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With that Sir Topaz, hapless youth!
In accents faltering, ay, for ruth,
Intreats them pity graunt;
'For als he been a mister wight
Betray'd by wandering in the night
To tread the circled haunt.'
'Ah losell vile, at once they roar, And little skill'd of fairie lore;
Thy cause to come, we know: Now has thy kestrell courage fell; And fairies, since a lie you tell, Are free to work thee woe.'
Then Will, who bears the wispy fire
To trail the swains among the mire,
The caitive upward flung;
There, like a tortoise in a shop,
He dangled from the chamber-top,
Where whilom Edwin hung.
The revel now proceeds apace,
Deftly they frisk it o'er the place,
They sit, they drink, and eat;
The time with frolic mirth beguile,
And poor Sir Topaz hangs the while
Till all the rout retreat.
By this the stars began to wink,
They shriek, they fly, the tapers sink,
And down ydrops the knight:
For never spell, by fairie laid,
With strong enchantment bound a glade,
Beyond the length of night.
Chill, dark, alone, adreed, he lay,
Till up the welkin rose the day,
Then deem'd the dole was o'er:
But wot ye well his harder lot?
His seely back the bunch had got
Which Edwin lost afore.
This tale a sybil nurse ared;
She softly stroak'd my youngling head,
And when the tale was done,
'Thus some are born, my son, (she cries)
With base impediments to rise,
And some are born with none.
'But virtue can itself advance
To what the favourite fools of chance
By fortune seem design'd;
Virtue can gain the odds of fate,
And from itself shake off the weight
Upon the' unworthy mind.'
TO MR. POPE.
To praise, yet still with due respect to praise,
A bard triumphant in immortal bays;
The learn'd to show, the sensible commend,
Yet still preserve the province of the friend;
What life, what vigour, must the lines require!
What music tune them! what affection fire!
O might thy genius in my bosom shine! Thou shouldst not fail of numbers worthy thine,
The brightest ancients might at once agree
To sing within my lays, and sing of thee.
Horace himself would own thou dost excel
In candid arts to play the critic well:
Ovid himself might wish to sing the dame
Whom Windsor-forest sees a gliding stream;
On silver feet, with annual osier crown'd,
She runs for ever through poetic ground.
How flame the glories of Belinda's hair,
Made by thy Muse the envy of the fair ;
Less shone the tresses Egypt's princess wore,
Which sweet Callimachus so sung before.
Here courtly tresses set the world at odds, [gods,
Belles war with beaux, and whims descend for
The new machines, in names of ridicule,
Mock the grave frenzy of the chemic fool.
But know, ye fair! a point conceal'd with art,
The Sylphs and Gnomes are but a woman's heart :
The Graces stand in sight; a Satyr train
Peep o'er their heads, and laugh behind the scene.
In Fame's fair temple, o'er the boldest wits
Enshrined on high the sacred Virgil sits,
And sits in measures, such as Virgil's Muse
To place thee near him might be fond to choose.
How might he tune the' alternate reed with thee,
Perhaps a Strephon thou, a Daphnis he,
While some old Damon, o'er the vulgar wise,
Thinks he deserves, and thou deservest the prize.
Rapt with the thought my fancy seeks the plains,
And turns me shepherd while I hear the strains.
Indulgent nurse of every tender gale,
Parent of flowerets, old Arcadia hail !
Here in the cool my limbs at ease I spread,
Here let thy poplars whisper o'er my head,
Still slide thy waters soft among the trees;
Thy aspins quiver in a breathing breeze;
Smile all thy valleys in eternal spring,
Be hush'd, ye winds! while Pope and Virgil sing.
In English lays, and all sublimely great,
Thy Homer warms with all his ancient heat,
He shines in council, thunders in the fight,
And flames with every sense of great delight.
Long has that poet reign'd, and long unknown,
Like monarchs sparkling on a distant throne;
In all the majesty of Greek retired,
Himself unknown, his mighty name admired,
His language failing, wrapp'd him round with night,
Thine, raised by thee, recalls the work to light.
So wealthy mines, that ages long before
Fed the large realms around with golden ore,
When choked by sinking banks, no more appear,
And shepherds only say, 'The mines were here!'
Should some rich youth (if nature warm his heart,
And all his projects stand inform'd with art)
Here clear the caves, there ope the leading vein;
The mines detected flame with gold again.
How vast, how copious are thy new designs! How every music varies in thy lines! Still as I read, I feel my bosom beat, And rise in raptures by another's heat. Thus in the wood, when summer dress'd the days, When Windsor lent us tuneful hours of ease, Our ears the lark, the thrush, the turtle bless'd, And Philomela sweetest o'er the rest: The shades resound with song-O softly tread! While a whole season warbles round my head.
This to my friend—and when a friend inspires My silent harp its master's hand requires,
Shakes off the dust, and makes these rocks resound,
For fortune placed me in unfertile ground;
Far from the joys that with my soul agree,
From wit, from learning far-oh far from thee!
Here moss-grown trees expand the smallest leaf;
Here half an acre's corn is half a sheaf;
Here hills with naked heads the tempest meet,
Rocks at their side, and torrents at their feet;
Or lazy lakes, unconscious of a flood,
Whose dull brown Naiads ever sleep in mud.
Yet here Content can dwell, and learned Ease,
A friend delight me, and an author please;
Even here I sing, while Pope supplies the theme,
Show my own love, though not increase his fame.
Now early shepherds o'er the meadow pass,
And print long footsteps in the glittering grass;
The cows neglectful of their pasture stand,
By turns obsequious to the milker's hand :
When Damon softly trod the shaven lawn,
Damon, a youth from city cares withdrawn ;
Long was the pleasing walk he wander'd through,
A cover'd arbour closed the distant view;
There rests the youth, and while the feather'd throng
Raise their wild music, thus contrives a song.
'Here wafted o'er by mild Etesian air, Thou country goddess, beauteous Health! repair; Here let my breast through quivering trees inhale Thy rosy blessings with the morning gale.