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We warned you whilst yet on the brink
All these Reviews the Devil made
Untied them-read them-went half mad.
"What!" cried he, "this is my reward
For nights of thought, and days of toil?
By men of whom they never heard,
"What have I done to them?-and who
To speak of me and Emma so!
I've half a mind to fight a duel."
'Or," cried he, a grave look collecting, "Is it my genius, like the moon, Sets those who stand her face inspecting That face within their brain reflecting, Like a crazed bell-chime, out of tune?"
For Peter did not know the town;
But thought, as country readers do,
For half a guinea or a crown
He bought oblivion or renown
From God's own voice in a review.
All Peter did on this occasion
Was writing some sad stuff in prose.
It is a dangerous invasion
When poets criticise; their station
The Devil then sent to Leipsic fair
For Born's translation of Kant's book;
A world of words, tail foremost, where
Five thousand crammed octavo pages
Who his furor verborum assuages
Thereon deserves just seven months' wages
I looked on them nine several days,
I found Sir William Drummond had.
When the book came, the Devil sent
Fire which ex luce præbens fumum
Of truth's clear well. When I and you, Ma'am,
We may know more than he.
Now Peter ran to seed in soul
(For he was neither part nor whole,
Furious he rode where late he ran,
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
To Peter's view, all seemed one hue;
He was no whig, he was no tory;
Nothing was all his glory.
One single point in his belief
So thought Calvin and Dominic ;
So think their fierce successors, who
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,
As when he tramped beside the Otter.
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."
As troubled skies stain waters clear,
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.
Flit up from Hell with pure intent!
Drench all with blood from Avon to Trent !
"Let thy body-guard yeomen
And laugh with bold triumph till heaven be rent!
Munched children with fury,
It was thou, Devil, dining with pure intent."
PART VII.-DOUBLE DAMNATION.
The Devil now knew his proper cue.
And said:" For money or for love,
"Pray find some cure or sinecure,
To feed him 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
Smoothing away the unmeaning furrows):
"It happens, fortunately, dear sir,
No pledge from you that he will stir
That he'll be worthy of his hire."
These words exchanged, the news sent off
Took to his bed. He had no cough,
The Devil's corpse was leaded down;