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And broke their skulls.-Upon the floor
And cursed his father and his mother ;
Blaspheming like an infidel;
And drag it with him down to hell.
And wrenched his gnashing teeth asunder.
Betwixt his upper jaw and under.
And yellow death lay on his face ;
And a fixed smile that was not human
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.
Nearer, minute after minute ;
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.
PART II.—THE DEVIL.
The Devil, I safely can aver,
Has neither hoof nor tail nor sting;
The Devil is a gentleman;
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,
Till he saw Peter dead or napping.
It was exceedingly like Peter,
Peter knew not that he was Bell :
Fitting itself to all things well.
Peter thought he had parents dear,
Brothers, sisters, cousins, cronies,
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.
'Mid the misery and confusion
(The world is full of strange delusion);
That he had a mansion planned
In a square like Grosvenor Square ;
To see what was romantic there.
And all this, though quite ideal —
Ready at a breath to vanish
Was a state not more unreal
Or the care he could not banish.
XIII. 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.
XIV. 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.
|| PART III.-HELL.
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.
III, 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.
Of thieves who by themselves are sent
An army; and a public debt :
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 :
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 miseri) 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-
To lean, and flirt and stare and simper,
Crucified 'twixt a smile and whimper.