The blood of monarchs with his prophecies,
Or be alive again—again all hoar
With time and trials, and those helpless eyes,
And heartless daughters—worn—and pale—and poor;
Would he adore a sultan? he obey
The intellectual eunuch Castlereagh?
Cold-blooded, smooth-faced, placid miscreant!
Dabbling its sleek young hands in Erin's gore,
And thus for wider carnage taught to pant,
Transferred to gorge upon a sister shore,
The vulgarest tool that Tyranny could want,
With just enough of talent, and no more,
To lengthen fetters by another fixed,
And offer poison long already mixed.
An orator of such set trash of phrase
That even its grossest flatterers dare not praise,
Nor foes—all nations—condescend to smile,—
Nor even a sprightly blunder's spark can blaze
- "Pale, but not cadaverous:"—Milton's two elder daughters are said to have robbed him of his books, besides cheating and plaguing him in the economy of his house, etc., etc. His feelings on such an outrage, both as a parent and a scholar, must have been singularly painful. Hayley compares him to Lear. See part third, Life of Milton, by W. Hayley (or Hailey, as spelt in the edition before me).
[The Life of Milton, by William Hailey (sic), Esq., Basil, 1799, p. 186.]
"Would he subside into a hackney Laureate—
A scribbling, self-sold, soul-hired, scorned Iscariot?"
I doubt if "Laureate" and "Iscariot" be good rhymes, but must say, as Ben Jonson did to Sylvester, who challenged him to rhyme with—
"I, John Sylvester,
Lay with your sister."
Jonson answered—"I, Ben Jonson, lay with your wife," Sylvester answered,—"That is not rhyme."—"No," said Ben Jonson; "but it is true."
[For Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh, see The Age of Bronze, line 538, Poetical Works, 1901, v. 568, note 2; and Letters, 1900, iv. 108, note 1.]