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Dumb, spiritless, benumb'd; till Death at last
Or, if outrageous grown, behold, alas!
If now perchance through the weak fence escap'd Far up the wind he roves, with open mouth Inhales the cooling breeze; nor man, nor beast, He spares implacable. The hunter-horse, Once kind associate of his sylvan toils, (Who haply now without the kennel's mound Crops the rank mead, and listening hears with joy The cheering cry, that morn and eve salutes His raptur'd sense,) a wretched victim falls. Unhappy quadruped! no more, alas! Shall thy fond master with his voice applaud Thy gentleness, thy speed; or with his hand Stroke thy soft dappled sides, as he each day Visits thy stall, well pleas'd; no more shalt thou With sprightly neighings, to the winding horn, And the loud opening pack in concert join'd, Glad his proud heart. For oh! the secret wound Rankling inflames, he bites the ground, and dies! Hence to the village with pernicious haste Baleful he bends his course: the village flies Alarm'd; the tender mother in her arms Hugs close the trembling babe; the doors are barr'd, And flying curs, by native instinct taught, Shun the contagious bane; the rustic bands Hurry to arms, the rude militia seize
The wound; spare not thy flesh, nor dread th' event: Vulcan shall save when Esculapius fails.
Here should the knowing Muse recount the means To stop this growing plague. And here, alas! Each hand presents a sovereign cure, and boasts Infallibility, but boasts in vain.
On this depend, each to his separate seat
At one short poisonous gasp he breathes his last.
Whate'er at hand they find; clubs, forks, or guns,
Till, now with wounds on wounds oppress'd and Like agitations in his boiling blood
Present like species to his troubled mind;
Huntsman! it much behoves thee to avoid
Sing, philosophic Muse, the dire effects
To glad the night; or when full-orb'd she shines
Resents each slight offence, walks with quick step,
So (as old Homer sung) th' associates wild
One labor yet remains, celestial Maid! Another element demands thy song.
No more o'er craggy steep, through coverts thick
Suck the moist soil, or slumber at their ease,
The subtle spoiler, of the beaver kind,
Ye Naiads fair, who o'er these floods preside,
That with its hoary head incurv'd salutes
Th' ascending bubbles mark his gloomy way.
His rash assault. See, there escap'd, he flies
On pointed spears they lift him high in air;
Rejoice, ye scaly tribes, and leaping dance
O happy! if ye knew your happy state,
The pageant of a day; without one friend To soothe his tortur'd mind: all, all are fled. For, though they bask'd in his meridian ray, The insects vanish, as his beams decline.
Not such our friends; for here no dark design, No wicked interest, bribes the venal heart; But inclination to our bosom leads, And weds them there for life; our social cups Smile, as we smile; open, and unreserv'd, We speak our inmost souls; good-humor, mirth, Soft complaisance, and wit from malice free, Smooth every brow, and glow on every cheek.
O happiness sincere! what wretch would groan Beneath the galling load of power, or walk Upon the slippery pavements of the great, Who thus could reign, enenvied and secure!
Spoke forth the wondrous scene. But if my soul
Ye guardian powers who make mankind your care, Give me to know wise Nature's hidden depths, Trace each mysterious cause, with judgment read Th' expanded volume, and submiss adore That great creative Will, who at a word
Each towering hill, each humble vale below, Shall hear my cheering voice, my hounds shall wake The lazy Morn, and glad th' horizon round.
ALEXANDER POPE, an English poet of great emi- ample remuneration for his labor. This noble work nence, was born in London in 1688. His father, was published in separate volumes, each containwho appears to have acquired wealth by trade, was ing four books; and the produce of the subscripa Roman Catholic, and being disaffected to the tion 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 exhim the rudiments of Latin and Greek. His nat-tant letters of these distinguished persons. He has ural fondness for books was indulged about this rendered this one of the most impressive poems of period by Ogilby's translation of Homer, and San- which love is the subject; as it is likewise the dy'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. The exaghim 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 deviabecame the director of his own pursuits, the variety tions from the true story, have been pointed out by of which proved that he was by no means deficient Mr. Berrington in his lives of the two lovers. in industry, though his reading was rather excursive than methodical. From his early years poetry was adopted by him as a profession, for his poetical reading was always accompanied with attempts at imitation or translation; and it may be affirmed that he rose at once almost to perfection in this walk. His manners and conversation were equally beyond his years; and it does not appear that he ever cultivated friendship with any one of his own age or condition.
Pope's Pastorals were first printed in a volume of Tonson's Miscellanies in 1709, and were generally admired for the sweetness of the versification, and the lustre of the diction, though they betrayed a want of original observation, and an artificial cast of sentiment: in fact, they were any thing rather than real pastorals. In the mean time he was exercising himself in compositions of a higher class; and by his "Essay on Criticism," published two years afterwards, he obtained a great accession of reputation, merited by the comprehension of thought, the general good sense, and the frequent beauty of illustration which it presents, though it displays many of the inaccuracies of a juvenile author. In 1712 his "Rape of the Lock," a nock-heroic, made its first appearance, and conferred upon him the best title he possesses to the merit of invention. a man. He has, indeed, a claim to the character of The machinery of the Sylphs was afterwards added, a satirist in this production, but none at all to that an exquisite fancy-piece, wrought with unrivalled 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, does not deviate from the style proper to its topic. This piece gave an example of the poet's extraordinary power of managing argumentation in verse, and of compressing his thoughts into clauses of 2 E 2
During the years in which he was chiefly engaged with the Iliad, he published several occasional works, to which he usually prefixed very elegant prefaces; but the desire of farther emolument induced him to extend his translation to the Odyssey, in which task he engaged two inferior hands, whom he paid out of the produce of a new subscription. He himself, however, translated twelve books out of the twenty-four, with a happiness not inferior to his Iliad; and the transaction, conducted in a truly mercantile spirit, was the source of considerable profit to him. After the appearance of the Odyssey, Pope almost solely made himself known as a satirist and moralist. In 1728 he published the three first books of the "Dunciad," a kind of mock-heroic, the object of which was to overwhelm with indelible ridicule all his antagonists, together with some other authors whom spleen or party led him to rank among the dunces, though they had given him no personal offence. Notwithstanding that the diction and versification of this poem are labored with the greatest care, we shall borrow nothing from it. Its imagery is often extremely gross and offensive; and irritability, illnature, and partiality, are so prominent through the whole, that whatever he gains as a poet he loses as
In the year 1713, Pope issued proposals for publishing a translation of Homer's Iliad, the success of which soon removed all doubt of its making an accession to his reputation, whilst it afforded an
the most energetic brevity, as well as of expanding tion of a Catholic friend, with the ceremonies of them into passages distinguished by every poetic that religion, he quietly expired on May 30th, 1744, ornament. The origin of this essay is, however, at the age of fifty-six. He was interred at Twickengenerally ascribed to Lord Bolingbroke, who was ham, where a monument was erected to his memory adopted by the author as his "guide, philosopher, by the commentator and legatee of his writings, and friend;" and there is little doubt that, with re- bishop Warburton. spect to mankind in general, Pope adopted, without always fully understanding, the system of Boling
Regarded as a poet, while it is allowed that Pope was deficient in invention, his other qualifications will scarcely be disputed; and it will generally be admitted that no English writer has carried to a greater degree correctness of versification, strength
On his works in prose, among which a collection of letters appears conspicuous, it is unnecessary here to remark. His life was not prolonged to the period and splendor of diction, and the truly poetical of old age: an oppressive asthma indicated an early power of vivifying and adorning every subject that decline, and accumulated infirmities incapacitated he touched. The popularity of his productions has him from pursuing the plan he had formed for new been proved by their constituting a school of English works After having complied, through the instiga-poetry, which in part continues to the present time.
THE RAPE OF THE LOCK.
AN HEROI-COMICAL POEM.
Written in the Year 1712.
Nolueram, Belinda, tuos violare capillos; Sed juvat, hoc precibus me tribuisse tuis. Mart.
WHAT dire offence from amorous causes springs,
Say what strange motive, goddess! could compel
Sol through white curtains shot a timorous ray, An ope'd those eyes that must eclipse the day: Now lap-dogs give themselves the rousing shake, And sleepless lovers, just at twelve, awake: Thrice rung the bell, the slipper knock'd the ground, And the press'd watch return'd a silver sound. Belinda still her downy pillow prest, Her guardian Sylph prolong'd the balmy rest: "Twas he had summon'd to her silent bed The morning dream that hover'd o'er her head. A youth more glittering than a birth-night beau (That ev'n in slumber caus'd her cheek to low) Seem'd to her ear his winning lips to lay, And thus in whispers said, or seem'd to say:
"Fairest of mortals, thou distinguish'd care Of thousand bright inhabitants of air! If e'er one vision touch thy infant thought, Of all the nurse and all the priest have taught; Of airy elves by moonlight shadows seen, The silver token, and the circled green,
Or virgins visited by angel-powers,
Think not, when woman's transient breath is fled,
And though she plays no more, o'erlooks the cards.
"Know farther yet; whoever fair and chaste Rejects mankind, is by some Sylph embrac'd: For, spirits, freed from mortal laws, with ease Assume what sexes and what shapes they please. What guards the purity of melting maids, In courtly balls, and midnight masquerades, Safe from the treacherous friend, the daring spark. The glance by day, the whisper in the dark, When kind occasion prompts their warm desires, When music softens, and when dancing fires?