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the easy sweetness of his diction : in his verses there is more happiness than pains; he is sprightly without effort, and always delights, though he never ravishes; every thing is proper, yet every thing seems casual. If there is some appearance of elaboration in the Hermit, the narrative, as it is less' airy is less pleasing. Of his other compositions it is impossible to say whether they are the productions of Nature, so excellent as not to want the help of Art, or of Art so refined as to resemble Nature.
This criticism relates only to the pieces published by Pope. Of the large appendages which I find in the last edition, I can only say, that I know not whence they came, nor have ever inquired whither they are going. They stand upon the faith of the compilers.
Dr. Warton asks, “less than what?” €.
TO THE RIGHT HON.
HESIOD: ROBERT, EARL OF OXFORD,
THE RISE OF WOMAN.
Whas ancient times (those times we fancy wise)
Have left on long record of woman's rise, SUCH were the notes thy once-lov'd poet sung, What morals teach it, and what fables hide,
Till death untimely stopp'd his tuneful tongue. What author wrote it, how that author dy'd, Oh, just beheld, and lost! admir’d, and mourn’d! All these I sing. In Greece they fram'd the tale With softest manners, gentlest arts adorn'd! (In Greece 'twas thought a woman might be frail); Blest in each science, blest in every strain; Ye modern beauties! where the poet drew Dear to the Muse, to Harley dear-in vain! His softest pencil, think he dreamt of you;
For bim thou oft hast bid the world attend, And, warn'd by him, ye wanton pens beware Fond to forget the statesman in the friend:
How Heaven's concern'd to vindicate the fair. For Swift and him, despis'd the farce of state, The case was Hesiod's; he the fable writ; The sober follies of the wise and great;
Some think with meaning, some with idle wit: Dextrous, the craving, fawning crowd to quit, Perhaps 'tis either, as the ladies please; And pleas'd to 'scape from flattery to wit.
I wave the contest, and commence the lays. Absent or dead, still let a friend be dear,
In days of yore (no matter where or when, (A sigh the absent claims, the dead a tear) 'Twas ere the low creation swarmd with men) Recall those nights that clos'd thy toilsome days, That one Prometheus, sprung of heavenly birth, Still bear thy Parnell in his living lays:
(Our author's song can witness) liv'd on Earth: Who, careless now, of interest, fame, or fate, He carv'd the turf to mould a manly frame, Perhaps forgets that Oxford e'er was great; And stole from Jove his animating flame. Or, deeming meanest what we greatest call, The sly contrivance o'er Olympus ran, Beholds thee glorious only in thy fall.
When thus the monarch of the stars began: And sure, if aught below the seats divine
“O vers'd in arts! whose daring thoughts aspire, Can touch immortals, 'tis a soul like thine: To kindle clay with never-dying fire! A soul supreme, in each hard instance try'd, Enjoy thy glory past, that gift was thine; Above all pain, all anzer, and all pride;
The next thy creature meets, be fairly mine: The rage of power, the blast of public breath, And such a gift, a vengeance so design'd, The lust of lucre, and the dread of death.
As suits the counsel of a god to find; In vain to deserts thy retreat is made;
A pleasing bosom-cheat, a specious ill, The Muse attends thee to thy silent shade: Which felt the curse, yet covets still to feel.” 'Tis hers, the brave man's latest steps to trace, He said, and Vulcan straight the sire commands, Re-judge his acts, and dignify disgrace.
To temper mortar with etherial hands; When Interest calls off all her sneaking train, In such a shape to mould a rising fair, When all th'oblig'd desert, and all the rain As virgin goddesses are proud to wear; She waits, or to the scaffold, or the cell,
To make her eyes with diamond-water shine, When the last lingering friend has bid farewel. And form her organs for a voice divine. Ev'n now she sbades thy evening-walk with bays, 'Twas thus the sire ordain'd; the power obey'd; (No hireling sne, no prostitute to praise) And work'd, and wonder'd at the work he made; Evin now observant of the parting ray,
The fairest, softest, sweetest trame beneath, Eyes the calm sun-set of thy various day;
Now made to seem, now more than seem to breathe. Through Fortune's cloud one truly great can see, As Vulcan ends, the cheerful queen of charms Nor fears to tell, that Mortimer is he.
Clasp'd the new-panting creature in her arms:
A. POPE. From that embrace a fine complexion spread, Sept. 25, 1721.
Wbere mingled whiteness glow'd with softer red.
Then in a kiss she breath'd her various arts, Then fix the loom, their fingers nimbly weare,
And thus their toil prophetic songs deceive.
“ Flow from the rock, my flax! and swiftly flor, The lisp affected, and the glance design’d;
Pursue thy tbread; the spindle runs below,
The fondling mistress, and the ruling wife.
Women have time to sacrifice to pride: Gold scepter'd Juno next exalts the fair; They want the care of man, their want they Her touch endows her with imperious air,
know, Self-valuing fancy, bighly-crested pride,
And dress to please with heart-alluring show;
“ Thus in a thousand wax-erected forts
Prune the silk dress, and murmuring eat the gain. What world of fashions, took its rise from hence! “ Yet here and there we grant a gentle bride,
Young Hermes next, a close contriving god, Whose temper betters by the father's side; Her brows encircled with his serpent rod;
Unlike the rest that double human care,
Fond to relieve, or resolute to share :
The curse is general, but the blessing chance."
Thus sung the sisters, while the gods admire And, for a comfort in the marriage life,
Their beauteous creature, made for man in ire; The little pilfering temper of a wife.
The young Pandora she, whom all contend Full on the fair his beams Apollo fung,
To make too perfect not to gain her end: And fond persuasion tipp'd her easy tongue; Then bid the winds, that fly to breathe the spring He gave ber words, where oily flattery lays Return to bear her or a gentle wing; The pleasing colours of the art of praise ; With wafting airs the winds obsequious blow, And wit, to scandal exquisitely prone,
And land the shining vengeance safe below. Which frets another's spleen to cure its own. A golden coffer in her hand she bore,
Those sacred Virgins whom the bards revere The present treacherous, but the bearer more; Tun'd all her voice, and shed a sweetness there, 'Twas fraught with pangs; for Jove ordain'd above, To make her sense with double charms abound, That gold should aid, and pangs attend on love. Or make her lively nonsense please by sound. Her gay descent the man perceiv'd afar,
To dress the maid, the decent Graces brought Wondering he ran to catch the falling star: A robe in all the dies of beauty wrought,
But so surpris'd, as pone but he can tell, And plac'd their boxes o'er a rich brocade, Who lov'd so quickly, and who lov'd so well. Where pictured Loves on every cover play'd; O'er all his veins the wandering passion burns, Then spread those implements that Vulcan's art He calls her nymph, and every nymph by turns. Had fram'd to merit Cytherea's heart;
Her form to lovely Venus he prefers, The wire to curl, the close indented comb
Or swears that Venus' must be such as hers. To call the locks, that lightly wander, home; She, proud to rule, yet strangely fram'd to teaze, And chief, the mirror, where the ravish'd maid Neglects his offers while her airs she plays, Beholds and loves her own reflected shade. Shoots scornful glances from the bended frown,
Fair Flora lent her stores; the purpled Hours In brisk disorder trips it up and down; Contin'd her tresses with a wreath of flowers; Then hums a careless tune to lay the storm, Within the wreath arose a radiant crown;
And sits, and blushes, smiles, and yields, in form. A veil pellucid hung depending down;
“ Now take what Jove design'd," she softly Back rolld her azure veil with serpent fold,
He snatch'd the box, and bride, with eager arms. Flow'd to the feet, to copy Venus' air,
Unhappy man! to whom so bright she shone, When Venus' statues bave a robe to wear. The fatal gift, ber tempting self, unknown!
The new-sprung creature, finish'd thus for The winds were silent, all the waves asleep, Adjusts her babit, practises her charms, [harms, And Heaven was trac'd upon the flattering deep: With blushes glows, or shines with lively smiles, But, whilst he looks unmindful of a storm, Confirms her will, or recollects her wiles:
And thinks the water wears a stable form, Then, conscious of her worth, with easy pace What dreadful din around his ears shall rise! Glides by the glass, and turning views her face. What frowns confuse his picture of the skies!
A finer flax than what they wrought before, At first the creature man was fram'd alone, Through Time's deep cave, the sister Fates explore, Lord of himself, and all the world his own.
For him the nymphs in green forsook the woods, Unlov'd, unloving, 'twas his fate to bleed; For him the nymphs in blue forsook the floods; Without his quiver, Cupid caus'd the deed: En vain the Satyrs rage, the Tritons rave,
He judg'd this turn of malice justly due,
And Hesiod dy'd for joys he never knew.”
“ When thy beauty appears From point to point, from pole to pole they flew,
In its graces and airs, Spread as they went, and in the progress grew:
All bright as an angel new dropt from the sky; The nymphs regretting left the mortal race,
At distance I gaze, and am aw'd by my fears, And altering Nature wore a sickly face:
So strangely you dazzle my eye! New terms of folly rose, new states of care;
“ But when, without art, New plagues, to suffer, and to please, the fair!
Your kind thought you impart, The days of whining, and of wild intrigues,
When your love runs in blushes through every vein: Commenc'd, or finish'd with the breach of leagues; When it darts from your eyes, when it pants The mean designs of well-dissembled love;
in your heart, The sordid matches never join'd above:
Then I know you 're a woman again." Abroad the labour, and at home the noise, (Man's double sufferings for domestic joys)
“ There's a passion and pride The curse of jealousy; expense and strife;
In our sex,” she reply'd,
But still be a woman to you.
Thus on Parnassus tuneful Hesiod sung,
Thyrsis, a young and amorous swain,
Who both his heart subdue:
Gay Cælia's eyes were dazzling fair, f Love swore vengeance for the tales he writ? Sabina's easy shape and air Ye fair offended, hear your friend relate
With softer magic drew. What heavy judgment prov'd the writer's fate,
He haunts the stream, he haunts the grove, Though when it happen'd no relation clears,
Lives in a fond romance of love, 'Tis thought in five, or five and twenty years.
And seems for each to die; Where, dark and silent, with a twisted shade
Till, each a little spiteful grown, The neighbouring woods a native arbonr made,
Sabina Cælia's shape ran down,
And she Sabina's eye.
Their envy made the shepherd find
Those eyes which love could only blind; But swelling nature in a fatal hour
So set the lover free:
No more he haunts the grove or stream,
Engraves a wounded tree,
Let either fix tbe dart."
“ Poor girl," says Cælia, say no more ; Flung back a doubtful look, and shot the wood,
For should the swain but one adore, "Now take" (at once they cry) “ thy due reward,"
That spite, which broke his chains before,
Would break the other's heart."
Methinks I view the dead with pitying eyes,
LOVE AND INNOCENCE.
My days have been so wondrous free,
The little birds, that fiy “Here Hesiod lies: ye future bards, beware With careless ease from tree to tree, How-far your moral tales inceuse the fair,
Were but as bless'd as I.
« Thouzh neither love, we're both'deny'd;