1800 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir James Mackintosh

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, "Extempore Lines, by a celebrated Poet, on Sir J. Mc—sh" 1800; New Bon Ton Magazine 4 (April 1820) 364-65.



The Devil believes that the Lord will come,
Stealing a march without beat of drum;
At the very same time that he came last,
On an old Christmas day, in a snowy blast,
Till he bids the trump sound, neither body nor soul stirs,
For the dead men's heads have slept under their bolsters.

Ho! ho! brother Bard, in our Church-yard
Both bed and bolsters are soft and green,
Save one alone, and that's of stone,
And under it lies a Counsellor keen;
'Twould be a square tomb if it were not too long,
And 'tis edg'd round with irons, sharp, spear-like, and strong.
This fellow from Aberdeen hither did skip,
With a waxy face and blabber lip,
And a black tooth in front, to shew in part
What was the colour of his whole heart,

This Counsellor sweet, this Scotchman complete,
The Devil scotch him for a snake,
I trust he lies in his grave awake,
On the sixth of January,
When all around is white with snow,
As a Cheshire yeoman's dairy.
Brother Bard, ho! ho! believe it or no,
On that stone tomb to you I'll show,
Before sun-rise and after cock-crow,
Two round spaces void of snow.
I swear by our Knight and his forefathers' souls,
That in size and in shape they are just like the holes
In the house of privity
Of that antient family.

On that two spaces void of snow,
They were sate in the night for an hour or so,
He kicking his heels, she cursing her corns,
All to the tune of the wind in their horns,
The devil and his grannam,
With a snow-blast to fan 'em,
Expecting and hoping the trumpet to blow,
For they are cock-sure of the fellow below.