brothers, sisters, cousins, cronies,
In the fens of Lincolnshire.

He perhaps had found them there,
Had he gone and boldly shown his


Solemn phiz in his own village;

Where he thought oft when a boy He'd clomb the orchard walls to pillage. The produce of his neighbour's tillage, With marvellous pride and joy.


And the Devil thought he had,
'Mid the misery and confusion

Of an unjust war, just made
A fortune by the gainful trade

Of giving soldiers rations bad

(The world is full of strange delusion);


That he had a mansion planned

In a square like Grosvenor Square;

That he was aping fashion, and

That he now came to Westmoreland
To see what was romantic there.


And all this, though quite ideal—
Ready at a breath to vanish-

Was a state not more unreal

Than the peace he could not feel,

Or the care he could not banish.


After a little conversation,

The Devil told Peter, if he chose, He'd bring him to the world of fashion By giving him a situation

In his own service-and new clothes.


And Peter bowed, quite pleased and proud; And, after waiting some few days

For a new livery-dirty yellow

Turned up with black,-the wretched fellow Was bowled to Hell in the Devil's chaise.



HELL is a city much like London—
A populous and a smoky city;
There are all sorts of people undone,
And there is little or no fun done;

Small justice shown, and still less pity.


There is a Castles, and a Canning,

A Cobbett, and a Castlereagh; All sorts of caitiff corpses planning All sorts of cozening, for trepanning Corpses less corrupt than they.


There is a ***, who has lost

His wits, or sold them, none knows which;

He walks about a double ghost,

And, though as thin as Fraud almost,

Ever grows more grim and rich.


There is a Chancery Court; a King;
A manufacturing mob; a set

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Which last is a scheme of paper-money,

And means, being interpreted— "Bees, keep your wax- - give us the honey; And we will plant, while skies are sunny, Flowers, which in winter serve instead."


There is great talk of revolution,

And a great chance of despotism; German soldiers-camps-confusionTumults-lotteries-rage-delusion

Gin-suicide-and Methodism :


Taxes too on wine and bread,


And meat and beer and tea and cheese; From which those patriots pure are fed

Who gorge, before they reel to bed,
The tenfold essence of all these.


There are mincing women, mewing
(Like cats, who amant miserè)
Of their own virtue, and pursuing

Their gentler sisters to that ruin

Without which-what were chastity?


Lawyers, judges, old hobnobbers,

Are there,-bailiffs-Chancellors

Bishops-great and little robbers— Rhymesters pamphleteers-stock-jobbersMen of glory in the wars,—


Things whose trade is over ladies

To lean, and flirt and stare and simper, Till all that is divine in woman

Grows cruel, courteous, smooth, inhuman,

Crucified 'twixt a smile and whimper.

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