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To Mr. POPE on his PASTORALS.
IN thofe more dull, as more cenforious days,
Where few dare give, and fewer merit praise,
A mufe fincere, that never flatt'ry knew,
Pays what to friendfhip and defert is due.
Young, yet judicious; in your verse are found
Art ftrength'ning nature, fenfe improv'd by found.
Unlike thofe wits, whofe numbers glide along
So fmooth, no thought e'er interrupts the fong :
Laboriously enervate they appear,
And write not to the head, but to the ear:
Our minds unmov'd and unconcern'd they lull,
And are at beft moft mufically dull:
So purling ftreams with even murmurs creep,
And hush the heavy hearers into fleep.
As fmootheft fpeech is moft deceitful found,
The smootheft numbers oft' are empty found.
But wit and judgment join at once in you,
Sprightly as youth, as age confummate too :
Your strains are regularly bold, and please
With unforc'd care, and unaffected eafe,
With proper thoughts, and lively images :
Such as by nature to the ancients shewn,
Fancy improves, and judgment makes your own:
For great men's fashions to be follow'd are,
Altho' difgraceful 'tis their cloaths to wear.
Some in a polifh'd style write Pastoral,
Arcadia fpeaks the language of the Mall.
Like fome fair fhepherdefs, the Sylvan Muse
Should wear those flow'rs her native fields produce;
And the true measure of the fhepherd's wit
Should, like his garb, be for the country fit:
Yet muft his pure and unaffected thought
More nicely than the common fwain's be wrought.
So, with becoming art, the players drefs
In filks the shepherd, and the fhepherdefs;
Yet ftill unchang'd the form and mode remain,
Shap'd like the homely ruffet of the fwain.
Your rural Muse appears to justify
The long-loft graces of fimplicity :
So rural beauties captivate our fenfe
With virgin charms, and native excellence.
Yet long her modesty those charms conceal'd,
'Till by men's envy to the world reveal'd;
For wits induftrions to their trouble feem,
And needs will envy what they must esteem.
Live and enjoy their spite! nor mourn that fate,
Which would, if Virgil liv'd, on Virgil wait;
Whose muse did once, like thine, in plains delight,
Thine fhall, like his, foon take a higher flight;
So larks, which firft from lowly fields arise,
Mount by degrees, and reach at last the skies.
To Mr. POPE, on his WINDSOR-FOREST.
HAIL! facred bard! a mufe unknown before
Salutes thee from the bleak Atlantic fhore. To our dark world thy fhining page is shown, And Windfor's gay retreat becomes our own. The eastern pomp had just bespoke our care, And India pour'd her gawdy treasures here : A various fpoil adorn'd our naked land, The pride of Perfia glitter'd on our strand, And China's earth was caft on common fand: Tofs'd up and down the gloffy fragments lay, And dress'd the rocky fhelves, and pav'd the painted bay.
Thy treasures next arriv'd; and now we boast
A nobler cargo on our barren coaft:
From thy luxuriant Foreft we receive
More lafting glories than the Eaft can give.
Where'er we dip in thy delightful page,
What pompous fcenes our bufy thoughts engage!
The pompous scenes in all their pride appear,
Fresh in the page, as in the grove they were,
Nor half fo true the fair Lodona fhows
The fylvan ftate that on her border grows,
While fhe the wond'ring shepherd entertains
With a new Windfor in her wat❜ry plains;
Thy jufter lays the lucid wave surpass,
The living scene is in the Mufe's glass.
Nor sweeter notes the echoing forefts chear,
When Philomela fits and warbles there,
Than when you fing the greens and op'ning glades,
And give us harmony as well as fhades :
A Titian's hand might draw the grove, but you
Can paint the grove, and add the mufic too.
With vast variety thy pages fhine;
A new creation ftarts in ev'ry line.
How fudden trees rife to the reader's fight,
And make a doubtful scene of shade and light,
And give at once the day, at once the night!
And here again what sweet confusion reigns,
In dreary deferts mix'd with painted plains!
And fee! the deferts caft a pleafing gloom,
And fhrubby heaths rejoice in purple bloom
Whilft fruitful crops rife by their barren fide,
And bearded groves difplay their annual pride.
Happy the man who ftrings his tuneful lyre
Where woods, and brooks, and breathing fields inspire!
Thrice happy you! and worthy beft to dwell
Amidst the rural joys, you fing fo well.
I in a cold, and in a barren clime,
Cold as my thought, and barren as my rhyme,
Here on the western beach attempt to chime..
O joyless flood! O rough tempeftuous main!
Border'd with weeds, and folitudes obfcene!
Snatch me, e gods! from thefe Atlantic shores, And shelter me in Windfor's fragrant bow'rs;
Or to my much-lov'd Ifis' walk convey,
And on her flow'ry banks for ever lay..
Thence let me view the venerable fcene,
The awful dome, the groves eternal green :
Where facred Hough, long found his fam'd retreat,
And brought the Muses to the fylvan feat,
Reform'd the wits, unlock'd the claffic ftore,
And made that mufic which was noife before.
There with illuftrious bards I spent my days,
Not free from cenfure, nor unknown to praise,
Enjoy'd the bleffings that his reign bestow'd,
Nor envy'd Windfor in the foft abode.
The golden minutes fmoothly danc'd away,
And tuneful bards beguil'd the tedious day:
They fung, nor fung in vain, with numbers fir'd
That Maro taught, or Addifon infpir'd.
Ev'n I effay'd to touch the trembling ftring:
Who could hear them, and not attempt to fing?
Rouz'd from thefe dreams by thy commanding ftrain,
I rife and wander thro' the field or plain;
Led by thy Mufe, from sport to sport I run,
Mark the ftretch'd line, or hear the thund'ring gun. 75
Ah! how I melt with pity, when I spy
On the cold earth the flutt'ring pheasant lie?
His gaudy robes in dazzling lines appear,
And ev'ry feather fhines and varies there.
Nor can I pafs the gen'rous courfer by,
But while the prancing fteed allures my eye,
He starts, he's gone! and now I fee him fly
O'er hills and dales, and now I lofe the course,
Nor can the rapid fight pursue the flying horfe.
Oh could thy Virgil from his orb look down,
He'd view a courfer that might match his own!
Fir'd with the sport, and eager for the chace,
Lodona's murmurs ftop me in the race.
Who can refufe Lodona's melting tale?
The foft complaint fhall over time prevail;
The tale be told, when fhades forfake her fhore,
The nymph be fung, when fhe can flow no more.
Nor fhall thy fong, old Thames! forbear to fhine,
At once the fubject and the fong divine.
Peace, fung by thee, fhall please ev'n Britons more 95
Than all their thouts for victory before.
Oh! could Britannia imitate thy ftream,
The world fhould tremble at her awful name:
From various fprings divided waters glide,
In diff'rent colours roll a diff'rent. tide,
Murmur along their crooked banks a while,
At once they murmur, and enrich the ifle;
A while diftinct thro' many channels run,
But meet at laft, and fweetly flow in one;
There joy to lose their long-diftinguifh'd names,
And make one glorious and immortal Thames.
To Mr. POPE.
In Imitation of a Greek Epigram on HOME R.
WHEN Phoebus, and the nine harmonious maids
Of old affembled in the Thespian shades;
What theme, they cry'd, what high immortal air,
Befit these harps to found, and thee to hear?
Reply'd the god; "Your loftieft notes employ,
"To fing young Peleus, and the fall of Troy."
The wond'rous fong with rapture they rehearse:
Then ask who wrought that miracle of verse?
He answer'd with a frown; "I now reveal
"A truth that Envy bids me not conceal :
"Retiring frequent to this laureat vale,
"I warbled to the lyre that fav'rite tale,