BEHOLD, as goblins dark of mien
And portly tyrants dyed with crime
Change, in the transformation scene,
At Christmas, in the pantomime,
Instanter, at the prompter's cough,
The fairy bonnets them, and they
Throw their abhorred carbuncles off
And blossom like the flowers in May.
– So mankind, to angelic eyes,
So, through the scenes of life below,
In life's ironical disguise,
A travesty of man, ye go:
But fear not: ere the curtain fall,
Death in the transformation scene
Steps forward from her pedestal,
Apparent, as the fairy Queen;
And coming, frees you in a trice
From all your lendings – lust of fame,
Ungainly virtue, ugly vice,
Terror and tyranny and shame.
So each, at last himself, for good
In that dear country lays him down,
At last beloved and understood
And pure in feature and renown.