Page images

Up the mountain 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 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 forkéd 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 further 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,
Every 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 every 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 Göthes 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 gibber 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 !
A pretty sight for his mates to view!
Those shaggy murderers looking so blue,

And for him above all,

Red-bearded and tall,
With whom, at that very particular nick,
There is such an unlucky crow to pick,
As the one of iron that did the trick

In a recent bloody affair
No wonder, feeling a little sick,
With pulses beating uncommonly quick,
And breath he never found so thick,
He longs for the open air !

Three paces, or four,

And he gains the door ; But ere he accomplishes one, The sound of a blow comes, heavy and dull, And, clasping his fingers round his skull, However the deed was done,

That gave him that florid

Red gash on the forehead — With a roll of the eyeballs perfectly horrid,

There's a tremulous quiver,

The last death-shiver,
And Red-Beard's course is run!

Halloo! Halloo !

They have done for two ! But a heavyish job remains to do!

For yonder, sledge and shovel in hand, Like elder Sons of Giant Despair,

A couple of Cyclops make a stand, And, fiercely bammering here and there, Keep at bay the Powers of Air —

But desperation is all in vain ! —

They faint — they choke,

For the sulphurous smoke Is poisoning heart, and lung, and brain ; They reel, they sink, they gasp, they smother ; One for a moment survives his brother, Then rolls a corpse across the other !

Hulloo! Hulloo !

And Hullabaloo !
There is only one more thing to do —
And, seized by beak, and talon, and claw,
Bony hand, and hairy paw,
Yea, crooked horn, and tusky jaw,
The four huge bodies are hauled and shoven
Each after each in the roaring oven!

The Eisen Hutte is standing still;
Go to the Hartz whenever you will,
And there it is beside a hill,
And a rapid stream that turns many a mill;
The self-same Forge,— you 'll know it at sight -
Casting upward, day and night,
Flames of red, and yellow, and white !
Ay, half a mile from the mountain gorge,
There it is, the famous Forge,
With its furnace, — the same that blazed of yore, -
Hugely fed with fuel and ore;
But ever since that tremendous revel,

Whatever iron is melted therein,

As travellers know who have been to Berlin. — Is all as black as the Devil!

« PreviousContinue »