Page images

The cat comes bouncing on the floor. Oh for the heart of Homer's mice, Or gods to save them in a trice! (It was by Providence they think, For your d— d stucco has no chink.) “An't please your honour," quoth the peasant, “ This same desert is not so pleasant: Give me again my hollow tree, A crust of bread, and liberty!”



AGAIN! new tumults in my breast ?
Ah spare me, Venus! let me, let me rest!
I am not now, alas! the man
As in the gentle reign of my Queen Anne.
Ah sound no more thy soft alarms,
Nor circle sober fifty with thy charms..
Mother too fierce of dear desires!
Turn, turn to willing hearts your wanton fires;
To number five direct your doves, [loves;
There spread round MURRAY all your blooming
Noble and young, who strikes the heart
With every sprightly, every decent part;
Equal, the injured to defend,
To charm the mistress, or to fix the friend.
He with a hundred arts refined,
Shall stretch thy conquests over half the kind:
To him each rival shall submit,
Make but his riches equal to his wit.
Then shail thy form the marble grace,
(Thy Grecian form,) and Chloe lend the face:
His house embosomed in the grove,
Sacred to social life and social love,
Shall glitter o'er the pendant green,
Where Thames reflects the visionary scene:

1 Afterwards Lord Mansfield, See previous note, p. 292,

Thither, the silver sounding lyres
Shall call the smiling Loves, and young Desires;
Where every Grace and Muse shall throng,
Exalt the dance, or animate the song;
There youths and nymphs, in consort gay,
Shall hail the rising, close the parting day,
With me, alas! those joys are o'er;
For me, the vernal garlands bloom no more.
Adieu! fond hope of mutual fire,

The still-believing, still-renewed desire;
. Adieu! the heart-expanding bowl,
And all the kind deceivers of the soul !
But why? ah tell me, ah too dear!
Steals down my cheek, the involuntary tear?
Why words so flowing, thoughts so free,
Stop, or turn nonsense, at « e glance of thee!
Thee, drest in fancy's airy beam,
Absent I follow through the extended dream;
Now, now I seize, I clasp thy charms,
And now you burst (ah cruel!) from my arms.
And swiftly shoot along the Mall,
Or softly glide by the canal;
Now shown by Cynthia's silver ray,
And now on rolling waters snatched away.




LEST you should think that verse shall die,

Which sounds the silver Thames along, Taught on the wings of truth to fly

Above the reach of vulgar song;

Though daring Milton sits sublime,

In Spenser native muses play; Nor yet shall Waller yield to time,

Nor pensive Cowley's moral lay

Sages and chiefs long since had birth

Ere Cæsar was, or Newton named;
Those raised new empires o'er the earth,

And these, new heavens and systems framed.

Vain was the chief's, the sage's pride!

They had no poet, and they died.
In vain they schemed, in vain they bled !

They had no poet, and are dead.



Say, St. John," who alone peruse
With candid eye, the mimic muse,
What schemes of politics, or laws,
In Gallic lands the patriot draws!
Is then a greater work in hand,
Than all the tomes of Haines's band ?
• Or shoots he folly as it flies ?
Or catches manners as they rise ? '3
Or, urged by unquenched native heat,
Does St. John Greenwich sports repeat?
Where (emulous of Chartres' fame)
E’en Chartres' self is scarce a name.

To you (the all-envied gift of heaven) •

i This satire on Lord Bolingbroke, and the praise bestowed on him in a letter to Mr. Richardson, where Mr. Pope says,

The sons shall blush their fathers were his foes : being so contradictory, probably occasioned the former to be suppressed.- Note in Johnson's Edition.

2 Ad Albium Tibullum.
Albi, nostrorum seromonum, candide judex,
Quid nunc te dicam facere in regione Pedana?

Scribere, quod Cassi Parmensis opuscula vincat: 3 The lines here quoted occur in the “Essay on Man.”

4 An tacitum silvas inter reptare salubres?

........ Di tibi formam
Dî tibi divitias dederunt, artemque fruendi,

The indulgent gods, unasked, have given
A form complete in every part,
And, to enjoy that gift, the art.
What could a tender mother's care?
Wish better to her favourite heir,
Than wit, and fame, and lucky hours,
A stock of health, and golden showers,

And graceful fluency of speech,
Precepts before unknown to teach ?

Amidst thy various ebbs of fear, a And gleaming hope, and black despair; Yet let thy friend this truth impart; A truth I tell with bleeding heart (In justice for your labours past), 3 That every day shall be your last; That every hour you life renew , Is to your injured country due.

In spite of tears, of mercy spite, My genius still must rail, and write. Haste to thy Twickenham's safe retreat, And mingle with the grumbling great: There, half devour'd by spleen, you'll find The rhyming bubbler of mankind; There (objects of our mutual hate) We'll ridicule both church and state.

1 Quid voveat dulci nutricula majus alumno, Qui sapere, et fari possit quæ sentiat, et cui Gratia, fama, valetudo contingat abunde, ....... non deficiente crumena?

2 Inter spem curamque, timores inter et iras. 3 Omnem crede diem tibi diluxisse supremum. Me pinguem et nitidum bene curatâ cute vises, Cum ridere voles Epicuri de grege porcum.






It is with pleasure I hear, that you have procured a correct copy of the Dunciad, which the many surreptitious ones have rendered so necessary; and it is yet with more, that I am informed it will be attended with a commentary: a work so requisite, that I cannot think the author himself would have omitted it, had he approved of the first appearance of this poem.

Such notes as have occured to me, I herewith send you: you will oblige me by inserting them amongst those which are, or will be, transmitted to you by others; since not only the author's friends, but even strangers, appear engaged by humanity, to take some care of an orphan of so much genius and spirit, which its parent seems to have abandoned from the very beginning, and suffered to step into the world unguarded, and unattended.

It was upon reading some of the abusive papers lately published, that my great regard to a person, whose friendship I esteem as one of the chief honours of my life, and a much greater respect to truth, than to him or any man living, engaged me in inquiries, of which the enclosed notes are the fruit.

I perceived, that most of these authors had beca (doubtless very wisely) the first aggressors. They had tried, till they were weary, what was to be got by railing at each other: Nobody was either concerned or surprised, if this or that scribbler was proved a dunce. But every one was curious to read what could be said to prove Mr. Pope one, and was ready to pay something for such a discovery: A stratagem, which would they fairly own, it might not only reconcile them to me, but screen them from the resentment of their lawful superiors, whom they daily abuse, only (as I charitably hope) to get that by them, which they cannot get from them.

I found this was not all: Ill success in that had transported them to personal abuse, either of himself, or (what I think he could less forgive) of his friends. They had called men

1 This letter was supposed to have been written by Pope himself.

« PreviousContinue »