« ZurückWeiter »
MR. POPE AND HIS POEMS,
BY HIS GRACE
DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM.
Witn age decay'd, with courts and bus'ness tir'd,
Caring for nothing but what ease requir'd;
Too dully serious for the Muse's sport,
And from the critics safe arriv'd in port;
I little thought of launching forth agen, J
Amidst advent'rous rovers of the pen;
And after so much undeserv'd success,
Thus hazarding at last to make it less.
Encomiums suit not this censorious time,
Ignorance honour'd, wit and worth defam'd.
Apollo bids it, and they must obey.
And yet so wonderful, sublime a thing,
One moral, or a mere well-natur'd deed
'T is great delight to laugh at some men's ways, But a much greater to give merit praise.
TO MR. POPE, ON HIS PASTORALS.
Is these more dull, as more censorious days,
When few dare give, and fewer merit praise,
A Muse sincere, that never flatt'ry knew,
Pays what to friendship and desert is due.
Young, yet judicious, in your verse are found 5
Art strength'ning Nature, seilse improv'd by sound.
Unlike those wits, whose numbers glide along
So smooth, no thought e'er interrupts the song;
Labouriously enervate they appear,
And write not to the head, but to the ear: 10
Our minds nnmov'd and unconccrn'd they lull,
And are at best most musically dull:
So purling streams with even murmurs creep,
And hush the heavy hearers into sleep.
As smoothest speech is most deceitful found, 15
The smoothest numbers oft are empty sound:
Bui wit and judgment join at once in you,
Sfirightly as youth, as age consummate too:
Your strains are regularly Bold, and please
With unfore'd care, and unaffected ease, 20
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' disgraceful 'tis their clothes to wear. 2; Some in a polish'd style write Pastoral;
Arcadia speaks the language of the Mall:
Like some fair shepherdess, the sylvan Muse
Should wear those flow'rs her native fields produce;
And the true measure of the shepherd's wit 30
Should, like his garb, be for the country fit:
Yet must his pure and unaffected thought
More nicely than the common swain's be wrought.
So, with becoming art, the players dress
In silks the shepherd, and the shepherdess; 35
Yet still unchang'd the form and mode remain,
Shap'd like the homely russet of the swain.
Your rural Muse appears to justify
The long lost graces of simplicity:
So rural beauties captivate our sense 40
With virgin charms and native excellence.
Yet long her modesty those charms conceal 'd,
'Till by men's envy to the world reveal'd;
Tor wits industrious to their trouble seem,
And needs will envy what they must esteem. 45
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 shall, like his, soon take a higher flight: So larks, which first from lowly fields arise, 50
Mount by degrees, and reach at last the skies.
TO MR. POPE, ON HIS WINDSOR FOREST.
Hail! sacred Bard! a muse unknown before
Salutes thee from the bleak Atlantic shore.
To our dark world thy shining page is shown,
And Windsor's gay retreat becomes our own.
The Eastern pomp had just bespoke our care, 5
And India pour'd her gaudy treasures here;
A various spoil adorn'd our naked land,
The pride of Persia giitter'd on our strand,
And China's earth was cast on common sand;
Toss'd up and down the glossy fragments lay, 10
And dress'd the rocky shelves, and pav'd the painted
Thy treasures next arriv'd; and now we boast [bay.
A nobler cargo on our barren coast:
From thy luxuriant Forest we receive
More lasting glories than the East can give. 15
Where'er we dip in thy delightful page,
The sylvan state that on her border grows,
Nor sweeter notes the echoing forests cheer,
Than when you sing the greens and op'ning glades,
With vast variety thy pages shine;
And give at once the day, at once the night!
Whilst fruitful crops rise by their barren side,
Happy the man, who strings his tuneful lyre
Amidst the rural joys you sing so well.
Border'd with woods, and solitudes obscene!
Snatch me, ye Gods! from these Atlantic shores,
Thence let me view the venerable scene,