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A general bustle spread throughout the throng,
When upon service; and the generation
The monarch, mute till then, exclaim'd, "What! what!"
The tumult grew; an universal cough
Convulsed the skies, as during a debate, When Castlereagh has been up long enough (Before he was first minister of state,
I mean the slaves hear now); some cried "Off, off!"
As at a farce; till, grown quite desperate,
The bard Saint Peter pray'd to interpose (Himself an author) only for his prose.
The varlet was not an ill-favour'd knave;
Then Michael blew his trump, and still'd the noise
Lift up their lungs when fairly overcrow'd;
He said (I only give the heads)-he said,
Of which he butter'd both sides; 'twould delay
And take up rather more time than a day,
To name his works-he would but cite a few
"Wat Tyler "—" Rhymes on Blenheim ”—“ Waterloo.”
He had written praises of a regicide;
He had written praises of all kings whatever; He had written for republics far and wide,
And then against them bitterer than ever; For pantisocracy he once had cried
Aloud, a scheme less moral than 'twas clever ;
Then grew a hearty anti-jacobin
Had turn'd his coat-and would have turn'd his skin.
He had sung against all battles, and again
In their high praise and glory; he had call'd Reviewing "the ungentle craft," and then
Became as base a critic as e'er crawl'dFed, paid, and pamper'd by the very men
By whom his muse and morals had been maul'd: He had written much blank verse, and blanker prose, And more of both than any body knows.
He had written Wesley's life :-here turning round
With notes and preface, all that most allures
For fear, for I can choose my own reviewers :
Satan bow'd, and was silent. "Well, if you,
My offer, what says Michael? There are few
Whose memoirs could be render❜d more divine. Mine is a pen of all work; not so new
As it was once, but I would make you shine Like your own trumpet. By the way, my own Has more of brass in it, and is as well blown.
"But talking about trumpets, here's my Vision!
Now you shall judge, all people; yes, you shall Judge with my judgment, and by my decision
Be guided who shall enter heaven or fall. I settle all these things by intuition,
Times present, past, to come, heaven, hell, and all, Like King Alfonso." When I thus see double, I save the Deity some worlds of trouble."
He ceased, and drew forth an MS.; and no
He read the first three lines of the contents;
Those grand heroics acted as a spell;
The angels stopp'd their ears and plied their pinions; The devils ran howling, deafen'd, down to hell;
The ghosts fled, gibbering, for their own dominions(For 'tis not yet decided where they dwell,
And I leave every man to his opinions);
Saint Peter, who has hitherto been known
For an impetuous saint, upraised his keys, And at the fifth line knock'd the poet down;
Who fell like Phaeton, but more at ease, Into his lake, for there he did not drown;
A different web being by the Destinies Woven for the Laureate's final wreath, whene'er Reform shall happen either here or there.
He first sank to the bottom-like his works,
But soon rose to the surface-like himself;
It may be, still, like dull books on a shelf,
As for the rest, to come to the conclusion
And show'd me what I in my turn have shown;
Was, that King George slipp'd into heaven for one And when the tumult dwindled to a calm,
I left him practising the hundredth psalm.
NOTES TO THE VISION OF JUDGMENT.
1 [George III. died the 29th of January, 1820,- —a year in which the revolutionary spirit broke out all over the south of Europe.]
2 [Louis XVI., guillotined in January, 1793.]
3 ["I believe it is almost impossible for words to give an idea of the beauty and variety which this magnificent phenomenon displayed. The luminous arch had broken into irregular masses, streaming with much rapidity in different directions, varying continually in shape and interest, and extending themselves from north, by the east, to north. The usual pale light of the aurora strongly resembled that produced by the combustion of phosphorus ; a very slight tinge of red was noticed when the aurora was most vivid, but no other colours were visible.”—Sir E. Parry's Voyage in 181920, p. 135.]
4 [Johanna Southcote, the aged lunatic, who fancied herself, and was believed by many followers, to be with child of a new Messiah, died in 1815.]
5 [This refers to the opposition of George III. to the Catholic claims.]
6 [A gold or gilt key, peeping from below the skirts of the coat, marks a lord chamberlain.]
7 [An allusion to Horace Walpole's expression in a letter-"the summer has set in with its usual severity."]
8 [Among the various persons to whom the letters of Junius have been attributed we find the Duke of Portland, Lord George Sackville, Sir Philip Francis, Mr. Burke, Mr. Dunning, the Rev. John Horne Tooke, Mr. Hugh Boyd, Dr. Wilmot. "I don't know what to think," says Lord Byron in 1813. 'Why should Junius be dead? If suddenly apoplexed, would he rest in his grave without sending his eldwλov to shout in the ears of posterity, 'Junius was X. Y. Z., Esq., buried in the parish of ***** ' Repair his monument, ye churchwardens! Print a new edition of his Letters, ye booksellers! Impossible, the man must be alive, and will never die without the disclosure. I like him ;—he was a good hater."-Sir Philip Francis, whose pretensions Lord Byron seems to favour, died in 1818.]
9 [The mystery of "l'homme au masque de fer," the everlasting puzzle of the last century, has in the opinion of some been cleared up, by a French work published in 1825, and which formed the basis of an entertaining one in English by Lord Dover.]
10 [The well-known motto of Junius is, "Stat nominis umbra."]
11 [Mr. Southey's residence was on the shore of Derwentwater, near the Mountain Skiddaw.]