The Complete Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley — Volume 1 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 695 pages of information about The Complete Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley — Volume 1.

’He was a man, too great to scan;—­
A planet lost in truth’s keen rays:—­ 625
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 630
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:  635
’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; 645
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 650
Munched children with fury,
It was thou, Devil, dining with pure intent. (1)



The Devil now knew his proper cue.—­
Soon as he read the ode, he drove
To his friend Lord MacMurderchouse’s, 655
A man of interest in both houses,
And said:—­’For money or for love,

’Pray find some cure or sinecure;
To feed from the superfluous taxes
A friend of ours—­a poet—­fewer 660
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, 665
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 670
In our affairs;—­like Oliver. 
That he’ll 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, 675
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, 680
Followed his hearse along the town:—­
Where was the Devil himself?

Project Gutenberg
The Complete Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley — Volume 1 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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