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Aspirants Three
by [?]

Why, this is strange! I dreamed I know not what,
It seemed that certain apparitions were,
Which sang uncanny words, significant
And yet ambiguous–half-understood–
Portending evil; and an awful spook,
Even as I stood with my accomplices,
Counted me out, as children do in play.
Is that you, Mike?

DE YOUNG (waking):

It was.

SWIFT (waking):

Am I all that?
Then I’ll reform my ways.
(Reforms his ways.)
Ah! had I known
How sweet it is to be an honest man
I never would have stooped to turn my coat
For public favor, as chameleons take
The hue (as near as they can judge) of that
Supporting them. Henceforth I’ll buy
With money all the offices I need,
And know the pleasure of an honest life,
Or stay forever in this dismal place.
Now that I’m good, it will no longer do
To make a third with such, a wicked two.
(Returns to his tomb.)


Prophetic dream! by some good angel sent
To make me with a quiet life content.
The question shall no more my bosom irk,
To go to Washington or go to work.
From Fame’s debasing struggle I’ll withdraw,
And taking up the pen lay down the law.
I’ll leave this rogue, lest my example make
An honest man of him–his heart would break.
(Exit De Young.)


Out of my company these converts flee,
But that advantage is denied to me:
My curst identity’s confining skin
Nor lets me out nor tolerates me in.
Well, since my hopes eternally have fled,
And, dead before, I’m more than ever dead,
To find a grander tomb be now my task,
And pack my pork into a stolen cask.
(Exit, searching. Loud calls for the Author, who appears, bowing and smiling.)

AUTHOR (singing):

Jack Satan’s the greatest of gods,
And Hell is the best of abodes.
‘Tis reached, through the Valley of Clods,
By seventy different roads.
Hurrah for the Seventy Roads!
Hurrah for the clods that resound
With a hollow, thundering sound!
Hurrah for the Best of Abodes!

We’ll serve him as long as we’ve breath–
Jack Satan the greatest of gods.
To all of his enemies, death!–
A home in the Valley of Clods.
Hurrah for the thunder of clods
That smother the soul of his foe!
Hurrah for the spirits that go
To dwell with the Greatest of Gods;

(Curtain falls to faint odor of mortality. Exit the Gas.)