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For the rich help of books he always took,
Though his own searching mind before
Was so with notions written o'er
As much as they could ever teach.
And all their sacred motions steer,
Just like the first and highest sphere, Which wheels about, and turns all heaven one way. With as much zeal, devotion, piety, He always lived, as other saints do die. Still with his soul severe account he kept,
Weeping all debts out ere he slept: Then down in peace and innocence he lay,
Like the sun's laborious light,
Which still in water sets at night, Unsullied with his journey of the day. Wondrous young man!why wert thou made so good, To be snatch'd hence ere better understood ? Snatch'd before half of thee enough was seen !
Thou ripe, and yet thy life but green! Nor could thy friends take their last sad farewell;
But danger and infectious death
Maliciously seized on that breath Where life, spirit, pleasure always used to dwell. But happy thou, ta’en from this frantic age, Where ignorance and hypocrisy does rage! A fitter time for heaven no soul ere chose,
The place now only free from those.
There ʼmong the bless'd thou dost for ever shine,
And wheresoe'er thou cast'st thy view,
Upon that white and radiant crew, Seest not a soul clothed with more light than thine. And, if the glorious saints cease not to know Their wretched friends who fight with life below, Thy flame to me does still the same abide,
Only more pure and rarefied. There, whilst immortal hymns thou dost rehearse,
Thou dost with holy pity see
Our dull and earthly poesy, Where grief and misery can be join'd with verse.
A Monody, to the Memory of Mr. Pope.
IN IMITATION OF MILTON'S LYCIDAS.
SORROWING I catch the reed, and call the Muse ;
* Mr. Pope died in the year 1744; this poem was then written, and published first in the year 1747.
Yet ah! ye are not dead, Celestial Maids; Immortal as ye are, ye may not die : Nor is it meet ye fly these pensive glades, Ere round his laureate hearse ye heave the sigh. Stay then a while, oh stay, ye fleeting fair; Revisit yet, nor hallow'd Hippocrene, Nor Thespia's grove; till with harmonious teen Ye soothe his shade, and slowly dittied air. Such tribute pour’d, again ye may repair To what loved haunt ye whilom did elect; Whether Lycæus, or that mountain fair, Trim Mænalus, with piny verdure deck'd. But now it boots ye not in these to stray, Or yet Cyllene's hoary shade to choose, Or where mild Ladon's welling waters play. Forego each vain excuse,
[join And haste to Thames's shores; for Thames shall Our sad society, and passing mourn, The tears fast trickling o'er his silver urn. And, when the Poet's widow'd grot he laves, His reed-crown'd locks shall shake, his head
shall bow, His tide no more in eddies blithe shall rove, But creep soft by with long drawn murmurs slow. For oft the mighty master roused his waves With martial notes, or lull’d with strain of love: He must not now in brisk meanders flow Gamesome, and kiss the sadly silent shore, Without the loan of some poetic woe.
Say first, Sicilian Muse, For, with thy sisters thou didst weeping stand In silent circle at the solemn scene, [wand, When Death approach'd and waved his ebon Say how each laurel droop'd its withering green?
How, in yon grot, each silver trickling spring
Grete clerk of Fame' is house, whose excellence Maie wele befitt thilk place of eminence, Mickle of wele betide thy houres last, For mich gode wirkè to me don and past. For syn the days whereas my lyre ben strongen, And deftly many a mery laie I songen, Old Time, which alle things don maliciously Gnawen with rusty tooth continually, Gnattrid my lines, that they all cancrid ben, Till at the last thou smoothen 'hem hast again; Sithence full semely gliden my rimes rude, As (if fitteth thilk similitude), Whànnè shallow brook yrenneth hobling on, Ovir rough stones it makith full rough song; But, them stones removen, this lite rivere Stealith forth by, making plesaunt murmere: So my sely rymes, whoso may them note, Thou makist everichone to ren right sote ;
* Tityrus, &c.] i.e. Chaucer, a name frequently given him by Spenser. See Shep. Cal. Eć. 2, 6, 12, and elsewhere.
And in thy verse entunist so fetisely,
He ceased his homely rhyme;
+Ah! luckless swain, alas ! how art thou lorn, Who once like me couldst frame thy pipe to
play Shepherd's devise, and chear the lingering morn:
Ne bush, ne breere, but learnt thy roundelay. Ah plight too sore such worth to equal right! Ah worth too high to meet such piteous plight!
• But I nought strive, poor Colin, to compare My Hobbin's or my Thenot's rustic skill To thy deft swains', whose dapper ditties rare
Surpass aughtelse of quaintest shepherd's quill. E’en Roman Tityrus, that peerless wight, Mote yield to thee for dainties of delight.
'Eke when in Fable's flowery paths you stray'd, Masking in cunning feints Truth's splendent face; Ne Sylph, ne Sylphid, but due tendance paid, To shield Belinda's lock from felon base, • Colin Clout,] i. e. Spenser, which name he gives himself throughout bis works.
+ The two first stanzas of this speech, as they relate to Pastoral, are written in the measure which Spenser uses in the first eclogue of the Shepherd's Calendar: the rest, where he speaks of fable, are in the stanza of the Faery Queene,