Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, REJECTED ADDRESSES: THE REBUILDING, BY R. S., by JAMES SMITH (1775-1839)

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

REJECTED ADDRESSES: THE REBUILDING, BY R. S., by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I am a blessed glendoveer
Last Line: "no, thank you! One tumble's enough!"
Subject(s): Death; Fire; Law & Lawyers; Southey, Robert (1774-1843); Tears; Dead, The

I AM a blessed Glendoveer:
'Tis mine to speak, and yours to hear.
Midnight, yet not a nose
From Tower-hill to Piccadilly snored!
Midnight, yet not a nose
From Indra drew the essence of repose!
See with what crimson fury,
By Indra fann'd, the god of fire ascends the walls of Drury!

Tops of houses, blue with lead,
Bend beneath the landlord's tread.
Master and' prentice, serving-man and lord,
Nailor and tailor,
Grazier and brazier,
Through streets and alleys pour'd --
All, all abroad to gaze,
And wonder at the blaze.
Thick calf, fat foot, and slim knee,
Mounted on roof and chimney,
The mighty roast, the mighty stew

To see;
As if the dismal view
Were but to them a Brentford jubilee.
Vainly, all-radiant Surya, sire of Phaeton
(By Greeks call'd Apollo)
Sounds from thy harp proceed;
Combustible as reed,
The tongue of Vulcan licks thy wooden legs:
From Drury's top, dissever'd from thy pegs,
Thou tumblest,
Where late thy bright effulgence shone on high;
While, by thy somerset, excited, fly
Ten million
Sparks from the pit, to gem the sable sky.

Now come the men of fire to quench the fires:
To Russell Street see Globe and Atlas run,
Hope gallops first, and second Sun;
On flying heel,
See Hand-in-Hand
O'ertake the band!
View with what glowing wheel
He nicks
While Albion scampers from Bridge Street, Blackfriars --
Drury Lane! Drury Lane!
Drury Lane! Drury Lane!
They shout and they bellow again and again.
All, all in vain!
Water turns steam;
Each blazing beam
Hisses defiance to the eddying spout;
It seems but too plain that nothing can put it out!
Drury Lane! Drury Lane
See, Drury Lane expires.

Pent in by smoke-dried beams, twelve moons or more,
Shorn of his ray,
Surya in durance lay:
The workmen heard him shout,
But thought it would not pay,
To dig him out.
When lo! terrific Yamen, lord of hell,
Solemn as lead,
Judge of the dead,
Sworn foe to witticism,
By men call'd criticism,
Came passing by that way:
Rise! cried the fiend, behold a sight of gladness!
Behold the rival theatre!
I've set O. P. at her,
Who, like a bull-dog bold,
Growls and fastens on his hold.
The many-headed rabble roar in madness;
Thy rival staggers: come and spy her
Deep in the mud as thou art in the mire.
So saying, in his arms he caught the beaming one,
And crossing Russell Street,
He placed him on his feet
'Neath Covent Garden dome. Sudden a sound,
As of the bricklayers of Babel, rose:
Horns, rattles, drums, tin trumpets, sheets of copper,
Punches and slaps, thwacks of all sorts and sizes
From the knobb'd bludgeon to the taper switch,
Ran echoing round the walls; paper placards
Blotted the lamps, boots brown with mud the benches;
A sea of heads roll'd roaring in the pit;
On paper wings O. P.'s
Reclin'd in lettered ease;
While shout and scoff,
Ya! ya! off! off!
Like thunderbolt on Surya's ear-drum fell,
And seemed to paint
The savage oddities of Saint
Bartholomew in hell.

Tears dimm'd the god of light --
"Bear me back, Yamen, from this hideous sight;
Bear me back, Yamen, I grow sick,
Oh! bury me again in brick;
Shall I on New Drury tremble,
To be O. P.'d like Kemble?
Better remain by rubbish guarded,
Than thus hubbubish groan placarded;
Bear me back, Yamen, bear me quick,
And bury me again in brick."
Obedient Yamen
Answered "Amen,"
And did
As he was bid.

There lay the buried god, and Time
Seemed to decree eternity of lime;
But pity, like a dew-drop, gently prest
Almighty Veeshnoo's adamantine breast:
He, the preserver, ardent still
To do whate'er he says he will,
From South-hill wing'd his way,
To raise the drooping lord of day.
All earthly spells the busy one o'erpower'd;
He treats with men of all conditions,
Poets and players, tradesmen, and musicians;
Nay, even ventures
To attack the renters,
Old and new:
A list he gets
Of claims and debts,
And deems nought done, while aught remains to do.

Yamen beheld, and wither'd at the sight;
Long had he aim'd the sunbeam to control,
For light was hateful to his soul:
"Go on!" cried the hellish one, yellow with spite;
"Go on!" cried the hellish one, yellow with spleen,
"Thy toils of the morning, like Ithaca's queen,
I'll toil to undo every night."

Ye sons of song, rejoice!
Veeshnoo has stilled the jarring elements,
The spheres hymn music;
Again the god of day
Peeps forth with trembling ray,
Wakes, from their humid caves, the sleeping Nine,
And pours at intervals a strain divine.
"I have an iron yet in the fire," cried Yamen;
"The vollied flame rides in my breath,
My blast is elemental death;
This hand shall tear your paper bonds to pieces;
Ingross your deeds, assignments, leases,
My breath shall every line erase
Soon as I blow the blaze."

The lawyers are met at the Crown and Anchor,
And Yamen's visage grows blanker and blanker;
The lawyers are met at the Anchor and Crown,
And Yamen's cheek is a russety brown:
Veeshnoo, now thy work proceeds;
The solicitor reads,
And, merit of merit!
Red wax and green ferret
Are fixed at the foot of the deeds!

Yamen beheld and shiver'd;
His finger and thumb were cramp'd;
His ear by the flea in't was bitten,
When he saw by the lawyer's clerk written,
Sealed and delivered,
Being first duly stamped.

"Now for my turn!" the demon cries, and blows
A blast of sulphur from his mouth and nose.
Ah! bootless aim! the critic fiend,
Sagacious Yamen, judge of hell,
Is judged in his turn;
Parchment won't burn!
His schemes of vengeance are dissolved in air,
Parchment won't tear!!

Is it not written in the Himakoot book,
(That mighty Baly from Kehama took)
"Who blows on pounce
Must the Swerga renounce?"
It is! it is! Yamen, thine hour is nigh;
Like as an eagle claws an asp,
Veeshnoo has caught him in his mighty grasp,
And hurl'd him, in spite of his shrieks and his squalls,
Whizzing aloft, like the Temple fountain,
Three times as high as Meru mountain,
Which is
Ninety-nine times as high as St. Paul's.

Descending, he twisted like Levy the Jew,
Who a durable grave meant
To dig in the pavement
Of Monument-yard:
To earth by the laws of attraction he flew,
And he fell, and he fell
To the regions of hell;
Nine centuries bounced he from cavern to rock,
And his head, as he tumbled, went nickety-nock,
Like a pebble in Carisbrook well.

Now Veeshnoo turn'd round to a capering varlet,
Array'd in blue and white and scarlet,
And cried, "Oh! brown of slipper as of hat!
Lend me, Harlequin, thy bat!"
He seized the wooden sword, and smote the earth;
When lo! upstarting into birth
A fabric, gorgeous to behold,
Outshone in elegance the old,
And Veeshnoo saw, and cried, "Hail, playhouse mine!"
Then, bending his head, to Surya he said:
"Soon as thy maiden sister Di
Caps with her copper lid the dark blue sky,
And through the fissures of her clouded fan
Peeps at the naughty monster man,
Go mount yon edifice,
And show thy steady face
In renovated pride,
More bright, more glorious than before!"
But ah! coy Surya still felt a twinge,
Still smarted from his former singe;
And to Veeshnoo replied,
In a tone rather gruff,
"No, thank you! one tumble's enough!"

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