The Ingoldsby Legends, by Thomas Ingoldsby

Raising the Devil: A Legend of Cornelius Agrippa.

‘And hast thou nerve enough?’ he said,

That Grey old Man, above whose head

Unnumber’d years had roll’d, —

‘And hast thou nerve to view,’ he cried,

‘The incarnate Fiend that Heaven defied!

— Art thou indeed so bold?’

‘Say, canst Thou, with unshrinking gaze,

Sustain, rash youth, the withering blaze

Of that unearthly eye,

That blasts where’er it lights, — the breath

That, like the Simoom, scatters death

On all that yet can die!

— ‘Darest thou confront that fearful form,

That rides the whirlwind, and the storm,

In wild unholy revel!

The terrors of that blasted brow,

Archangel’s once, — though ruin’d now —

— Ay, — dar’st thou face THE DEVIL?’ —

‘I dare!’ the desperate Youth replied,

And placed him by that Old Man’s side,

In fierce and frantic glee,

Unblench’d his cheek, and firm his limb

— ‘No paltry juggling Fiend, but HIM!

— THE DEVIL! — I fain would see! —

‘In all his Gorgon terrors clad,

His worst, his fellest shape!’ the Lad

Rejoined in reckless tone. —

— ‘Have then thy wish!’ Agrippa said,

And sigh’d and shook his hoary head,

With many a bitter groan.

He drew the mystic circle’s bound,

With skull and cross-bones fenc’d around;

He traced full many a sigil there;

He mutter’d many a backward pray’r,

That sounded like a curse —

‘He comes!’ — he cried with wild grimace,

‘The fellest of Apollyon’s race!’ —

— Then in his startled pupil’s face

He dash’d — an EMPTY PURSE!!

One more legend, and then, gentle Reader, ‘A merry Christmas to you and a happy New Year!’ — We have travelled over many lands together, and had many a good-humoured laugh by the way; — if we have, occasionally, been ‘more merry than wise,’ at least we have not jostled our neighbours on the road, — much less have we kicked any one into a ditch.

So wishing you heartily all the compliments of the season, and thanking you cordially for your good company, I, Thomas Ingoldsby, bid you heartily farewell, and leave you in that of

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Last updated Monday, March 17, 2014 at 16:47