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In this said Palace, furnish'd all

And lighted as the best on land are, I dreamt there was a splendid Ball,

Giv'n by the Emperor Alexander, To entertain with all due zeal,

Those holy gentlemen, who've shown a Regard so kind for Europe's weal,

At Troppau, Laybach, and Verona.

The thought was happy - and design'd
To hint how thus the human Mind
May, like the stream imprison'd there,
Be check'd and chill'd, till it can bear
The heaviest Kings, that ode or sonnet
E'er yet be-prais'd, to dance upon it.
And all were pleas'd, and cold, and stately,

Shivering in grand illumination –
Admir'd the superstructure greatly,

Nor gave one thought to the foundation.
Much too the Czar himself exulted,

To all plebeian fears a stranger,
For, Madame Krudener, when consulted,

Had pledg’d her word there was no danger. So, on le caper'd, fearless quite,

Thinking himself extremely clever, And waltz’d away with all his might,

As if the Frost would last for ever.

Just fancy how a bard like me,

Who reverence monarchs, must have trembled To see that goodly company,

At such a ticklish sport assembled.

Nor were the fears, that thus astounded
My loyal soul, at all unfounded
For, lo! ere long, those walls so massy

Were seiz’d with an ill-omen'd dripping,
And o'er the floors, now growing glassy,

Their Holinesses took to slipping. The Czar, half through a Polonaise,

Could scarce get on for downright stumbling; And Prussia, though to slippery ways

Well us’d, was cursedly near tumbling.

Yet still 't was, who could stamp the floor most,
Russia and Austria 'mong the foremost.
And now, to an Italian air,

This precious brace would, hand in hand, go; Now while old Louis, from his chair, Intreated them his toes to spare

Call'd loudly out for a Fandango.

And a Fandango, 'faith, they had,
At which they all set to, like mad!
Never were Kings (though small th' expense is
Of wit among their Excellencies)
So out of all their princely senses.
But, ah, that dance — that Spanish dance

Scarce was the luckless strain begun,

When, glaring red, as 't were a glance

Shot from an angry Southern sun,
A light through all the chambers flam'd,

Astonishing old Father Frost,
Who, bursting into tears, exclaim'd,

“A thaw, by Jove — we're lost, we're lost ! “ Run, France — a second Waterloo “ Is come to drown you sauve qui peut !

Why, why will monarchis caper so

In palaces without foundations ? -
Instantly all was in a flow,

Crowns, fiddles, sceptres, decorations-
Those Royal Arms, that look'd so nice,
Cut out in the resplendent ice —
Those Eagles, handsomely provided

With double heads for double dealings —
How fast the globes and sceptres glided

Out of their claws on all the ceilings ! Proud Prussia's double bird of

prey Tame as a spatch cock, slunk away; While - just like France herself, when she

Proclaims how great her naval skill is Poor Louis' drowning fleurs-de-lys

Imagin’d themselves water-lilies.

And not alone rooms, ceilings, shelves,

But still more fatal execution The Great Legitimates themselves

Seem'd in a state of dissolution.

Th' indignant Czar when just about

To issue a sublime Ukase, “ Whereas all light must be kept out”.

Dissolv'd to nothing in its blaze. Next Prussia took his turn to melt, And, while his lips illustrious felt The influence of this southern air,

Some word, like “ Constitution” - long Congeald in frosty silence there —

Came slowly thawing from his tongue. While Louis, lapsing by degrees,

And sighing out a faint adieu To truffles, salmis, toasted cheese

And smoking fondus, quickly grew,

Himself, into a fondu too ;
Or like that goodly King they make
Of sugar for a Twelfth-night cake,
When, in some urchin's mouth, alas,
It melts into a shapeless mass!

In short, I scarce could count a minute,
Ere the bright dome, and all within it,
Kings, Fiddlers, Emperors, all were gone -

And nothing now was seen or heard
But the bright river, rushing on,

Happy as an enfranchis’d bird, And prouder of that natural ray, Shining along its chainless way — More proudly happy thus to glide

In simple grandeur to the sea,

Than when, in sparkling fetters tied,
'Twas deck'd with all that kingly pride

Could bring to light its slavery!

Such is my dream -- and, I confess,
I tremble at its awfulness.
That Spanish Dance — that southern beam
But I say nothing - there's my dream
And Madame Krudener, the she-prophet,
May make just what she pleases of it.

FABLE II.

THE LOOKING-GLASSES.

PROEM.

WHERE Kings have been by mob-elections

Rais’d to the throne, 'tis strange to see
What different and what odd perfections

Men have requir'd in Royalty.
Some, liking monarchs large and plumpy,

Have chos'n their Sovereigns by the weight ;-, Some wish'd them tall, some thought your dumpy,

Dutch-built, the true Legitimate.*

* The Goths had a law to choose always a short, thick man for their King. - MUNSTER, Cosmog. lib. iii. 164.

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