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Nor ever nymph inspir'd to rhyme,
Unless, like Venus, in her prime.
At fifty-fix, if this be true,
Am I a poet fit for you
Or, at the age of forty-three,
Are you a subject fit for me?
Adieu ! bright wit, and radiant eyes,
You must be grave, and I be wise.
Our fate in vain we would oppose :
But I'll be still your friend in prose :
Esteem and friendship to express,
Will not require poetic dress;
And if the muse deny her aid
To have them sung, they may
But, Stella, say, what evil tongue
Reports you are no longer young ;
That Time fits with his fithe to mow
Where erít fat Cupid with his bow ;
That half your locks are turn'd to gray!
Tll ne'er believe a word they fay.
'Tis true, but let it not be known,
My eyes are somewhat dimish grown :
For nature, always in the right,
To your decays adapts my fight;
And wrinkles undistinguish d pass,
For I'm alham'd to use a glass ;
And till I see them with these eyes,
Whoever says you have them, lies.
No length of time can make you quit
Honour and virtue, sense and wit :
Thus you may still be young to me,
While I can better bear than fie.
Oh, ne'er may fortune fhew her spight,
To niake me deaf and mend my fight!
STELLA'S BIRTH-DAY, March 13. 1726.
THIS day, whate’er the fates decree,
Shall still be kept with joy by me:
This day then let us not be told,
That you are fick, and I grown
Nor think on our approaching ills,
And talk of spectacles and pills :
To-morrow will be time enough
To hear fuch mortifying ituff.
Yet since from reason may be brought
A better and more pleasing thought,
Which can, in spite of all decays,
Support a few remaining days,
From not the gravest of divines
Accept for once some serious lines.
Altho' we now can form no more
Long schemes of life as heretofore ;
Yet you, while time is running fast,
Can look with joy on what is paft.
Were future happinefs and pain
A mere contrivance of the brain,
. As Atheists argue, to entice
And fit their profelytes for vice,
(The only comfort they propofe,
To have companions in their woes):
Grant this the cafe ; yet sure 'tis hard
That virtue, styld its own reward,
And by all sages understood
To be the chief of human good,
Should acting die, nor leave behind
Some lasting pleasure in the mind,
Which by remembrance will affwage
Grief, fickness, poverty, and age,
And Arongly shoot a radiant dart
To shine thro' life's deelining part.
SAY, Stella, feel you no content,
Reflecting on a life well spent?
Your skilful hand employ'd to save
Despairing wretches from the grave;
And then supporting with your store
Thce whom you dragg’d from death before :
So Providence on mortals waits,
Preserving what it first creates:
Your gen rous boldness to defend
An innocent and absent friend;
That courage which can make
To merit humbled in the dut;
The detestation you express
For vice in all its glitt'ring dress;
That patience under tort'ring pain,
Where stubborn, Stoics would complain :
Mult thefe like empty shadows pass,
Or formas reflected from a glass ?
Or mere chimæras. in, the mind,
That fly, and leave no marks behind ?
Does not the body thrive and grow
By food of twenty years ago?
And had it not been fill supply'd,
It muft a thousand times have dy'd.
Then who with reason can maintain
That no effets: of food remain?
And is not virtue in mankind
The nutriment that feeds the mind;
Upheld by each good action paft,
And till: continu'd by the last ?
Then, who with reason cas pretendi
That all effects of virtue end
BELIEVR me, Stella, when you show,
That the contempt for things below,
Nor prize your life for other ends
Than merely to oblige your friends,
Your former actions claim their
And join to fortify your heart.
For virtue in her daily race,
Like Janus, bears a double face;
Looks back with joy where she has gone;
And therefore goes
courage on. She at your fickly couch will wait, And guide you to a better state.
O then, whatever Heaven intends,
Take pity on your pirying friends !
Nor let your ills affect your mind,
To fancy they can be unkind.
Me, surely me, you ought to spare,
Who gladly would your suff'rings Mare ;
Or give my scrap of life to you,
And think it far beneath your due ;
You, to whose care so oft I owe
That I'm alive to tell you fo..
* To Mrs MARTHA BLOUNT.
Sent on her birth-day, June 15.
H, be thoniblefsed with all that Heav'n can send;
Long health, long youth, long pleasure, and a
Not with those rays the female race admire,
Riches that vex, and vanities that tire;
Not as the world its pretty flaves rewards, 5
A youth of frolics, an old age of cards ;
+ This puem was wrote by Mr Pope. appears
from his will
, that he had had a sincere regard and long affection for the hady to whom it is addressed:
Fair to no purpose, artful to no end;
Young without lovers, old without a friend ;
A fop their paflion, but their prize a fot;
Alive, ridiculous; and dead, forgot!
Let joy, or ease, let affluence, or content,
And the gay conscience of a life well spent,
Calm ev'ry thought, inspirit ev'ry grace,
Glow in thy heart, and smile upon thy face ;
Let day improve on day, and year on year,
Without a pain, a trouble, or a fear ;
Till death unfelt that tender frame destroy,
In some soft dream, or ecftafy of joy,
Peaceful seep out the sabbath of the tomb,
And wake to raptures in a life to come!
* SONG by a person of quality. I
Said to my heart, between sleeping and waking,
Thou wild thing, that always art leaping or aking, What black, brown, or fair, in what clime, in what
nation, By turns has not taught thee a pit-a-patation ? Thus accus’d, the wild thing gave this sober reply : 5 See the heart without, motion, tho' Celia pass by! Not the beauty she has, or the wit that the borrows, Gives the eye any joys, or the heart any
forrows. When our Sappho appears, the whose wit's fo refin'd, I am forc'd to applaud with the rest of mankind; 10 Whatever she says, is with spirit and fire ; Ev'ry word I attend; but I only admire.
Prudentia as vainly would put in her claim,
Ever gazing on heav'n, tho' man is her aim: