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Sketch Of The First Act Of A New Romantic Drama
by [?]


“And now,” quoth the goddess, in accents jocose,
“Having got good materials, I’ll brew such a dose
“Of Double X mischief as, mortals shall say,
“They’ve not known its equal for many a long day.”
Here she winkt to her subaltern imps to be steady,
And all wagged their fire-tipt tails and stood ready.

“So, now for the ingredients:–first, hand me that bishop;”
Whereupon, a whole bevy of imps run to fish up
From out a large reservoir wherein they pen ’em
The blackest of all its black dabblers in venom;
And wrapping him up (lest the virus should ooze,
And one “drop of the immortal”[1] Right Rev.[2] they might lose)
In the sheets of his own speeches, charges, reviews,
Pop him into the caldron, while loudly a burst
From the by-standers welcomes ingredient the first!

“Now fetch the Ex-Chancellor,” muttered the dame–
“He who’s called after Harry the Older, by name.”
“The Ex-Chancellor!” echoed her imps, the whole crew of ’em–
“Why talk of one Ex, when your Mischief has two of ’em?”
“True, true,” said the hag, looking arch at her elves,
“And a double-Ex dose they compose, in themselves.”
This joke, the sly meaning of which was seen lucidly,
Set all the devils a laughing most deucedly.
So, in went the pair, and (what none thought surprising)
Showed talents for sinking as great as for rising;
While not a grim phiz in that realm but was lighted
With joy to see spirits so twin-like united–
Or (plainly to speak) two such birds of a feather,
In one mess of venom thus spitted together.
Here a flashy imp rose–some connection, no doubt,
Of the young lord in question–and, scowling about,
“Hoped his fiery friend, Stanley, would not be left out;
“As no schoolboy unwhipt, the whole world must agree,
“Loved mischief, pure mischief, more dearly than he.”

But, no–the wise hag wouldn’t hear of the whipster;
Not merely because, as a shrew, he eclipst her,
And nature had given him, to keep him still young,
Much tongue in his head and no head in his tongue;
But because she well knew that, for change ever ready,
He’d not even to mischief keep properly steady:
That soon even the wrong side would cease to delight,
And, for want of a change, he must swerve to the right;
While, on each, so at random his missiles he threw,
That the side he attackt was most safe, of the two.–
This ingredient was therefore put by on the shelf,
There to bubble, a bitter, hot mess, by itself.
“And now,” quoth the hag, as her caldron she eyed.
And the tidbits so friendlily rankling inside,
“There wants but some seasoning;–so, come, ere I stew ’em,
“By way of a relish we’ll throw in John Tuam.’
“In cooking up mischief, there’s no flesh or fish
“Like your meddling High Priest, to add zest to the dish.”
Thus saying, she pops in the Irish Grand Lama–
Which great event ends the First Act of the Drama.

[1] To lose no drop of the immortal man.

[2] The present Bishop of Exeter.