Thoughts On Mischief.

A poem by Thomas Moore



"Evil, be thou my good."

How various are the inspirations
Of different men in different nations!
As genius prompts to good or evil,
Some call the Muse, some raise the devil.
Old Socrates, that pink of sages,
Kept a pet demon on board wages
To go about with him incog.,
And sometimes give his wits a jog.
So Lyndhurst, in our day, we know,
Keeps fresh relays of imps below,
To forward from that nameless spot;
His inspirations, hot and hot.

But, neat as are old Lyndhurst's doings--
Beyond even Hecate's "hell-broth" brewings--
Had I, Lord Stanley, but my will,
I'd show you mischief prettier still;
Mischief, combining boyhood's tricks
With age's sourest politics;
The urchin's freaks, the veteran's gall,
Both duly mixt, and matchless all;
A compound naught in history reaches
But Machiavel, when first in breeches!

Yes, Mischief, Goddess multiform,
Whene'er thou, witch-like, ridest the storm,
Let Stanley ride cockhorse behind thee--
No livelier lackey could they find thee.
And, Goddess, as I'm well aware,
So mischief's done, you care not where,
I own, 'twill most my fancy tickle
In Paddyland to play the Pickle;
Having got credit for inventing
A new, brisk method of tormenting--
A way they call the Stanley fashion,
Which puts all Ireland in a passion;
So neat it hits the mixture due
Of injury and insult too;
So legibly it bears upon't
The stamp of Stanley's brazen front.

Ireland, we're told, means the land of Ire;
And why she's so, none need inquire,
Who sees her millions, martial, manly,
Spat upon thus by me, Lord Stanley.
Already in the breeze I scent
The whiff of coming devilment;
Of strife, to me more stirring far
Than the Opium or the Sulphur war,
Or any such drug ferments are.
Yes--sweeter to this Tory soul
Than all such pests, from pole to pole,
Is the rich, "sweltered venom" got
By stirring Ireland's "charmed pot;"
And thanks to practice on that land
I stir it with a master-hand.

Again thou'lt see, when forth have gone
The War-Church-cry, "On, Stanley, on!"
How Caravats and Shanavests
Shall swarm from out their mountain nests,
With all their merry moonlight brothers,
To whom the Church (step-dame to others)
Hath been the best of nursing mothers.
Again o'er Erin's rich domain
Shall Rockites and right reverends reign;
And both, exempt from vulgar toil,
Between them share that titheful soil;
Puzzling ambition which to climb at,
The post of Captain, or of Primate.

And so, long life to Church and Co.--
Hurrah for mischief!--here we go.

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