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The Forge
by [?]

“Ha! Ha! Ho! Ho!” That second fall
Seerns the very best joke of all,
To judge by the roar,
Twice as loud as before,
That fills the Hut, from the roof to the floor,
And flies a league or two out of the door,
Up the mountains and over the moor–
But scarcely the jolly echoes they wake
Have well begun
To take up the fun,
Ere the shaggy Felons have cause to quake,
And begin to feel that the deed they have done,
Instead of being a pleasant one,
Was a very great error–and no mistake.

For why?–in lieu
Of its former hue,
So natural, warm, and florid,
The Furnace burns of a brimstone blue,
And instead of the couleur de rose it threw,
With a cooler reflection,–justly due–
Exhibits each of the Pagan crew,
Livid, ghastly, and horrid!
But vainly they close their guilty eyes
Against prophetic fears;
Or with hard and horny palms devise
To dam their enormous ears–
There are sounds in the air,
Not here or there,
Irresistible voices everywhere,
No bulwarks can ever rebut,
And to match the screams
Tremendous gleams,
Of Horrors that like the Phantoms of dreams,
They see with their eyelids shut!
For awful coveys of terrible things,
With forked tongues and venomous stings,
On hagweed, broomsticks, and leathern wings,
Are hovering round the Hut!

Shapes, that within the focus bright
Of the Forge, are like shadows and blots;
But farther off, in the shades of night,
Clothed with their own phosphoric light,
Are seen in the darkest spots.

Sounds! that fill the air with noises,
Strange and indescribable voices,
From Hags, in a diabolical clatter–
Cats that spit curses, and apes that chatter
Scraps of cabalistical matter–
Owls that screech, and dogs that yell–
Skeleton hounds that will never be fatter–
All the domestic tribes of Hell,
Shrieking for flesh to tear and tatter,
Bones to shatter,
And limbs to scatter,
And who it is that must furnish the latter
Those blue-looking Men know well!
Those blue-looking men that huddle together,
For all their sturdy limbs and thews
Their unshorn locks, like Nazarene Jews,
And buffalo beards, and hides of leather,
Huddled all in a heap together,
Like timid lamb, and ewe, and wether,
And as females say,
In a similar way,
Fit for knocking down with a feather!

In and out, in and out,
The gathering Goblins hover about,
Ev’ry minute augmenting the rout;
For like a spell
The unearthly smell
That fumes from the Furnace, chimney and mouth,
Draws them in–an infernal Legion
From East, and West, and North, and South,
Like carrion birds from ev’ry region,
Till not a yard square
Of the sickening air
But has a Demon or two for its share,
Breathing fury, woe, and despair,
Never, never was such a sight!
It beats the very Walpurgis Night,
Displayed in the story of Doctor Faustus,
For the scene to describe
Of the awful tribe,
If we were two Goethes, would quite exhaust us!

Suffice it, amid that dreary swarm,
There musters each foul repulsive form
That ever a fancy overwarm
Begot in its worst delirium;
Besides some others of monstrous size,
Never before revealed to eyes,
Of the genus Megatherium!

Meanwhile the demons, filthy and foul,
Gorgon, Chimera, Harpy, and Ghoul,
Are not contented to jibber and howl
As a dirge for their late commander;
But one of the bevy–witch or wizard,
Disguised as a monstrous flying lizard,
Springs on the grisly Salamander,
Who stoutly fights, and struggles, and kicks.
And tries the best of his wrestling tricks,
No paltry strife,
But for life, dear life.
But the ruthless talons refuse to unfix,
Till far beyond a surgical case,
With starting eyes, and black in the face,
Down he tumbles as dead as bricks!