'The Devil's Walk'


From the autograph album of Maria Beadnell (November 1831).


Dickens, Charles


Autograph Album of Maria Beadnell.



Bibliographic Citation

Dickens, Charles. 'The Devil's Walk.' Autograph Album of Maria Beadnell (November 1831). Dickens Search. Eds. Emily Bell and Lydia Craig. Accessed [date]. https://dickenssearch.com/verse/1831-11_Autograph_Album_of_Maria_Beadnell_The_Devils_Walk.


While sitting one day in his well aired halls
Of which we've often heard tell,
The Devil determined to make a few calls
To see if his Friends were well:
So he put on his best and himself he drest
In his long tailed coat of green
And he buttoned it tightly o'er his chest
Lest his own tail should be seen.

To the House of Lords the Devil went straight
To learn the state of Nations,
And with mixed feelings of pleasure and hate
He heard their deliberations;
For he saw a few Nobles rich and proud
War 'gainst the people and Prince,
And he thought with pain tho' he laughed aloud
Of the Wars in Heav'n long since.

Then to Irving's Chapel he gaily hied
To hear the new "unknown tongue"
And he welcomed with great pleasure and pride
The Maniacs he'd got among:
For it always fills the Devil with glee
To hear Religion mocked,
And it pleases him very much to see
Sights at which others are shocked.

Then away to Bristol he quickly walked
T'indulge in meditation,
And he gaily laughed as he slowly stalked
O'er a scene of desolation.
He honored the hand that had done the deed
Vowed that an "Anti" he'd be
Then back to London he started with speed
His old friend Sir Charles to see.

The Devil was walking up Regent Street
As some other great folks do
When a very old friend he chanced to meet
Whom it pleased him much to view.
Let those describe his great pleasure who can
On the Member for Preston spying
He took off his hat for he envied the Man
His pow'r of deceit and lying.

As the Devil was passing I won't say where
But not far from Lombard Street,
He saw at a window a face so fair
That it made him start and weep
For a passing thought rushed over his brain
Of days no beyond recal,
He thought of the bright angelic train
And of his own wretched fall.

A dim cold feeling of what he had been
Wrung from him a bitter groan
He gazed and thought of the Angels who sing
Surrounding Heaven's High Throne.
He thought of the time, – the happy time, –
When among them he had been
And he madly cursed the impious crime
Which plunged him in pain and sin.

This feeling vanished as soon as it came
And he turned to walk away
But sought for this Album to find the name
Of her he'd seen that day.
He cast his eye swiftly o'er these few lines
To drive away thoughts so sad
And he said with glee "they're worthy of me
For I'm sure they're devilish bad."