ページの画像
PDF
ePub

XXXV.

The spirits were in neutral space, before

The gate of heaven; like eastern thresholds is
The place where Death's grand cause is argued o'er,

And souls despatched to that world or to this ;
And therefore Michael and the other wore

A civil aspect : though they did not kiss,
Yet still between his Darkness and his Brightness
There passed a mutual glance of great politeness.

XXXVI.

The Archangel bowed, not like a modern beau,

But with a graceful Oriental bend, Pressing one radiant arm just where below

The heart in good men is supposed to tend. He turned as to an equal, not too low,

But kindly; Sathan met his ancient friend With more hauteur, as might an old Castilian Poor noble meet a mushroom rich civilian.

XXXVII.

He merely bent his diabolic brow

An instant; and then raising it, he stood In act to assert his right or wrong, and show

Cause why King George by no means could or should Make out a case to be exempt from woe

Eternal, more than other kings endued With better sense and hearts, whom history mentions, Who long have “ paved hell with their good intentions.”

XXXVIII.

Michael began : " What wouldst thou with this man,

“ Now dead, and brought before the Lord? What ill “ Hath he wrought since his mortal race began,

“ That thou can’st claim him ? Speak ! and do thy will, “ If it be just : if in this earthly span

“ He hath been greatly failing to fulfil “ His duties as a king and mortal, say, “ And he is thine ; if not, let him have way.”

XXXIX.

“ Michael !” replied the Prince of Air, “ even here,

“ Before the gate of him thou servest, must I claim my subject; and will make appear

“ That as he was my worshipper in dust, “ So shall he be in spirit, although dear

“ To thee and thine, because nor wine nor lust Were of his weaknesses; yet on the throne “ He reign'd o'er millions to serve me alone.

XL.

“ Look to our earth, or rather mine ; it

was, Once, more thy master's : but I triumph not “ In this poor planet's conquest, nor, alas!

“ Need he thou servest envy me my lot: “ With all the myriads of bright worlds which pass

“ In worship round him, he may have forgot “ Yon weak creation of such paltry things; “ I think few worth damnation save their kings,

[ocr errors][merged small]

« And these but as a kind of quit-rent, to

“ Assert my right as lord; and even had “ I such an inclination, 'twere (as you

“ Well know) superfluous; they are grown so bad, “ That hell has nothing better left to do

“ Than leave them to themselves : so much more mad “ And evil by their own internal curse, “ Heaven cannot make them better, nor I worse.

XLII.

“ Look to the earth, I said, and say again :

" When this old, blind, mad, helpless, weak, poor worm, Began in youth's first bloom and flush to reign,

“ The world and he both wore a different form, “ And much of earth and all the watery plain

“Of ocean call'd him king : through many a storm “ His isles had floated on the abyss of Time ; “For the rough virtues chose them for their clime.

LXIII.

“He came to his sceptre, young; he leaves it, old:

“ Look to the state in which he found his realm, “ And left it; and his annals too behold,

“ How to a minion first he gave the helm;"
“How grew upon his heart a thirst for gold,

“ The beggar's vice, which can but overwhelm
“ The meanest hearts; and for the rest, but glance
" Thine eye along America and France !

XLIV.

“ 'Tis true, he was a tool from first to last;

(I have the workmen safe); but as a tool “ So let him be consumed! From out the past

“ Of ages, since mankind have known the rule “Of monarchs—from the bloody rolls amass'd

“ Of sin and slaughter—from the Cæsar's school, “ Take the worst pupil; and produce a reign “ More drench'd with gore, more cumber'd with the slain !

LXV.

“ He ever warr'd with freedom and the free:

“ Nations as men, home subjects, foreign foes, “ So that they utter'd the word ' Liberty!'

“ Found George the Third their first opponent. Whose History was ever stain’d as his will be

6 With national and individual woes ? “ I grant his household abstinence; I grant " His neutral virtues, which most monarchs want;

XLVI.

" I know he was a constant consort; own

“ He was a decent sire, and middling lord. “ All this is much, and most upon a throne;

“ As temperance, if at Apicius' board, “ Is more than at an anchorite's supper shown.

“I grant him all the kindest can accord; “ And this was well for him, but not for those “ Millions who found him what oppression chose.

XLVII.

“ The new world shook him off; the old yet groans

“ Beneath what he and his prepared, if not “ Completed: he leaves heirs on many thrones

“ To all his vices, without what begot “ Compassion for him-his tame virtues ; drones

“ Who sleep, or despots who have now forgot “A lesson which shall be re-taught them, wake “ Upon the throne of Earth; but let them quake!

XLVIII.

“ Five millions of the primitive, who hold

“ The faith which makes ye great on earth, implored “A part of that vast all they held of old,

“Freedom to worship-not alone your Lord, “ Michael, but you, and you, Saint Peter! Cold

“ Must be your souls, if you have not abhorr'd “ The foe to Catholic participation “ In all the licence of a Christian nation.

XLIX.

“ True! he allow'd them to pray God; but as

A consequence of prayer, refused the law “Which would have placed them upon the same base

6 With those who did not hold the saints in awe.” But here Saint Peter started from his place,

And cried, “ You may the prisoner withdraw : “Ere Heaven shall ope her portals to this Guelf, “ While I am guard, may I be damn'd myself!

« 前へ次へ »