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AN HISTORICAL TALE OF THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY, OR THEREABOUTS.
TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL ITALIAN OF BERNI. BY LAURENTIUS LITTLE ARMIGER. PROËUM.
WHEN granite is split by wedges of wood,
As Whigs rend the rock whereon Liberty stood-
When Palmerston's ears are o'erhung by his wig,
And Russell's rheumatics are running their rig-
When dallied Dalilah with Samson's brow,
And Absalom dangled beneath the green bough-
When your corns have sung out as if stung by a fairy,-
That's Attraction, which Faraday calls capillary.
Is announced to the Chamber by Master Thiers.
Mournfully nods the pontifical noddle,
Dolefully drops the vicegerent jaw
Rises the pope, as if going to toddle,
With a visage as if he had swallowed the twaddle
Emetic of Sec. at War Babble Macaw;
Then he sits down again with a sardonic grin,
And unconsciously looks at his starboard fin,
Where, shining as brightly as phosphorent ling,
The forefinger flashes the Fisherman's ring;
By virtue of which
He could feather and pitch
For an auto-da-fé every wizard and witch-
Walk in à la Spring
To the conjuror's king
Make even Old Hal diminutely to sing,
Should the Evil One dare, with his "powers of the air,"
To look on this world as his Donnybrook Fair-
Play off his wild pranks
On all orders and ranks,
Greek, Trojan, or Tyrian, Esquimaux, Manx,
Heathen and Heretic, Moslim and Franks;
On th' Himalay mountains or Amazon's banks;
By the Geysers of Iceland or Araby's tanks,―
In short, every where, from Cape Finisterre,
To Lin's Gibraltars of China ware!
But not over pray'r
Sits Gregory there;
Nor to eat, though before him smokes daintiest fare;
Nor to drink, though all liquors from tokay to cider
Are there · nor to sleen though the cushions are eider ·
To a shape lachrymose
The busses have crush'd out the gout from his toes.
And as for his cheeks (most diaphanous pair!),
Ye gods! they would scare from his pole the Great Bear!
If there for one night
You had placed the Bude light,
The moon would soon fling up her reins in affright—
The galaxy Grey
Would be all curds and whey
The comets would tear off their tails in dismay;
The Star of the Day would retire on half-pay,
And let the pope's bull have it all his own way.
A QUESTION IS ASKED.
Why sitteth Gregorius, "servus servorum," Thus in a brown study with demons cerulean? Why banquets he not on those plats epicurean? Those viands delicious
Would tempt an Apicius,
Or the stomach silicious of our Dionysius,
LL.D., Stincomal. Arbiter Morum.
Those cheeses Etrurian, and boarheads Apulean-
Those flasks of Falernian, and cans cerevicious-
Those haunches and hams,
Pies, jellies, and jams,
Would charm a Vitellius' pharynx, or Lamb's,
The premier of Britain, who gloriously crams
With a power of pantophagy ultra-Herculean.
Why dines not the pope à la mode Romanorum?
Why dips not his spoon in that soup à la Julienne ?
The xeres and port
Are of the right sort
'Twould puzzle Lord Brougham to say, "Utrum horum.” Why sitteth Gregorius, "servorum servus," Gazing on vacancy?-id est, the face
Of Lord Cardinal Sec.,
Who is craning his neck
Like Tantalus, waiting in vain for the grace.
Per Bacco!-'twould make an arch-anchorite nervous
'Tis a cloudless day, and the wandering breeze Floats on th' wavelets of Italy's seas;
The bright blue waves which break on the shore, In sighs for the land which they love and deplore. Merrily trills the lark o'er the hills
Of Apennine, joyously sparkle the rills;
The cheek of the peasant is fresher in bloom,
The gondolier basks in his Sunday costume.
Flaunts, all perfume, lace, trinkets, and plume,
Mossignior, a butterfly over a tomb;
Furl'd is the mill-sail, and silent the loom,
Een the brow of the brigand has banish'd its gloom! Hark! 't is a thousand bells ringing their chimes
In the city th' eternal Medea of crimes;
Now he dreams that old Hadrian asks, "Why his tomb
Has been changed to a prison? Why a pope should presume
To call it St. Angelo's castle? Quel bête!
As if angels could ever give him tête-à-tête,
As Egeria gave Numa Pompilius, the bilious,
But cut all connexion with Tullus Hostilius."
Changes the vision. The sleeper sighs,
As memory calls the heart's dew to his eyes.
He dreams of the days
Of his childhood; he prays
By the knees of his mother; and now he essays
To strike down a foe;
But on whom does the blow
Descend? On the fair Leonora? Not so!
He springs from his straw with a terrible shout,
His visage is sour
As a twenty-Whig power,
When writhing beneath the Conservative knout;
He fetches the snout
Of the pope such a clout,
Then asks," If his mother had known he was out?"
"Diavolo!" roar'd out old Pontifex Max,
I little expected such welcome; but, Pax
Vobiscum! to-morrow, your Saint Mary Axe
Must cut our connexion
And spoil your complexion-
Stop all the supplies by a vertical section.
So paucis te volo,' as Terence would say,
Hope has not withdrawn her last flickering ray;
You still have the ghost of a chance for your life-
Nay, more, Leonora may yet be your wife.
(The charming ragazza!)
If to the Piazza
You bring by the 24th day of June (that's a
Month from this day), a huge column of grey
Granite, deep buried 'mong ruins and clay,
As my cardinals say, in the Forum Romanum.
Let it tower to the sky
From a pedestal high,
Poke fun through the eye of Cleopatra's needle;
Look odi profanum,'
Nor care a solanum
For every pillar from Tiber to Tweeddale!"
Thus Gregory spake, with the tone of a Cato,
The good man kept nothing malicious in petto;
Though his swoll'n nose blush'd like a Yorkshire potatoe
Who answer'd his holiness," Corde agitato:-
From th' effects of the blow
Dealt by Antonio,
Awaits me; but now"-
Hope lights up his brow!
His necklace, and bracelets, and anklets enow,
Are struck from his person; his carcere duro,
The darkest you'd find from Calcutta to Truro,
Is tenantless. Opes the jolly old pope's
Breast to embrace him; and cries, "Tibi juro!"
Barbone the gaoler
Melts soft as a sailor,
Antonio is free as a loyal repailer;
Though close at his heels
The pope's sbirro steals,
As at Whiggery's kibes sneaks the surveillant tail-er.
Bless'd be the sun's all-vital glow,
The free-born waves and the jocund earth;
Thrice bless'd they are to the heart which wo
Corroded in slavery's clanking berth,
When the maniac laugh'd in his ghastly mirth,
And the life-blood froze in its creeping flow;
Mocking, not feeding, the desolate dearth
Of the hopeless cheek, as cold and as wan
As the dungeon's marble it rested upon.
How joyous in spirit, how buoyant in limb,
Is the freed man! An Eden must earth be to him
Who emerges to light from the dungeon foul,
Where nothing was seen but the confessor's cowl;
Naught heard save despair's blaspheming howl;
Naught felt but the rat and the vampire owl.
Ay! freedom is sweeter in Hottentot kraal
Than slavery crouching in emperor's hall;
Sweeter to breathe her breath on the heath,
Than be crown'd with the wreath of the sovereign of Gaul.
But freedom with Love! Description must fall
Confoundedly short on that subject. Look small,
As Russell when Stanley commences the maul;
When the Mendicant big
Dishevels his wig,
And the Penenden hero is splitting to squall.
In such case, as in ours, the best tact, by the powers,
Were to say not a word on the subject at all.
So, Viamos! the signor is buoy'd up by hopes:
An hundred rude wagons, some myriad of ropes,
In a moment are ready; the populace girds