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Thus in the wood, when summer dress'd the days,
While Windsor lent us tuneful hours of ease, 70
Our ears the lark, the thrush, the turtle, blest,
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, 76
Shakes off the dust, and makes these rocks resound;
For Fortune plac'd me in unfertile ground;
Far from the joys that with my soul agree,
From wit, from learning—very far from thee. 80
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 sides, arid torrents at their feet;
Or lazy lakes, unconscious of a flood, 85
Whose dull brown Naiads ever sleep in mud:
Yet here content can dwell, and learned ease,
A friend delight me, and an author please;
Ev'n here I sing, when Pope supplier the theme,
Show my own love, though not increase his fame. 90
TO MR. POPE.
Let vulgar souls triumphal arches raise,
Or speaking marbles, to record their praise;
And picture (to the voice of fame unknown)
The mimic feature on the breathing stone;
Mere mortals, subject to death's total sway, 5
Reptiles of earth, and beings of a day!
'Tis thine, on ev'ry heart to grave thy praise,
A monument which worth alone can raise;
Sure to survive, when time shall whelm in dust
The arch, the marble, and the mimic bust: 10
Nor, till the volumes of th' expanded sky
Blaze in one flame, shalt thou and Homer die:
Then sink together in the world's last fires,
What Hcav'n created, and what Heav'n inspires.
If aught on £arth, when once this breath is fled, 15
With human transport touch the mighty dead,
Shakespeare rejoice! his hand thy page refines;
Now ev'ry scene with native brightness shines;
Just to thy fame, he gives thy genuine thought;
So Tully publish'd what Lucretius wrote: 20
Prun'd by his care, thy laurels loftier grow,
And bloom afresh on thy immortal brow.
Thus when thy draughts, O Raphael! time invades,
And the bold figure from the canvass fades,
A rival hand recalls from ev'ry part 25
Some latent grace, and equals art with art;
Transported we survey the dubious strife,
While each fair image starts again to life.
How long, untun'd, had Homer's sarred lyre
Jarr'd grating discord, all extinct his fire l ;o
This you beheld; and, taught by Hcav'n to sing, C'all'd the loud music from the sounding string. N'ow wak'd from slumbers of three thousand yea;s. Once more Achillea in dread pomp appears,
Tow'rs o'er the field of death; as fierce he turns, 35
Keen flash his arms, and all the hero burns!
With martial stalk, and more than mortal might,
He strides along, and meets the gods in fight:
Then the pale Titans, chain'd on burning floors,
Start at the din that rends th' infernal shores, 40
Tremble the tow'rs of Heav'n, earth rocks her coasts,
And gloomy Pluto shakes with all his ghosts.
"To ev'ry theme responds thy various lay;
Here rolls a torrent, there meanders play;
Sonorous as the storm thy numbers rise, . 4$
Toss the wild waves, and thunder in the skies;
Or softer than a yielding virgin's sigh,
The gentle breezes breathe away and die.
Thus, like the radiant god who sheds the day,
You paint the vale, or gild the azure way; 50
And while with ev'ry theme the verse complies,
Sink without groveling, without rashness rise.
Proceed, great Bard! awake th' harmonious string,
Be ours all Homer! still Ulysses sing.
How long that hero *, by unskilful hands, 5S
Stripp'd of his robes, a beggar trod our lands!
Such as he wander'd o'er his native coast,
Shrunk by the wand, and all the warrior lost:
O'er his smooth skin a bark of wrinkles spread,
Old age disgrac'd the honours of his head, 60
Nor longer in his heavy eye-ball shin'd ,
The glance divine, forth beaming from the mind.
Butyow, like Pallas, ev'ry limb infold
With ro) al robes, and bid him shine in gold;
- Odyssey, lib. 16.
Touch'd by your hand his manly frame improves 65 With grace divine, and like a god he moves.
Ev'n I, the meanest of the Muses' train,
Inflam'd by thee, attempt a nobler strain;
Advent'rous waken the Maeonian lyre,
Tun'd by your hand, and sing as you inspire; 70
So arm'd by great Achilles for the fight,
Patroclus conquer'd in Achilles' right;
Like theirs, our friendship! and I boast my name
To thine united—for thy friendship's fame.
This labour past, of heav'nly subjects sing, 75
While hov'ring angels listen on the wing,
To hear from earth such heart-felt raptures rise,
As, when they sing, suspended hold the skies:
Or, nobly rising in fair Virtue's cause,
From thy own life transcribe th' unerring laws: So
Teach a bad world beneath her sway to bend,
To verse like thine fierce savages attend,
And men more fierce: when Orpheus tunes the lay,
Ev'n fiends relenting hear their rage away.
TO MR. POPE,
ON THE PUBLISHING HIS WORKS.
He comes, he comes! bid ev'ry bard prepare
The song of triumph, and attend his car.
Great Sheffield's muse the long procession heads,
And throws a lustre o'er the pomp she leads;
First gives the palm she fir'd him to obtain, 5
Crowns his gay brow, and shews him how to reign.
Thus young Alcides, by old Chiron taught,
Was form'd for all the miracles he wrought;
Thus Chiron did the youth he taught applaud,
Pleas'd to behold the earnest of a god. 10
But hark! what shouts, what gath'ringcrowds rejoice!
Unstain'd their praise by any venal voice,
Such as th' ambitious vainly think their due,
When prostitutes or needy flatt'rers sue.
And see the chief! before him laurels borne, 15
Trophies from undeserving temples torn;
Here rage unchain'd reluctant raves, and there
Pale Envy dumb, and sick'ning with despair,
Prone to the earth she bends her loathing eye,
Weak to support the blaze of majesty. 20
But what are they that turn the sacred page?
Three lovely virgins, and of equal age;
Intent they read, and all enamour'd seem,
As he that met his likeness in the stream:
The Graces these; and see how they contend, 25
Who most shall praise, who best shall recommend!
The chariot now the painful steep ascends; The psans cease; thy glorious labour ends. Here fix'd, the bright eternal temple stands, Its prospect an unbounded view commands. 30
Say, wond'rous youth, what column wilt thou choose, What laurell'd arch for thy triumphant muse? Though each great Ancient court thee to his shrine, Though ev'ry laurel through the dome be thine, (From the proud epic down to those that shade 35 The gentler brow of the soft Lesbian maid)