Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 4.djvu/582

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POEMS 1816-1823.

Skin all sallow, flesh all sodden,
Form the Devil would frighten G—d in.
Is't a Corpse stuck up for show,[1]
Galvanized at times to go?
With the Scripture has't connection,[2]
New proof of the Resurrection?
Vampire, Ghost, or Goul (sic), what is it?
I would walk ten miles to miss it.


Many passengers arrest one,
To demand the same free question.20
Shorter's my reply and franker,—
That's the Bard, and Beau, and Banker:
Yet, if you could bring about
Just to turn him inside out,
Satan's self would seem less sooty,
And his present aspect—Beauty.
Mark that (as he masks the bilious)
Air so softly supercilious,
Chastened bow, and mock humility,
Almost sickened to Servility:30
Hear his tone (which is to talking
That which creeping is to walking—
Now on all fours, now on tiptoe):
Hear the tales he lends his lip to—
Little hints of heavy scandals—
Every friend by turns he handles:
All that women or that men do
Glides forth in an inuendo (sic)—
Clothed in odds and ends of humour,

Herald of each paltry rumour—40
  1. ["'De mortuis nihil nisi bonum!' There is Sam Rogers [No. IV. of the Maclise Caricatures] a mortal likeness—painted to the very death!" A string of jests upon Rogers's corpse-like appearance accompanied the portrait. (Fraser's Magazine, vol. ii. p. 237).]
  2. With the Scripture in connexion.—[Fraser's, etc.]