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TO MR. GAY,
CONGRATULATING HIM ON FINISHING HIS HOUSE
AH, friend! 'tis true-this truth you lovers
In vain my ftructures rife, my gardens grow,
What are the gay parterre, the chequer'd shade,
To figh unheard in, to the paffing winds?
THESE very beautiful lines I have introduced in this place, as the most proper, after Pope's Infeription on his Grotto. In Pope's works the eight laft lines only have been published as a fragment, the others were fuppreffed in confequence of his fubfequent quarrel with the Lady whofe name appears in them. They appear evidently written from the heart.
Lady Mary's account of them puts their authenticity out of doubt:
"I fee fometimes Mr. Congreve, and very feldom Mr. Pope, who continues to embellish his house at Twickenham. He has made a fubterranean grotto, which he has furnished with lookingglaffes, and they tell me it has a good effect. I fend you fome verfes, addreffed to Mr. Gay, who wrote him a congratulatory Letter on his finishing his house. I ftifled these here, and I beg they may die the same death at Paris, and never go farther than your closet."
Dallaway's edition of Lady M. W. Montagu's Works, vol. iii. p. 198,
TO MRS. M. B.*
ON HER BIRTH-DAY.
H be thou bleft with all that Heav'n can fend, OH Long Health, long Youth, long Pleasure, and a Friend:
Not with those Toys the female world admire,
Let Joy or Eafe, let Affluence or Content, And the gay Confcience of a life well spent,
VER. 10. 'Tis but the Fun'ral] Immediately after this line were thefe four following, in the original:
"If there's no hope, with kind, tho' fainter ray,
To gild the evening of our future day;
If every page of life's long volume tell
The fame dull ftory, Mordaunt, thou didst well!" Colonel Mordaunt, who deftroyed himself, though not under the preffure of any ill or misfortune. WARTON.
Calm ev'ry thought, inspirit ev'ry grace,
VER. 15. Originally thus in the MS.
And oh fince Death must that fair frame destroy,
In fome foft dream may thy mild foul remove,