To Mr. POPE.
1 TO praise, yet still with due Respect to praise,
2 A Bard triumphant in immortal Bays,
3 The Learn'd to show, the Sensible commend,
4 Yet still preserve the Province of the Friend,
5 What Life, what Vigour, must the Lines require?
6 What Musick tune them? what Affection fire?
7 O might thy Genius in my Bosom shine!
8 Thou shouldst not fail of Numbers worthy thine,
9 The brightest Antients might at once agree
10 To sing within my Lays, and sing of thee.
11 Horace himself wou'd own thou dost excell
12 In candid Arts to play the Critick well.
13 Ovid himself might wish to sing the Dame
14 Whom Windsor Forest sees a gliding Stream,
15 On silver Feet, with annual Osier crown'd,
16 She runs for ever thro' Poetick Ground.
17 How flame the Glories of Belinda's Hair,
18 Made by thy Muse the Envy of the Fair;
19 Less shone the Tresses Aegypt's Princess wore,
20 Which sweet Callimachus so sung before.
21 Here courtly Trifles set the World at odds,
22 Belles war with Beaus, and Whims descend for Gods,
23 The new Machines in Names of Ridicule,
24 Mock the grave Phrenzy of the Chimick Fool. [Page 107]
25 But know, ye Fair, a Point conceal'd with Art,
26 The Sylphs and Gnomes are but a Woman's Heart:
27 The Graces stand in sight; a Satyr Train
28 Peep o'er their Heads, and laugh behind the Scene.
29 In Fame's fair Temple, o'er the boldest Wits
30 Inshrin'd on high the sacred Virgil sits,
31 And sits in Measures, such as Virgil's Muse
32 To place thee near him might be fond to chuse.
33 How might he tune th' alternate Reed with thee,
34 Perhaps a Strephon thou, a Daphnis he,
35 While some old Damon o'er the Vulgar wise
36 Thinks he deserves, and thou deserv'sf the Prize.
37 Rapt with the Thought my Fancy seeks the Plains,
38 And turns me Shepherd while I hear the Strains.
39 Indulgent Nurse of ev'ry tender Gale,
40 Parent of Flowrets, old Arcadia hail! [Page 108]
41 Here in the cool my Limbs at ease I spread,
42 Here let thy Poplars whisper o'er my Head,
43 Still slide thy Waters soft among the Trees,
44 Thy Aspins quiver in a breathing Breeze,
45 Smile all thy Vallies in eternal Spring,
46 Be hush'd, ye Winds! while Pope and Virgil sing.
47 In English Lays, and all sublimely great,
48 Thy Homer warms with all his antient Heat,
49 He shines in Council, thunders in the Fight,
50 And flames with ev'ry Sense of great Delight.
51 Long has that Poet reign'd, and long unknown,
52 Like Monarchs sparkling on a distant Throne;
53 In all the Majesty of Greek retir'd,
54 Himself unknown, his mighty Name admir'd,
55 His Language failing, wrap'd him round with Night,
56 Thine rais'd by thee, recals the Work to light. [Page 109]
57 So wealthy Mines, that Ages long before
58 Fed the large Realms around with Golden Oar,
59 When choak'd by sinking Banks, no more appear,
60 And Shepherds only say, The Mines were here:
61 Shou'd some rich Youth (if Nature warm his Heart,
62 And all his Projects stand inform'd with Art)
63 Here clear the Caves, there ope the leading Vein;
64 The Mines detected flame with Gold again.
65 How vast, how copious are thy new Designs!
66 How ev'ry Musick varies in thy Lines!
67 Still as I read, I feel my Bosom beat,
68 And rise in Raptures by another's Heat.
69 Thus in the Wood, when Summer dress'd the Days,
70 When Windsor lent us tuneful Hours of Ease,[Page 110]
71 Our Ears the Lark, the Thrush, the Turtle blest,
72 And Philomela sweetest o're the rest:
73 The Shades resound with Song — O softly tread!
74 While a whole Season warbles round my Head.
75 This to my Friend — and when a Friend inspires
76 My silent Harp its Masters Hand requires,
77 Shakes off the Dust, and makes these Rocks resound,
78 For Fortune plac't me in unfertile Ground;
79 Far from the Joys that with my Soul agree,
80 From Wit, from Learning, — far, oh far from thee!
81 Here Moss-grown Trees expand the smallest Leaf,
82 Here half an Acre's Corn is half a Sheaf,
83 Here Hills with naked Heads the Tempest meet,
84 Rocks at their Side, and Torrents at their Feet,
85 Or lazy Lakes unconscious of a Flood,
86 Whose dull brown Naiads ever sleep in Mud.
87 Yet here Content can dwell, and Learned Ease,
88 A Friend delight me, and an Author please,
89 Ev'n here I sing, while Pope supplies the Theme,
90 Show my own Love, tho' not increase his Fame.