Page images

Or add one patriot to a sinking state;
This weeping marble had not asked thy tear,
Or sadly told, how many hopes lie here!
The living virtue now had shone approved,
The senate heard him, and his country loved.
Yet softer honours, and less noisy fame
Attend the shade of gentle Buckingham:
In whom a race, for courage famed and art,
Ends in the milder merit of the heart;
And chiefs or sages long to Britain giv'n,
Pays the last tribute of a saint to heav'n.


HEROES, and kings! your distance keep:
In peace let one poor poet sleep,
Who never flattered folks like you:
Let Horace blush, and Virgil too.

ANOTHER, ON THE SAME. UNDER this marble, or under this sill, Or under this turf, or een what they will; Whatever an heir, or a friend in his stead, Or any good creature shall lay o'er my head, Lies one who ne'er cared, and still cares not a pin What they say, or may say of the mortal within: But, who living and dying, serene still and free, Trusts in God, that as well as he was, he shall be.

HERE lies Lord Coningsby—be civil:
The rest God knows- so does the devil.

1 Now on Pope's monument in Twickenham church.

2 This epitaph, originally written on Picus Mirandula, was printed among the works of Swift. See Hawkes worth's edition, vol. iv.

Pope, in one of the prints from Scheemaker's monument of Shake


PERHAPS BY POPE. Respect to Dryden, Sheffield justly paid, And noble Villiers honour'd Cowley's shade: But whence this Barber?—that a name so mean Should, join'd with Butler's, on a tomb be seen: This pyramid would better far proclaim, To future ages humbler Settle's name: Poet and patron then had been well pair'd, The city printer, and the city bard.

speare in Westminster Abbey, has shewn his contempt of Alderman Barber, by the following couplet, which is substituted in the place of the cloud capt towers, &c.'

• Thus Britain loved me: and preserved my fame,
Clear from a Barber's or a Benson's name.'

Pope might probably have suppressed his satire on the alderman, because he was one of Swift's acquaintances and correspondents: though in the fourth book of the Dunciad he has an anonymous stroke at him:

So by each bard an alderman shall sit,
A heavy lord shall hang at every wit,'




DESCEND, ye Nine! descend and sing:
The breathing instruments inspire;
Wake into voice each silent string,

And sweep the sounding lyre!
In a sadly-pleasing strain
Let the warbling lute complain:

Let the loud trumpet sound,
Till the roofs all around

The shrill echoes rebound:
While in more lengthened notes and slow,
The deep, majestic, solemn organs blow.

Hark! the numbers soft and clear,
Gently steal upon the ear;
Now louder, and yet louder rise

And fill with spreading sounds the skies; Exulting in triumph now swell the bold notes, In broken air, trembling, the wild music floats, Till, by degrees, remote and small,

The strains decay,

And melt away,
In a dying, dying fall.

By music, minds an equal temper know,

Nor swell too high, nor sink too low.
If in the breast tumultuous joys arise,
Music her soft, assuasive voice applies;

Or, when the soul is pressed with cares,

Exalts her in enlivening airs.
Warriors she fires with animated sounds;
Pours balm into the bleeding lover's wound 3;

Melancholy lifts her head, Morpheus rouses from his bed, Sloth unfolds her arms and wakes,

Listening Envy drops her snakes ; Intestine war no more our passions wage, And giddy factions hear away their rage.


But when our country's cause provokes to arms, .
How martial music ev'ry bosom warms!
So when the first bold vessel’ dared the seas,
High on the stern the Thracian raised his strain,'

While Argo saw her kindred trees
Descend from Pelion to the main.

Transported demi-gods stood round,
And men grew heroes at the sound,

Inflamed with glory's charms:
Each chief his sev’nfold shield displayed,
And half unsheathed the shining blade
And seas, and rocks, and skies rebound,
To arms, to arms, to arms!

1 Dr. Greene set this ode to music in 1730, as an exercise for his doctor's degree at Cambridge, on which occasion Pope added the following stanza at line 35.

Amphion thus bade wild dissension cease,
And softened mortals learned the arts of peace
Amphion taught contending kings
From various discords to create,
The music of a well tuned state;
Nor slack nor strain the tender strings,
Those useful touches to impart
That strike the subject's answering heart,
And the soft silent harmony that springs
From sacred union and consent of things.

and he made another alteration at the same time, in stanza 4, v. 51, and wrote it thus:

Sad Orpheus sought his consort lost;
The adamantine gates were barred,
And nought was seen and nought was heard

Around the dreary coast;

But dreadful gleams, &c.-- Warton. 2 The Argo in which Jason and the Argonauts sailed to Colchis in search of the Golden Fleece.

3 Orpheus.

4 Few images in any poet, ancient or modern, are more striking than that in Apollonius, where he says, that when the Argo was sailing near the coast where the centaur Chiron dwelt, he came down to the very margin of the sea, bringing his wife with the young Achilles in her arms, that he might show the child to his father Peleus. wbo was on his voyage with the other Argonauts. Apollonius Rhodias. Lib. 1.- Warton,


But when through all th' infernal bounds,
Which flaming Phlegethon' surrounds,
Love, strong as Death, the poet? led

To the pale nations of the dead, :
What sounds were heard,
What scenes appeared,
O’er all the dreary coasts!

Dreadful gleams
Dismal screams,
Fires that glow,
Shrieks of woe,
Sullen moans,

Hollow groans,
And cries of tortured ghosts!
But hark ! he strikes the golden lyre;
And see! the tortured ghosts respire,

See, shady forms advance!
Thy stone, O Sisyphus, stands still,
Ixion rests upon his wheel,

And the pale spectres dance!
The Furies sink upon their iron beds, [heads.
And snakes uncurled hang list’ning round their


By the streams that ever flow,
By the fragrant winds that blow

O’er th' Elysian flowers;
By those happy souls who dwell
In yellow meads of Asphodel,

Or Amaranthine bowers;

1 Phlegethon, a river of Tartarus.

2 See the “ Divine Legation," Book 2, where Orpheus is considered as a philosopher, a legislator, and a mystic.- Warton.

3 The fable is that Orpheus, led by “Love strong as death,” descended to Tartarus to beg that the Infernal God and Goddess would permit his dead wife, Eurydice (who had died of snake bite) to return to earth with him. Won by his divine music they assented, on condition that he did not turn round to look at her till they reached the upper air. But alas! in his tender im patience, Orpheus cast a glance back, and she was instantly borne away. Very ancient hymns, ascribed to Orpheus (but not his), remain, Warton tells us, “certainly older than the expedition of Xerxes against Greece."

Sisyphus was doomed to roll a huge stone up to a hill-top of Tartarus, but when the summit was nearly gained it invariably fell back headlong to the plain; thus his efforts were always in vain.

6 lxion was fastened to a wheel which incessantly revolved.

« PreviousContinue »