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Taught by the heavenly Muse to venture down
| Harmonious numbers; as the wakeful bird
Such as hang on Hebe's cheek,
And ever, against eating cares,
ASTE thee, Nymph, and bring with thee I 1.
Jest and youthful Jollity,
Quips and Cranks, and wanton Wiles, Nods and Becks, and wreathéd Smiles,
Untwisting all the chains that tie
Such strains as would have won the ear
These delights if thou cans't give,
A BOOK NOT A DEAD THING.
DENY not but that it is of the greatest | were, in the eye. Many a man lives a burden to
wealth to have a vigilant eye how books blood of a master-spirit, embalmed and treasured
FROM THE HYMN TO THE NATIVITY.
And kings sat still with awful eve,
As if they surely knew their sovereign Lord was
But peaceful was the night,
Wherein the Prince of Light
His reign of peace upon the earth began :
The winds, with wonder whist,
Whispering new joys to the mild ocean,
Who now hath quite forgot to rave,
While birds of calm sit brooding on the charmed
The stars, with deep amaze, The trumpet spake not to the armed throng; Stand fix'd in steadfast gaze,
Bending one way their precious influence;
With hollow shriek the steep of Delphos leaving. And will not take their flight,
No mighty trance, or breathed spell, For all the morning light,
Inspires the pale eyed priest from the prophetic Or Lucifer, that often warn’d them thence;
cell. But in their glimmering orbs did glow, Until their Lord himself bespake, and bid them
The lonely mountains o'er go.
And the resounding shore,
A voice of weeping heard and loud lament;
From haunted spring and dale, The shepherds on the lawn,
Edged with poplar pale, Or e'er the point of dawn,
The parting Genius is with sighing sent: Sat simply chatting in a rustic row;
With flower-inwoven tresses torn, Full little thought they, than
The Nymphs, in twilight shade of tangled thickets, That the mighty Pan
on the holy hearth,
In consecrated earth, keep.
The Lars and Lemures moan with midnight
plaint. When such music sweet
In urns and altars round, Their hearts and ears did greet,
A drear and dying sound As never was by mortal finger strook ;
Affrights the Flamens at their service quaint;
And the chill marble seems to sweat,
While each peculiar Power foregoes his wonted
Hath laid her Babe to rest;
ending: The oracles are dumb,
Heaven's youngest teemed star No voice or hideous hum
Hath fix'd her polish'd car, Runs through the arched roof in words deceiv- Her sleeping Lord with handmaid lamp attending.
ing, Apollo from his shrine
And all about the courtly stable Can no more divine,
Bright-harness'd angels sit in order serviceable.
THE DEPARTURE FROM EDEN.
“ PARADISE Lost." Book XII. O spake our mother Eve, and Adam heard, In either hand the hastening angel caught Well pleased, but answered not; for now Our lingering parents, and to the eastern gate too nigh
Led them direct, and down the cliff as fast The Archangel stood, and from the other hill To the subjected plain ; then disappeared. To their fixed station all in bright array
They, looking back, all the eastern side beheld The Cherubim descended ; on the ground Of Paradise, so late their happy seat, Gliding meteorus, as the evening mist
Waved over by that flaming brand, the gate Risen from a river o'er the marish glides,
With dreadful faces thronged and fiery arms. And gathers ground fast at the laborer's heel Some natural tears they dropped, but wiped them Homeward returning. High in front advanced
soon : The brandished sword of God before them blazed The world was all before them, where to choose Fierce as a comet ; which with torrid heat, Their place of rest, and Providence their guide. And vapor as the Libyan air adust,
They, hand in hand, with wandering steps and slow, Began to parch that temperate clime. Whereat Through Eden took their solitary way.
THE POET OF SOCIETY.
“ If Pope must yield to other poets in point of fertility of fancy, yet in point of propriety, closeness, and elegance of diction he can yield to none."— Joseph Warton.
HE merits of Pope's works have long been a fertile subject of critical
discussion. If his "rhymes too often supply the defects of his reasons," it is nevertheless true that few poets have furnished so many well-known lines which express in apt and concise language an elevating, philosophic thought.
He was so deformed that he was known by the nickname of
“ The Interrogation Point," and so small that he used a high chair at table; so weak and sickly that he must be continually tied up in bandages; and so sensitive to cold that he was always wrapped in furs and flannels, and encased his feet in three pairs of stockings. But his dress was fastidious and his manners elegant, though he must continually bear the coarse jests about his afflictions which the rude manners of the time allowed to pass as wit.
Pope's sickly youth prevented his being educated like other boys, and his training was received at home and was very irregular. Before he was twelve years old he had written a number of poems, most of which he afterward destroyed.
“As yet a child, and all unknown to fame,
I lisped in numbers and the numbers came." He had already published his “ Pastorals” and “Messiah," and the “Essay on Criticism,” when, in 1713, he took up the study of painting in his native city of London. His eyes failed, however, and he abandoned his purpose of becoming an artist.
He now issued proposals for publishing a translation of Homer's “Iliad,” in six volumes, at a guinea a volume. The project was favorably received, and a large number of copies were subscribed for. The volumes appeared at various times, from 1715 to 1720, and yielded the author a magnificent return, equal to about ninety thousand dollars of our money. He was thus enabled to purchase the lease of an attractive villa at Twickenham, which was his home during his remaining years. He died in 1744, at the age of fifty-six.
Beside those already mentioned, his principal works are an “Epistle of Eloise to Abelard,” an edition of Shakespeare, a translation of the “ Odyssey,” “The Dunciad,” and the “ Essay on Man."
“ The Dunciad” is a sarcastic reply to a host of critics who had attacked him, and of most of whom the only remembrance is their names preserved in this work, which was said to have fallen among his opponents like an exterminating thunderbolt.
ADDRESS TO BOLING BROKE.
FROM THE “ ESSAY ON MAN.” OME, then, my Friend, my Genius, come Pursue the triumph, and partake the gale ? along;
When statesmen, heroes, kings, in dust repose, O master of the poet and the song ! Whose sons shall blush their fathers were thy And while the Muse now stoops, or now ascends, foes, To Man's low passions, or their glorious ends, Shall then this verse to future age pretend Teach me, like thee, in various nature wise, Thou wert my guide, philosopher, and friend? To fall with dignity, with temper rise;
That, urged by thee, I turn’d the tuneful art Form’d by thy converse, happily to steer
From sounds to things, from fancy to the heart; From grave to gay, from lively to severe;
For wit's false mirror held up nature's light; Correct with spirit, eloquent with ease,
Show'd erring pride, whatever is, is right? Intent to reason, or polite to please,
That reason, passion, answer one great aim; O! while, along the stream of time, thy name That true self.love and social are the same; Expanded flies, and gathers all its fame,
That Virtue only makes our bliss below; Say, shall my little bark attendant sail,
And all our knowledge is, ourselves to know !
TRUST IN PROVIDENCE.
FROM THE “ ESSAY ON MAN."
EAVEN from all creatures hides the book Who sees with equal eye, as God of all, of fate,
A hero perish, or a sparrow fall; All but the page prescribed-their present Atoms or systems into ruin hurled, state ;
And now a bubble burst, and now a world. From brutes what men, from men what spirits, Hope humbly then; with trembling pinions know;
soar; Or who could suffer, being here below?
Wait the great teacher, Death, and God adore. The lamb thy riot dooms to bleed to-day,
What future bliss, He gives thee not to know, Had he thy reason, would he skip and play? But gives that hope to be thy blessing now. Pleased to the last, he crops the Aowery food, Hope springs eternal in the human breast; And licks the hand just raised to shed his blood. Man never is but always to be blest. O blindness to the future! kindly given,
The soul (uneasy, and confined) from home, That each may fill the circle marked by Heaven ; Rests and expatiates in a life to come.
FROM THE “ ESSAY ON CRITICISM.”
For as in bodies, thus in souls, we find