Page images
PDF
EPUB

1

Each with never-ceasing labour,
Whilst he thinks he cheats his neighbour

Cheating his own heart of quiet.

And all these meet at levees;

Dinners convivial and political ; Suppers of epic poets ; teas, Where small talk dies in agonies ;

Breakfasts professional and critical ;

Lunches and snacks so aldermanic

That one would furnish forth ten dinners,
Where reigns a Cretan-tonguèd panic,
Lest news Russ, Dutch, or Alemannic

Should make some losers, and some winners ;

At conversazioni-balls

Conventicles and drawing-rooms-
Courts of law-committees-calls
Of a morning-clubs-book-stalls—

Churches—masquerades—and tombs.

And this is Hell—and in this smother

Are all damnable and damned; Each one damning, damns the other; They are damned by one another,

By none other are they damned.

'Tis a lie to say,

66 God damns!'

* This libel on our national oath, and this accusation of all our countrymen of being in the daily practice of solemnly

Where was Heaven's Attorney-General
When they first gave out such flams?
Let there be an end of shams :

They are mines of poisonous mineral.

Statesmen damn themselves to be

Cursed ; and lawyers damn their souls
To the auction of a fee;
Churchmen damn themselves to see

God's sweet love in burning coals.

The rich are damned, beyond all cure,

To taunt, and starve, and trample on The weak and wretched ; and the poor Damn their broken hearts to endure

Stripe on stripe, with groan on groan :

Sometimes the poor are damned indeed

To take,-not means for being blest,But Cobbett's snuff, revenge ; that weed From which the worms that it doth feed

Squeeze less than they before possessed :

And some few, like we know who,

Damned—but God alone knows why-
To believe their minds are given
To make this ugly Hell a Heaven;

In which faith they live and die. asseverating the most enormous falsehood, I fear deserves the notice of a more active Attorney-General than that here alluded to.

Thus, as in a town, plague-stricken,

Each man be he sound or no
Must indifferently sicken ;
As when day begins to thicken,

None knows a pigeon from a crow;

So good and bad, sane and mad,

The oppressor and the oppressed'; Those who weep to see what others Smile to inflict upon their brothers ;

Lovers, haters, worst and best ;

All are damned—they breathe the air,

Thick, infected, joy-dispelling: Each pursues what seems most fair, Mining like moles through mind, and there Scoop palace-caverns vast, where Care

In throned state is ever dwelling.

PART THE FOURTH.

SIN.

Lo, Peter in Hell's Grosvenor-square,

A footman in the devil's service! And the misjudging world would swear That every man in service there

To virtue would prefer vice.

But Peter, though now damned, was not

What Peter was before damnation.
Men oftentimes prepare a lot
Which ere it finds them, is not what

Suits with their genuine station.

All things that Peter saw and felt

Had a peculiar aspect to him;
ad when they came within the belt

his own nature, seemed to melt,
wike cloud to cloud, into him.

And so the outward world uniting

To that within him, he became
Considerably uninviting
To those, who meditation slighting,

Were moulded in a different frame.

And he scorned them, and they scorned him ;

And he scorned all they did ; and they
Did all that men of their own trim
Are wont to do to please their whim,-

Drinking, lying, swearing, play.

Such were his fellow-servants; thus

His virtue, like our own, was built Too much on that indignant fuss Hypocrite Pride stirs up in us

To bully out another's guilt.

He had a mind which was somehow

At once circumference and centre Of all he might or feel or know; Nothing went ever out, although

Something did ever enter.

He had as much imagination

As a pint-pot;-he never could Fancy another situation, From which to dart his contemplation,

Than that wherein he stood.

Yet his was individual mind,

And new-created all he saw
In a new manner, and refined
Those new-creations, and combined

Them, by a master-spirit's law.

Thus—though unimaginative

An apprehension clear, intense, Of his mind's work, had made alive The things it wrought on; I believe

Wakening a sort of thought in sense.

But from the first 'twas Peter's drift

To be a kind of moral eunuch; He touched the hem of nature's shift, Felt faint-and never dared uplift

The closest, all-concealing tunic.

« EelmineJätka »