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Why should I stay? Both parties rage;
The love of arts lies cold and dead
And not one Muse of all he fed
Has yet the grace to mourn.5
My friends, by turns, my friends confound,
Poor Y--rs sold for fifty pounds,6
Why make I friendships with the great,
Or follow girls, seven hours in eight,
Still idle, with a busy air,
Deep whimsies to contrive;
The gayest valetudinaire,
Most thinking rake, alive.
Solicitous for other ends,
Though fond of dear repose;
Luxurious lobster-nights, farewell,
Adieu to all, but Gay alone,
Whose soul, sincere and free,
5 [The date of Halifax's death was May 19, 1715.]
6 [Miss Younger an actress, one of the performers in "What d'ye call it?"] '[Mrs. Bicknell, who was also an actress, and another of the performers in "What d'ye call it?" Steele recommended this lady in the Tatler.]
TO LADY MARY WORTLEY MONTAGU.
IN beauty, or wit,
No mortal as yet
To question your empire has dared;
Have thought that in learning,
To yield to a lady was hard.
With musty dull rules,
Have reading to females denied ;
So Papists refuse
The Bible to use,
Lest flocks should be wise as their guide.
"Twas a woman at first
(Indeed she was cursed)
In knowledge that tasted delight,
And sages agree
The laws should decree
To the first possessor the right.
Then bravely, fair dame,
Resume the old claim,
Which to your whole sex does belong;
From a second bright Eve,
The knowledge of right and of wrong.
But if the first Eve
Hard doom did receive,
When only one apple had she,
What a punishment new
Shall be found out for you,
Who tasting, have robb'd the whole tree?
ON THE PICTURE OF LADY MARY W. MONTAGU, BY KNELLER.
So would I draw (but oh! 'tis vain to try,
TO MR. GAY,
WHO CONGRATULATED HIM ON FINISHING HIS HOUSE AND GARDENS.
AH, friend! 'tis true-this truth you lovers know-
To sigh unheard in, to the passing winds?
LINES WRITTEN IN WINDSOR FOREST.
["I arrived in the forest by Tuesday noon. I passed the rest of the day in those woods, where I have so often enjoyed a book and a friend; I made a hymn as I passed through, which ended with a sigh, that I will not tell you the meaning of."-Pope to Martha Blount.]
LL hail, once pleasing, once inspiring shade!
Scene of my youthful loves and happier hours!
And gently press'd my hand, and said "Be ours!-
THOUGH sprightly Sappho force our love and praise, A softer wonder my pleased soul surveys,
The mild Erinna blushing in her bays.
So while the sun's broad beam yet strikes the sight,
Serene in virgin majesty she shines,
And unobserved the glaring orb declines.1
ON HIS GROTTO AT TWICKENHAM,
COMPOSED OF MARBLES, SPARS, GEMS, ORES, AND MINERALS.
THOU who shalt stop, where Thames' translucent wave
1 [This simile the poet afterwards inserted in his Moral Essays En. II.]
Unpolish'd gems no ray on pride bestow,
Approach. Great Nature studiously behold!
ON THE COUNTESS OF BURLINGTON CUTTING
PALLAS grew vapourish once, and odd,
She would not do the least right thing,
Either for goddess, or for god,
Nor work, nor play, nor paint, nor sing.
Jove frown'd, and, "Use," he cried, "those eyes
This vexing him who gave her birth,
1 After ver. 6, in the MS.
"You see that island's wealth, where, only free,
2 In the MS.
"To Wyndham's breast the patriot passions stole." [Warburton pointed out these variations, but there were others in this small piece, which seems to have been elaborated with great care. At first the poem opened with "O thou who stopp'st," &c.; the "Egerian grot," was "th' inspiring grot," and the allusion to Marchmont and Wyndham was, "Here stole the honest tear from Marchmont's eye,
Here, Wyndham, thy last sighs for liberty."
The first line recalls one in Samson Agonistes, where Milton has the "broad translucent wave."