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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
Shivering in grand illumination -
Nor gave one thought to the foundation.
To all plebeian fears a stranger,
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
Were seiz'd with an ill-omen'd dripping,
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,
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,
Scarce was the luckless strain begun,
When, glaring red, as 't were a glance
Shot from an angry Southern sun,
Astonishing old Father Frost,
“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 ?-
Crowns, fiddles, sceptres, decorations
With double heads for double dealings -
Out of their claws on all the ceilings ! Proud Prussia's double bird of 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 ;
In short, I scarce could count a minute,
And nothing now was seen or heard
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,
Could bring to light its slavery!
Such is my dream — and, I confess,
WHERE Kings have been by mob-elections
Rais'd to the throne, 'tis strange to see
Men have requir'd in Royalty.
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. p. 164.