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To Mr. POPE on his PASTORALS.
IN those more dull, as more censorious days,
Where few dare give, and fewer merit praise,
Yet still unchang'd the form and mode remain,
40 With virgin charms, and native excellence. Yet long her modesty those charms conceal'd, 'Till by men's envy to the world reveald; For wits industrions 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, foon 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.
AIL! 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 gawdy treasures here : A various spoil adorn'd our naked land, The pride of Persia glitter'd on our strand, And China's earth was cast on common sand : Tofs'd up and down the glofly fragments lay, And dress’d the rocky shelves, and pav'd the painted bay.
Thy treasures next arriv'd; and now we boast 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,
With vaft variety thy pages shine ; A new creation starts in ev'ry line. How sudden trees rise to the reader's fight, And make a doubtful scene of shade and light, 35 And give at once the day, at once the night! And here again what sweet confusion reigns, In dreary deserts mix'd with painted plains ! And see! the deserts cast a pleasing gloom, And shrubby heaths rejoice in purple bloom : 40 Whilst fruitful crops rife by their barren fide, And bearded groves display their annual pride,
Happy the man who strings his tuneful lyre Where woods, and brooks, and breathing fields inspire ! Thrice happy you ! and worthy beft to dwell
45 Amidst the rural joys, you sing so 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 tempestuous main! 59 Border'd with weeds, and folitudes obscene!
Snatch me, ye gods! from these Atlantic shores, And shelter me in Windsor's fragrant bow'rs;
Or to my much-lov'd Ifis' walk convey,
' And on her flow'ry banks for ever lay.
55 Thence let me view the venerable scene, The awful dome, the groves eternal green: Where sacred Hough, long found his fam'd retreat, And brought the Muses to the sylvan seat, Reform'd the wits, unlock’d the classic store, 60 And made that music which was noise before. There with illustrious bards I spent my days, Not free from censure, nor unknown to praise, Enjoy'd the blessings that his reign bestow'd, Nor envy'd Windsor in the soft abode. The golden minutes smoothly danc'd away, And tuneful bards beguild the tedious day: They sung, nor sung in vain, with numbers fir'd That Maro taught, or Addison inspir’d. Ev'n I essay'd to touch the trembling ftring : 70 Who could hear them, and not attempt to sing ?
Rouz'd from these dreams by thy commanding strain, I rife and wander thro' the field or plain ; Led by thy Muse, from sport to sport I run, Mark the stretch'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 shines and varies there. Nor can I pass the gen'rous courfer by,
80 But while the prancing steed allures my eye, He starts, he's gone! and now I fee him fly O'er hills and dales, and now I lose the course, Nor can the rapid fight pursue the flying horse. Oh could thy Virgil from his orb look down, He'd view a courser that might match his own! Fir'd with the sport, and eager for the chace, Lodona's murmurs stop me in the race. Who can refuse Lodona's melting tale? The soft complaint shall over time prevail ;
90 The 66 Which
The tale be told, when shades forsake her shore,
Nor shall thy song, old Thames ! forbear to shine,
105 And make one glorious and immortal Thames.
· In Imitation of a Greek Epigram on HOMER.
Of old assembled in the Thespian shades;
Retiring frequent to this laureat vale, “I warbled to the lyre that fav'rite tale,