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BY A PERSON OF QUALITY.
WRITTEN IN THE YEAR 1733.
I.. Flutt’RING spread thy purple pinions,
Gentle Cupid, o'er my Heart; I a Slave in thy dominions ;
Nature must give way to Art.
Nightly nodding o'er your flocks,
All beneath yon flow'ry rocks.
Mourn'd Adonis, darling youth:
Gor’d with unrelenting tooth.
Fair Discretion, string the Lyre;
Bright Apollo, lend thy choir.
Arm’d in adamantine chains,
Wat’ring soft Elysian plains.
Gilding my Aurelia's brows,
Hear me pay my dying vows.
Swiftly purling in a round,
With thy flow'ry chaplets crown'd.
Softly seeks her silent mate,
Melody resigns to Fate.
It is remarkable, that this song imposed upon one of Pope's professed Commentators, the late learned Gilbert Wakefield, who took it for a serious composition: “ It appears,” he says, “ disjointed and obscure," and asks, in reference to the fourth verse, “ what is the propriety of this observation? and what its application to the present subject ?" On this occasion Mr. Toulmin, a friend of Mr. Wakefield's, addressed to him a copy of verses, which Mr. Wakefield, VOL. III.
with a good-humoured confession of his mistake, has printed in the subsequent volume of his Observations on Pope, 8vo. 1769, conceiving that "they will form an agreeable termination of his Preface."
“ Watchful Wakefield, late and early
Slumbering o'er the page of Pope,
Twisting sand into a rope," &c. But perhaps the most solemn and successful imposition that ever was practised on an inconsiderate reader, is the Ode on Science; printed (as is also the Love Song by a person of quality) in Pope and Swift's Miscellanies; and which, like that, to judge from the style, is not unlikely to have been the work of Pope.
ODE ON SCIENCE.
Beneath the mossy cave;
And flow'ry carpets lave.
For melancholy ever reigns
With scientific light;
Though wrapt from mortal sight.
Yet, Goddess, yet the way explore
Obstructed and depress'd;
By reason's power redress'd.
When Solon and Lycurgus taught
Of mad opinion's maze,
That blends congenial rays.
Bid bright Astræa gild the morn,
To hecatomb the year;
In vain the lunar sphere.
Come, fairest princess of the throng, Bring sweet philosophy along
In metaphysic dreams; While raptur'd bards no more behold A vernal age of purer gold,
In Heliconian streams.
Drive Thraldom with malignant hand,
By Folly led astray;
Thy universal sway.
So when Amphion bade the lyre
Behold the madding throng,
And petrifying song!
ON A CERTAIN LADY AT COURT.
I know the thing that's most uncommon;
(Envy be silent, and attend !) I know a reasonable Woman,
Handsome and witty, yet a Friend.
Not warp'd by Passion, aw'd by Rumour,
Not grave through Pride, or gay through Folly, An equal Mixture of good Humour,
And sensible soft Melancholy.
“ Has she no faults then, (Envy says,) Sir ?"
Yes, she has one, I must aver;
The Woman's deaf, and does not hear.
Ver. 1. I know the thing] Equal in elegance to any compliment that Waller has paid to Saccharissa, especially the last stanza, and the answer to Envy. The Lady addrest was Mrs. Howard, of Marble-hill, bed-chamber woman to Queen Caroline, and afterwards Countess of Suffolk.