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Nor shall thy song, old Thames ! forbear to shine,
TO MR. POPE,
BY GEORGE LORD LYTTELTON.
From Rome, 1730. IMMORTAL bard! for whom each Muse has wove The fairest garlands of the’ Aonian grove; Preserv'd, our drooping genius to restore, When Addison and Congreve are no more; After so many stars extinct in night, The darkep'd ages last remaining light! To thee, from Latian realmns this verse is writ, Inspir'd by memory of ancient wit, For now no more these climes their influence boast, Fall'n is their glory, and their virtue lost; From tyrants, and from priests, the Muses fly, Daughters of Reason and of Liberty.
Nor Baiæ now, nor Umbria's plain they love,
Illustrious names ! that once in Latium shin'd,
As late on Virgil's tomb fresh flowers I strow'd, While with the inspiring Muse my bosom glow'd, Crown'd with eternal bays my ravish'd eyes Beheld the poet's awful form arise :
Stranger,' he said, ' whose pious hand has paid These grateful rites to my attentive shade, When thou shalt breathe thy happy native air, To Pope this message from his master bear : “ Great Bard, whose numbers I myself inspire, To whom I gave my own harmonious lyre, If high exalted on the throne of wit, Near me and Homer thou aspire to sit, No more let meaner satire dim the rays, That flow majestic from thy nobler bays ; In all the flowery paths of Pindas stray, But shuu that thorny, that unpleasing way ; Nor, when each soft engaging Muse is thine, Address the least attractive of the Nine. Of thee more worthy were the task, to raise A lasting column to thy country's praise, To sing the land, wbich yet alone can boast That liberty corrupted Rome has lost; Where Science in the arms of Peace is laid, And plants her palm beneath the olive's shade. Such was the theme for which my lyre I strang, Such was the people whose exploits I sung; Brave, yet refin’d, for arms and arts renown'd, With different bays by Mars and Phæbus crown'd, Dauntless opposers of tyrannic sway, But pleas'd, a mild Augustus to obey. If these commands submissive thou receive, Immortal and unblam'd thy name shall live: Envy to black Cocytus shall retire, And howl with furies, in tormenting fire; Approving Time shall consecrate thy lays, And join the patriot's to the poet's praise."
TO MR. POPE,
ON THE PUBLISHING HIS WORKS.
By Simon Harcourt. He comes, he comes ! bid every 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 liim to obtain, Crowns his gay brow, and shows 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. [joice! But hark! what shouts, what gathering crowds reUpstain'd their praise by any venal voice, Such as the ambitious vainly think their due, When prostitutes or needy flatterers sue, And see the chief! before him laurels borne ; Trophies from undeserving temples torn; Here Rage, enchain'd, reluctant raves, and there Pale Envy dumb and sickening with despair ; Prone to the earth she bends her loathing eye, Weak to support the blaze of majesty. 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 be that met his likeness in the stream: The Graces these ; and see how they contend, Who most shall praise, who best shall recommend. The chariot now the painful steep ascends, The pæans cease, thy glorious labour ends. Here fix'd, the bright eternal temple stands, Its prospect an unbounded view commands : Say, wondrous youth, what column wilt thou choose, What laureld arch for thy triumphant Muse? Though each great ancient court thee to his shrine, Though every lanrel through the dome be thine, (From the proud epic, down to those that shade The gentler brow of the soft Lesbian maid) Go to the good and just, an awful train, Thy soul's delight and glory of the fane : While through the earth thy dear remembrance flies, • Sweet to the world, and grateful to the skies.'