The Mad Tory And The Comet.

A poem by Thomas Moore

FOUNDED ON A LATE DISTRESSING INCIDENT.

1832-3.


'mutantem regna cometem."
LUCAN.[1]


"Tho' all the pet mischiefs we count upon fail,
"Tho' Cholera, hurricanes, Wellington leave us,
"We've still in reserve, mighty Comet, thy tail;--
"Last hope" of the Tories, wilt thou too deceive us?

"No--'tis coming, 'tis coming, the avenger is nigh;
"Heed, heed not, ye placemen, how Herapath flatters;
"One whisk from that tail as it passes us by
"Will settle at once all political matters;--

"The East-India Question, the Bank, the Five Powers,
"(Now turned into two) with their rigmarole Protocols;--
"Ha! ha! ye gods, how this new friend of ours
"Will knock, right and left, all diplomacy's what-d'ye-calls!

"Yes, rather than Whigs at our downfall should mock,
"Meet planets and suns in one general hustle!
"While happy in vengeance we welcome the shock
"That shall jerk from their places, Grey, Althorp and Russell."

Thus spoke a mad Lord, as, with telescope raised,
His wild Tory eye on the heavens he set:
And tho' nothing destructive appeared as he gazed,
Much hoped that there would before Parliament met.

And still, as odd shapes seemed to flit thro' his glass,
"Ha! there it is now," the poor maniac cries;
While his fancy with forms but too monstrous, alas!
From his own Tory zodiac peoples the skies:--

"Now I spy a big body, good heavens, how big!
"Whether Bucky[2] or Taurus I cannot well say:--
"And yonder there's Eldon's old Chancery wig,
"In its dusty aphelion fast fading away.

"I see, 'mong those fatuous meteors behind,
"Londonderry, in vacuo, flaring about;--
"While that dim double star, of the nebulous kind,
"Is the Gemini, Roden and Lorton, no doubt.

"Ah, Ellenborough! 'faith, I first thought 'twas the Comet;
"So like that in Milton, it made me quite pale;
"The head with the same 'horrid hair' coming from it,
"And plenty of vapor, but--where is the tail?"

Just then, up aloft jumpt the gazer elated--
For lo! his bright glass a phenomenon showed,
Which he took to be Cumberland, upwards translated,
Instead of his natural course, t'other road!

But too awful that sight for a spirit so shaken,--
Down dropt the poor Tory in fits and grimaces,
Then off to the Bedlam in Charles Street was taken,
And is now one of Halford's most favorite cases.

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