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For in his thought he visited

The spots in which, ere dead and damned, He his wayward life had led; Yet knew not whence the thoughts were fed,

Which thus his fancy crammed.

And these obscure remembrances
Stirred such harmony in Peter,
That whensoever he should please,
He could speak of rocks and trees
In poetic metre.

For though it was without a sense
Of memory, yet he remembered well

Many a ditch and quick-set fence;

Of lakes he had intelligence,

He knew something of heath, and fell.

He had also dim recollections

Of pedlars tramping on their rounds;
Milk-pans and pails; and odd collections
Of saws, and proverbs ; and reflections
Old parsons make in burying-grounds.

But Peter's verse was clear, and came
Announcing from the frozen hearth

Of a cold age, that none might tame

The soul of that diviner flame
It augured to the Earth.

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■ O That mine enemy had written

A book !"—cried Job:—a fearful curse;

If to the Arab, as the Briton,

Twas galling to be critic-bitten :—
The Devil to Peter wished no worse.

When Peter's next new book found vent,

The Devil to all the first Reviews
A copy of it alily sent,
With five-pound note as compliment,

And this short notice—" Pray abuse."

Then seriatim, month and quarter,

Appeared such mad tirades.—One said—
"Peter seduced Mrs. Foy's daughter,
Then drowned the mother in Ullswater,
The last thing as he went to bed."

Another—" Let him shave his head!

Where's Dr. Willis!—Or is he joking!
What does the rascal mean or hope,
No longer imitating Pope,

In that barbarian Shakspeare poking!"

One more, "Is incest not enough!

And must there be adultery too J Grace after meat! Miscreant and Liar! Thief! Blackguard 1 Scoundrel! Fool! Hell-fire

Is twenty times too good for you.

"By that last book of yours We think

\ ou've double damned yourself to scorn; We warned you whilst yet on the brink You stood. From your black name will shrink The babe that is unborn."

All these Reviews the Devil made

Up in a parcel, which he had
Safely to Peter's house conveyed.
For carriage, ten-pence Peter paid—

Untied them—read them—went half mad.

"What !" cried he, " this is my reward

For nights of thought, and days of toil!
Do poets, but to be abhorred
By men of whom they never heard,
Consume their spirits' oil 1

"What have I done to them t—and who

Is Mrs. Foy! 'Tis very cruel To speak of me and Emma so! Adultery ! God defend me! Oh!

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 1"

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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 Bome sad stuff in prose.

It is a dangerous invasion

When poets criticise ; their station
Is to delight, not pose.

The Devil then sent to Leipsic fair,

For Bonn's translation of Kant's book; A world of words, tail foremost, where Right—wrong—false—true—and foul—and fai r, As in a lottery-wheel are shook.

Five thousand crammed octavo pages

Of German psychologies,—he
Who his furor verborum assuages
Thereon, deserves just seven months' wages

More than will e'er be duo to me.

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"Dcvil sent

It to P. Verbovale,t Esquire,
With a brief note of compliment,
By that night's Carlisle mail. It went,

And set his soul on fire.

Fire, which ex luce prtebens 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 While Obi,

This steed in vision he would ride,

High trotting over nine-inch bridges,
With Flibbertigibbet, imp of pride,
Mocking and mowing by his side—
A mad-brained goblin for a guide—
Over corn-fields, gates, and hedges.

* Vox populi, vox dei. As Mr. Godwin truly observes of a more famous saying, of some merit as a popular maxim, but totally destitute of philosophical accuracy.

t Quad, Qui valelverba:i.e. all the words which have been, axe, or may be expended by, for, against, with, or on him. A sufficient proof of the utility of this history. Peter's progenitor who selected this name seems to have possessed a pure anticipated cognition of the nature and modesty of this ornament of his posterity.

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 ;—
He got so subtle, that to be

Nothing, was all his glory.

One single point in his belief

From his organisation 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—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,
Now Peter felt amused to see
Shades like a rainbow's rise and flee,

Mixed with a certain hungry wish.t

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 111 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."

• A famous river in the new Atlantis of tho Dynastophylic Pantisocrntists.

t Sec the description of the beautiful colours produced during the agonising death of a number of trout, in the fourth part of a long poem in blank verse, published within a few years. That poem contains curious evidence of the gradual hardening of a strong but circumscribed sensibility, of the perversion of a penetrating but panicstricken understanding. Tho author might have derived a lesson which he had probably forgotten from these sweet and sublime verses.

This lesson, Shepherd, let us two divide.

Taught both by what she J shows and what conceal*.

Never to blend our pleasure or our pride

With sorrow of the meanest thing that feels.

J Nature.

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,

The storm in Peter's heart and mind Now made his verses dark and queer: They were the ghosts of what they were, Shaking dim grave-clothes in the wind.

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, Chaunting those stupid staves.

Yet the Reviews, who heaped abuse
On Peter while he wrote for freedom,

So soon as in his song they spy,

The folly which soothes tyranny,
Praise him, for those who feed 'em.

■ He was a man, too great to scan ;—

A planet lost in truth's keen rays:— His virtue, awful and prodigious ;— He was the most sublime, religious, Pure-minded Poet of these days."

As soon as he read that, cried Peter,

"Eureka! I have found the way
To make a better thing of metre
Than e'er was made by living creature
Up to this blessed day."

Then Peter wrote odes to the Devil ;—
In one of which he meekly said:

"May Carnage and Slaughter,

Thy niece and thy daughter,

May Rapine and Famine,

Thy gorge ever cramming,

Glut thee with living and dead!

"May death and damnation,

And consternation,
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."*


Double Damnation.

Tbb Devil now knew his proper cue.

Soon as he read the ode, he drove

To his friend Lord Mac Murderchouse's,

A man of interest in both houses,
And said:—" For money or for love,

a 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,—

At length replies; from his mean front,

Like one who rubs out an account,
Smoothing away the unmeaning furrows:

"It happens fortunately, dear Sir,

I can. I hope I need require
No pledge from you, that he will stir
In our affairs ;—like Oliver,

That hell be worthy of his hire."

These words exchanged, the news sent off

To Peter, home the Devil hied,—
Took to his bed ; he had no cough,
No doctor,—meat and drink enough,—
Yet that same night he died.

The Devil's corpse was leaded down;

His decent heirs enjoyed his pelf, Mourning-coaches, many a one, Followed his hearse along the town:—

Where was the devil himself?

When Peter heard of his promotion,

His eyes grew like two stars for bliss: There was a bow of sleek devotion, Engendering in his back ; each motion Seemed a Lord's shoe to kiss.

He hired a house, bought plate, and made

A genteel drive up to his door, With sifted gravel neatly laid,As if defying all who said,

Peter was ever poor.

• It is curious to observe how often extremes meet. Cobbett and Peter us© the same language for a different purpose: Peter is indeed a sort of metrical Cobbett. Cobbett is, however, more mischievous than Peter, because he pollutes a holy and now unconquerable cause with the principles of legitimato murder; whilst the other only makes a bad one ridiculous and odious.

If either Peter or Cobbett should sec this note, each will feel more indignation at being compared to the other than at any censure implied in the moral perversion laid to their charge.

But a disease soon struck into

The very life and soul of Peter—
He walked about—slept—had the hue
Of health upon his cheeks—and few
Dug better—none a heartier eater.

And yet a strange and horrid curse
Clung upon Peter, night and day,
Month after month tho thing grew worse,
And deadlier than in this my verse,
I can find strength to say.

Peter was dull—he was at first

Dull—0, so dull—so very dull! Whether he talked, wrote, or rehearsed— Still with this dulness was he cursed—

Dull—beyond all conception—dull.

No one could read his books—no mortal,
But a few natural friends, would hear him;

The parson came not near his portal;

His state was like that of the immortal

Described by Swift—no man could bear him.

His sister, wife, and children yawned,
With a long, slow, and drear ennui,

All human patience far beyond;

Their hopes of Heaven each would have pawned, Any where else to be.

But in his verse, and in his prose,

The essence of his dulness was Concentred and compressed so close, "f would have made Guatimozin doze

On his red gridiron of brass.

A printer's boy, folding those pages,

Fell slumbrously upon one side; Like those famed seven who slept three ages. To wakeful frenzy's vigil rages,

As opiates, were the same applied.

Even the Reviewers who were hired

To do the work of his reviewing, With adamantine nerves, grew tired ;— Gaping and torpid they retired,

To dream of what they should be doing.

And worse and worse, the drowsy curse
Yawned in him, till it grew a pest—

A wide contagious atmosphere,

Creeping like cold through all tilings near: A power to infect and to infest.

His servant-maids and dogs grew dull;

His kitten, late a sportive elf, The woods and lakes, so beautiful, Of dim stupidity were full,

All grew dull as Peter's self.

The earth under his feet—the springs,

Which lived within it a quick life,
The air, the winds of many wings,
That fan it with new murmurings,
Were dead to their harmonious strife.

The birds and beasts within the wood,
The insects, and each creeping thing,

Were now a silent multitude;

Love's work was left unwrought—no brood Near Peter's house took wing.

And every neighbouring cottager

Stupidly yawned upon the other: No jack-ass brayed ; no little cur Cocked up his ears ;—no man would stir To save a dying mother.

Yet all from that charmed district went

But some half-idiot and half-knave,
Who rather than pay any rent,
Would live with marvellous content,
Over his father's grave.

No bailiff dared within that space,
For fear of the dull charm, to enter;

A man would bear upon his face,

For fifteen months in any case,
The yawn of such a venture.

Seven miles above—below—around—
This pest of dulness holds its sway;

A ghastly life without a sound;

To Peter's soul the spell is bound—
How should it ever pass away 1




Corpses are cold in the tomb,
Stones on the pavement are dumb,
Abortions are dead in the womb,
And their mothers look pale—like the white shore
Of Albion, free no more.

Her sons are as stones in the way—
They are masses of senseless clay—
They are trodden and move not away,—
The abortion, with which she travaileth,
Is Liberty—smitten to death.

Then trample and dance, thou Oppressor,
For thy Victim is no redressor,
Thon art sole lord and possessor
Of her corpses, and clods, and abortions—they pave
Thy path to the grave.

Hearest thou the festival din, Of death, and destruction, and sin, And wealth, crying Havoc ! within— lis the Bacchanal triumph, which makes truth Thine Epithalamium. [dumb,

Ay, marry thy ghastly wife! Let fear, and disquiet, and strife Spread thy conch in the chamber of life, Marry Ruin, thon tyrant! and God be thy guide To the bed of the bride.



Men of England, wherefore plough
For the lords who lay ye low!
Wherefore weave with toil and care,
The rich robes your tyrants wear!

Wherefore feed, and clothe, and save,
From the cradle to the grave,
Those ungrateful drones who would
Drain your sweat—nay, drink your blood 1

Wherefore, Bees of England, forge
Many a weapon, chain, and scourge,
That these stingless drones may spoil
The forced produce of your toil?

Have ye leisure, comfort, calm,
Shelter, food, love's gentle balm 1
Or what is it ye buy so dear
With your pain and with your fear'

The seed ye sow, another reaps;
The wealth ye find, another keeps;
The robes ye weave, another wears;
The arms ye forge, another bears.

Sow seed,—but let no tyrant reap;
Find wealth,—let no impostor heap;
Weave robes,—let not the idle wear;
Forge arms,—in your defence to bear.

Shrink to your cellars, holes, and cells;
In halls ye deck, another dwells.
Why shake the chains ye wrought! Ye see
The steel ye tempered glance on ye.

With plough and spade, and hoe and loom,
Trace your grave, and build your tomb.
And weave your winding-sheet, till (air
England be your sepulchre.



As from an ancestral oak

Two empty ravens sound their clarion,
Yell by yell, and croak by croak,
When they scent the noonday smoke

Of fresh human carrion :—

As two gibbering night-birds flit,
From their bowers of deadly hue,

Through the night to frighten it,

When the morn is in a fit,

And the stars are none or few :—

As a shark and dog-fish wait

Under an Atlantic isle,
For the negro-ship, whose freight
Is the theme of their debate,

Wrinkling their red gills the while—

Are ye, two vultures sick for battle,

Two scorpions under one wet stone, Two bloodless wolves whose dry throats rattle, Two crows perched on the murrained cattle, Two vipers tangled into one.

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