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We must approve the doctrine, since we see
5 But now a British Poet she inspires.
To you, O Pope! the lineal right extends, To
you th' hereditary muse descends. At a vast distance we of Homer heard, Till you brought in, and nat’raliz’d the Bard; 10 Bade him our English rights and freedom claim, His voice, his habit, and his air the same. Now in the mighty Stranger we rejoice, And Britain thanks thee, with a public voice. See! too, the Poet, a majestic shade,
In ev'ry hand we see the glorious song,
But o'er their settling coffee gravely tell,
Let the mad Critics to their side engage
55 Ulysses' toils, succeed Achilles' war. Haste to the work; the ladies long to see The pious frauds of chaste Penelope. Helen they long have seen, whose guilty charms For ten whole years engag’d the world in arms. 60 Then, as thy Fame shall see a length of days, Some future Bard shall thus record thy Praise: “ In those blest times, when smiling Heav'n and Fate Had rais’d Britannia to her happiest state, When wide around she saw the World submit, And own her Sons supreme in Arts and Wit; Then Pope and Dryden brought in triumph home, The Pride of Greece, and Ornament of Rome; To the great task each bold Translator came, With Virgil's Judgment, and with Homer's Flame. 70 Here the pleas’d Mantuan swan was taught to soar, Where scarce the Roman eagles towr'd before: And Greece no more was Homer's native earth, Tho' her sev'n rival cities claim'd his birth;
On her sey'n cities he look'd down with scorn, 75 And own'd with pride, he was in Britain born.”
When the Essay on Man was first published, without the name of the author, it was attributed to different writers of the time, and among the rest to Mr. Harte ; who appears from the following lines to have formed his style so closely on that of Pope, as to leave himself little claim to originality either of sentiment or expression.
TO MR. POPE.
To move the springs of nature as we please,
'Tis yours, like these, with curious toil to trace
O ever worthy, ever crown'd with praise ;
Yet envy still with fiercer rage pursues,
Yet sure not so must all peruse thy lays;
35 And Homer's force, and Ovid's easier air.
So seems some Picture, where exact design, And curious pains, and strength and sweetness join : Where the free thought its pleasing grace bestows, And each warm stroke with living colour glows : 40 Soft without weakness, without labour fair; Wrought up at once with happiness and care !
How blest the man that from the world removes To joys that MORDAUNT, or his Pope approves ; Whose taste exact each author can explore,
45 And live the present and past ages o'er : Who free from pride, from penitence, or strife, Move calmly forward to the verge of life: Such be my days, and such my fortunes be, To live by reason, and to write by thee!
50 Nor deem this verse, tho' humble, thy disgrace; All are not born the glory of their race: Yet all are born t'adore the great man's name, And trace his footsteps in the paths to fame. The Muse who now this early homage pays,
55 First learn'd from thee to animate her lays: A Muse as yet unhonour’d, but unstain'd, Who prais’d no vices, no preferment gain’d: Unbias'd, or to censure or commend, Who knows no envy, and who grieves no friend ; 60
Perhaps too fond to make those virtues known,
VOLTAIRE AU ROI DE PRUSSE.
Horace avec Boileau : Vous y cherchiez le vrai, vous y goutez le beau ; Quelques traits échappés d'une utile morale, Dans leurs piquans écrits brillent par intervalle ; Mais Pope approfondit ce qu'ils ont effleuré ; D’un esprit plus hardi, d'un pas plus assuré, Il porta le flambeau dans l'abîme de l'être, Et l'homme avec lui seul apprit à se connoître. L'Art quelquefois frivole, et quelquefois divin, L'Art des vers est dans Pope utile au genre humain.
At Stowe in Buckinghamshire, the seat of Earl Temple, is a building called the Temple of British Worthies, designed by Kent. One of the niches has a bust of Pope, with the following inscription :
by the melody and power of his numbers,
gavę sweetness to Sense, and grace to Philosophy. He employed the pointed brilliancy of Wit to chastise the vices, and the eloquence of Poetry to exalt the virtues of human nature ;
and being without a rival in his own age,
the best Poets of Antiquity.