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The pageant of a day; without one friend Spoke forth the wondrous scene. But if my soul
From orb to orh, where Newton leads the way; Not such our friends ; for here no dark design, And view with piercing eyes the grand machine, No wicked interest, bribes the venal heart ; Worlds above worlds ; subservient to his voice, But inclination to our bosom leads,
Who, veil'd in clouded majesty, alone And weds them there for life ; our social cups Gives light to all ; bids the great system move, Smile, as we smile; open, and unreserv'd, And changeful seasons in their turns advance, We speak our inmost souls ; good-humour, mirth, Unmov'd, unchang'd, himself : yet this at least Soft complaisance, and wit from malice free, Grant me propitious, an inglorious life, Smooth every brow, and glow on every cheek. Calm and serene, nor lost in false pursuits
O happiness sincere! what wretch would groan Of wealth or honours; but enough to raise Beneath the galling load of power, or walk My drooping friends, preventing modest Want Upon the slippery pavements of the great,
That dares not ask. And if, to crown my joys, Who thus could reign, unenvy'd and secure ! Ye grant me health, that, ruddy in my cheeks,
Ye guardian powers who make mankind your care, Binoms in my life's decline; fields, woods, and Give me to know wise Nature's hidden depths,
streams, Trace each mysterious cause, with judgment read Each towering hill, each humble vale below, Th' expanded volume, and submiss adore
Shall hear my cheering voice, my hounds shall wake That great creative Will, who at a word
The lazy Morn, and glad th' horizon round.
ALEXANDER Pope, an English poet of great emi- ample remuneration for his labour. This noble nence, was born in London in 1688. His father, work was published in separate volumes, each conwho appears to have acquired wealth by trade, was taining four books; and the produce of the suba Roman Catholic, and being disaffected to the scription enabled him to take that house at Twickpolitics of King William, he retired to Binfield, in enham which he made so famous by his residence Windsor Forest, where he purchased a small house and decorations. He brought hither his father and with some acres of land, and lived frugally upon mother ; of whom the first parent died two years the fortune he had saved. Alexander, who was from afterwards. The second long survived, to be cominfancy of a delicate habit of body, after learning to forted by the truly filial attentions of her son. About read and write at home, was placed about his eighth this period he probably wrote his Epistle from year under the care of a Romish priest, who taught “ Eloisa to Abelard," "partly founded upon the him the rudiments of Latin and Greek. His na- extant letters of these distinguished persons. He tural fondness for books was indulged about this has rendered this one of the most impressive poems period by Ogilby's translation of Homer, and of which love is the subject; as it is likewise the Sandys's of Ovid's Metamorphoses, which gave him most finished of all his works of equal length, in so much delight, that they may be said to have made point of language and versification. him a poet. He pursued his studies under different geration, however, which he has given to the most priests, to whom he was consigned. At length he impassioned expressions of Eloisa, and his debecame the director of his own pursuits, the variety viations from the true story, have been pointed out of which proved that he was by no means deficient by Mr. Berrington in his lives of the two lovers. in industry, though his reading was rather excursive During the years in which he was chiefly engaged than methodical. From his early years poetry was with the Iliad, he published several occasional adopted by him as a profession, for his poetical works, to which he usually prefixed very elegant reading was always accompanied with attempts at prefaces ; but the desire of farther emolument inimitation or translation ; and it may be affirmed duced him to extend his translation to the Odyssey, that be rose at once almost to perfection in this walk. in which task he engaged two inferior hands, His manners and conversation were equally beyond whom he paid out of the produce of a new subhis years; and it does not appear that he ever culti-scription. He himself, however, translated twelve Fated friendship with any one of his own age or books out of the twenty-four, with a happiness not condition.
inferior to his Iliad ; and the transaction, conPope's Pastorals were first printed in a volume ducted in a truly mercantile spirit, was the source of Tonson's Miscellanies in 1709, and were generally of considerable profit to him.
After the appearadmired for the sweetness of the versification, and ance of the Odyssey, Pope almost solely made the lustre of the diction, though they betrayed a himself known as a satirist and moralist. In want of original observation, and an artificial cast 1728 he published the three first books of the of sentiment: in fact, they were any thing rather “ Dunciad,” a kind of mock heroic, the object of than real pastorals. In the mean time he was exer- which was to overwhelm with indelible ridicule cising himself in compositions of a higher class ; all his antagonists, together with some other authors and by his “ Essay on Criticism," published two whom spleen or party led him to rank among the years afterwards, he obtained a great accession of dunces, though they had given him no personal reputation, merited by the comprehension of thought, offence. Notwithstanding that the diction and verthe general good sense, and the frequent beauty of sification of this poem are laboured with the greatest illustration which it presents, though it displays care, we shall borrow nothing from it. Its imagery many of the inaccuracies of a juvenile author. In is often extremely gross and offensive; and irri1712 his “ Rape of the Lock," a mock heroic, tability, ill-nature, and partiality are so prominent made its first appearance, and conferred upon him through the whole, that whatever he gains as a poet the best title he possesses to the merit of invention. he loses as a man. He has, indeed, a claim to the The machinery of the Sylphs was afterwards added, character of a satirist in this production, but none an exquisite fancy-piece, wrought with unrivalled at all to that of a moralist. skill and beauty. The “ Temple of Fame," altered The other selected pieces, though not entirely • from Chaucer, though partaking of the embarrass-free from the same defects, may yet be tolerated; ments of the original plan, has many passages which and his noble work called the “ Essay on Man," may rank with his happiest efforts.
which may stand in the first class of ethical poems, In the year 1713, Pope issued proposals for pub- does not deviate from the style proper to its topic. listing a translation of Homer's Iliad, the success This piece gave an example of the poet's extraorof which soon removed all doubt of its making an dinary power of managing argumentation in verse, accession to his reputation, whilst it afforded an and of compressing his thoughts into clauses of
the most energetic brevity, as well as of expanding through the instigation of a catholic friend, with them into passages distinguished by every poetic the ceremonies of that religion, he quietly expired
The origin of this essay is, however, on May 30th, 1744, at the age of fifty-six. He generally ascribed to Lord Bolingbroke, who was was interred at Twickenham, where a monument adopted by the author as his "guide, philosopher, was erected to his memory by the commentator and and friend;" and there is little doubt that, with legatee of his writings, bishop Warburton. respect to mankind in general, Pope adopted, with- Regarded as a poet, while it is allowed that Pope out always fully understanding, the system of was deficient in invention, his other qualifications Bolingbroke.
will scarcely be disputed ; and it will generally be On his works in prose, among which a collection admitted that no English writer has carried to a of letters appears conspicuous, it is unnecessary here greater degree correctness of versification, strength to remark. His life was not prolonged to the pe- and splendour of diction, and the truly poetical riod of old age: an oppressive asthma indicated an power of vivifying and adorning every subject that early decline, and accumulated infirmities inca- he touched. The popularity of his productions has pacitated him from pursuing the plan he had been proved by their constituting a school of English formed for new works. After having complied, poetry, which in part continues to the present time.
AN HEROI-COMICAL POEM.
Or virgins visited by angel-powers,
Hear, and believe! thy own importance know,
Some secret truths, from learned pride concealid,
To maids alone and children are reveal'd; Nolueram, Belinda, tuos violare capillos;
What, though no credit doubting wits may give,
The fair and innocent shall still believe. Sed juvat, hoc precibus me tribnisse tuis.
Know then, unnumber'd spirits round thee fly,
The light militia of the lower sky:
These, though unseen, are ever on the wing,
Hang o'er the box, and hover round the ring. W
Hat dire offence from amorous causes springs, Think what an equipage thou hast in air, What mighty contests rise from trivial things, And view with scorn two pages and a chair. I sing - this verse to Caryl, Muse! is due: As now your own, our beings were of old, This ev'n Belinda may vouchsafe to view :
And once enclos'd in woman's beauteous mould; Slight is the subject, but not so the praise.
Thence, by a soft transition, we repair If she inspire, and he approve my lays.
From earthly vehicles to these of air. Say what strange motive, goddess! could compel Think not, when woman's transient breath is fled, A well-bred lord t' assault a gentle belle?
That all her vanities at once are dead : O say what stranger cause, yet unexplor'd, Succeeding vanities she still regards, Could make a gentle belle reject a lord ?
And though she plays no more, o'erlooks the cards. In tasks so bold, can little men cngage ?
Her joy in gilded chariots, when alive, And in soft bosoms dwells such mighty rage ? And love of ombre, after death survive.
Sol through white curtains shot a timorous ray, For when the fair in all their pride expire, And ope'd those eyes that must cclipse the day : To their first elements their souls retire : Now lap-dogs give theinselves the rouzing shake, The sprites of fiery termagants in flame And sleepless lovers, just at twelve, awake :
and take a Salamander's name, Thrice rung the bell, the slipper knock'd the ground, Soft yielding minds to water glide away, And the press'd watch return’d a silver sound. And sip, with nymphs, their elemental tea. Belinda still her downy pillow prest,
The graver prude sinks downward to a Gnome, Her guardian Sylph prolong'd the balmy rest : In search of mischief still on Earth to roam. 'Twas he had summond to her silent bed
The light coquettes in Sylphs aloft repair, The morning dream that hover'd o'er her head. And sport and futter in the fields of air. A youth more glittering than a birth-night beau “ Know farther yet; whoever fair and chaste (That ev'n in slumber caus'd her cheek to glow) Rejects mankind, is by some Sylph embrac'd : Seem'd to her ear his winning lips to lay,
For, spirits, freed from mortal laws, with ease And thus in whispers said, or seem'd to say: Assume what sexes and what shapes they please.
“ Fairest of mortals, thou distinguish'd care What guards the purity of melting maids, Of thousand bright inhabitants of air !
In courtly balls, and midnight masquerades, If e'er one vision touch thy infant thought, Safe from the treacherous friend, the daring spark, Of all the nurse and all the priest have taught ; The glance by day, the whisper in the dark, Of airy elves by moonlight shadows seen,
When kind occasion prompts their warm desires, The silver token, and the circled green,
When music softens, and when dancing fires?
'Tis but their Sylph, the wise celestials know, The busý Sylphs surround their darling care: Though honour is the word with men below. These set the head, and those divide the hair ; “ Some nymphs there are, too conscious of their some fold the sleeve, whilst others plait the gown; face,
And Betty's prais'd for labours not her own.
Nor with more glories in th' ethereal plain,
Than, issuing forth, the rival of his beams Instruct the eyes of young coquettes to roll, Lanch'd on the bosom of the silver'd Thames. Teach infant cheeks a bidden blush to know, Fair nymphs and well-dress'd youths around her And little hearts to flutter at a beau.
shone, “ Oft, when the world imagine women stray, But every eye was fix'd on her alone. The Sylphs through mystic mazos guide their way, On her white breast a sparkling cross she wore, Through all the giddy circle they pursue,
Which Jews might kiss, and infidels adore. And old impertinence expel by new.
Her lively looks a sprightly mind disclose, What tender maid but must a victim fall
Quick as her eyes, and as unfix'd as those : To one man's treat, but for another's ball ?
Favours to none, to all she smiles extends; When Florio speaks, what virgin could withstand, Oft she rejects, but never once offends. If gentle Damon did not squeeze her hand? Bright as the Sun, her eyes the gazers strike, With varying vanities, from every part,
And, like the Sun, they shine on all alike. They shift the moving Toy-shop of their heart; Yet graceful ease, and sweetness void of pride, Where wigs with wigs, with sword-knots sword- Might hide her faults, if belles had faults to hide : knots strive,
If to her share some female errours fall, Beaux banish beaux, and coaches coaches drive. Look on her face, and you'll forget them all. This erring mortals levity may call;
This nymph, to the destruction of mankind, Oh, blind to truth! the Sylphs contrive it all. Nourish'd two locks, which graceful hung behind,
u Of these am I, who thy protection claim, In equal curls, and well conspir'd to deck A watchful sprite, and Ariel is my name.
With shining ringlets the smooth ivory neck. Late, as I rang'd the crystal wilds of air,
Love in these labyrinths his slaves detains, In the clear mirror of thy ruling star
And mighty hearts are held in slender chains. I saw, alas ! some dread event impend,
With hairy springes we the birds betray; Ere to the main this morning sun descend; Slight lines of hair surprise the finny prey ; But Heaven reveals not what, or how, or whero · Fair tresses man's imperial race insnare, Warn'd by the Sylph, oh pious maid, beware! And Beauty draws us with a single hair. This to diselose is all thy guardian can :
Th' adventurous baron the bright locks ac'mir'd; Beware of all, but most beware of man !” [long, He saw, he wish'd, and to the prize aspir'd.
He said; when Shock, who thought she slept too Resolv'd to win, he meditates the way, Leap'd up, and wak'd his mistress with his tongue. By force to ravish, or by fraud betray; 'Twas then, Belinda, if report say true,
For when success a lover's toil attends, Thy eyes first open’d on a billet-doux ;
Few ask if fraud or force attain'd his ends. Wounds, charms, and ardours were no sooner read, For this, ere Phæbus rose, he had implor'd But all the vision vanish'd from thy headl.
Propitious Heaven, and every power ador’d;
Of twelve vast French romances, neatly gilt.
With tender billet-doux he lights the pyre,
Then prostrate falls, and begs with ardent eyes Trembling, begins the sacred rites of Pride. Soon to obtain, and long possess the prize : Unnumber'd treasures ope at once, and here The powers gave car, and granted half his prayer ; The various offerings of the world appear; The rest, the winds dispers'd in empty air. From each she nicely culls with curious toil,
But now secure the painted vessel glides, And decks the goddess with the glittering spoil. The sun-beams trembling on the floating tides : This casket India's glowing gems unlocks,
While melting music steals upon the sky, And all Arabia breathes from yonder box.
And soften'd sounds along the waters die; The tortoise here and elephant unite,
Smooth flow the waves, the zephyrs gentle play, Transform’d to combs, the speckled and the white. Belinda smild, and all the world was gay, Here files of pins extend their shining rows, All but the Sylph — with careful thoughts opprest, Puffs, powders, patches, Bibles, billet-doux. Th' impending woe sat heavy on his breast. Now awful Beauty puts on all its arms;
He summons straight his denizens of air ; The fair each moment rises in her charms,
The lucid squadrons round the sails repair: Repairs her smiles, awakens every grace,
Soft o'er the shrouds aërial whispers breathe, And calls forth all the wonders of her face : That seem'd but zephyrs to the train beneath. Sæs by degrees a purer blush arise,
Some to the Sun their insect wings unfold, and keener lightnings quicken in her eyes. Waft on the breeze, or sink in clouds of gold;
Transparent forms, too fine for mortal sighs, Gums and pomatums shall his fight restrain,
While clogg'd he beats his silken wings in vain;
Or alum styptics with contracting power Thin glittering textures of the filmy dew,
Shrink his thin essence like a shrivellid flower : Dipp'd in the richest tinctures of the skies, Or, as Ixion fix'd, the wretch shall feel Where light disports in ever-mingling dyes, The giddy motion of the whirling mill, While every beam new transient colours Alings, In fumes of burning chocolate shall glow, Colours that change whene'er they wave their wings. And tremble at the sea that froths below !" Amid the circle on the gilded mast
He spoke ; the spirits from the sails descend: Superior by the head, was Ariel plac'd ;
Some, orb in orb, around the nymph extend ; His purple pinions opening to the Sun,
Some thrid the mazy ringlets of her hair ;
Some hang upon the pendants of her ear ;
Here Britain's statesmen oft the fall foredoom Or brew fierce tempests on the wintery main, Of foreign tyrants, and of nymphs at home; Or o'er the glebe distil the kindly rain.
Here thou, great Anna! whom three realms obey, Others on earth o'er human race preside,
Dost sometimes counsel take — and sometimes tea. Watch all their ways, and all their actions guide : Hither the heroes and the nymphs resort, Of these the chief the care of nations own, To taste awhile the pleasures of a court; And guard with arms divine the British throne. In various talk th' instructive hours they past,
“ Our humbler province is to tend the fair, Who gave the ball, or paid the visit last ; Not a less pleasing, though less glorious care ; One speaks the glory of the British queen, To save the powder from too rude a gale,
And one describes a charming Indian screen ;
A third interprets motions, looks, and eyes;
Meanwhile, declining from the noon of day, Nay oft, in dreams, invention we bestow,
The Sun obliquely shoots his burning ray: To change a flounce, or add a furbelow.
The hungry judges soon the sentence sign, “ This day, black omens threat the brightest fair And wretches hang, that jurymen may dine; That e'er deserv'd a watchful spirit's care :
The merchant from th’ Exchange returns in peace, Some dire disaster, or by force, or slight;
And the long labours of the toilet cease.
At Ombre singly to decide their doom;
And swells her breast with conquests yet to come. Forget her prayers, or miss a masquerade ; Straight the three bands prepare in arms to join, Or lose her heart, or necklace at a ball;
Each band the number of the sacred nine. Or whether Heaven has doom'd that Shock must soon as she spreads her hand, th' aërial guard fall.
Descend, and sit on each important card: Haste then, ye spirits ! to your charge repair : First Ariel perch'd upon a Matadore, The fluttering fan be Zephyretta's care ;
Then each according to the rank they bore ; The drops to thee, Brillante, we consign;
For Sylphs, yet mindful of their ancient race, And, Momentilla, let the watch be thine;
Are, as when women, wondrous fond of place. Do thou, Crispissa, tend her favourite lock;
Behold, four kings in majesty rever'd, Ariel himself shall be the guard of Sbock.
With hoary whiskers and a forky beard; “ To fifty chosen Sylphs, of special note, And four fair queens, whose hands sustain a flower, We trust th' important charge, the petticoat : Th'expressive emblem of their softer power ; Oft have we known that seven-fold fence to fail, Four knaves in garbs succinct, a trusty band; Though stiff with hoops, and arm’d with ribs of Caps on their heads, and halberts in their hand; whale.
And party-coloured troops, a shining train, Form a strong line about the silver bound,
Drawn forth to combat on the velvet plain. And guard the wide circumference around.
The skilful nymph reviews her force with care: “ Whatever spirit, careless of his charge, Let spades be trumps ! she said, and trumps they His post neglects, or leaves the fair at large, Shall feel sharp vengeance soon o'ertake his sins, Now move to war her sable Matadores, Be stopp'd in vials, or transfix'd with pins; In show like leaders of the swarthy Moors. Or plung'd in lakes of bitter washes lie,
Spadillio first, unconquerable lord! Or wedg'd whole ages in a bodkin's eye:
Led off two captive trumps, and swept the board