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Nor was the work impair'd by storms alone,
But felt th' approaches of too warm a sun;
For fame, impatient of extremes, decays
Not more by envy than excess of praise.
Yet part no injuries of heaven could feel,
Like crystal, faithful to the graving steel:
The rock's high summit, in the temple's shade,
Nor heat could melt, nor beating storms in-
There names inscrib'd unnumber'd ages past, From time's first birth, with time itself shall last;
The growing tow'rs like exhalations rise, And the huge columns heave into the skies.
The eastern front was glorious to behold, With diamond flaming, and Barbaric gold. There Ninus shone, who spread th' Assyrian fame,
And the great founder of the Persian name: There, in long robes, the royal Magi stand; Grave Zoroaster waves the circling wand: The sage Chaldæans rob'd in white appear'd, And Brachmans, deep in desert woods rever’d. These stopp'd the moon, and call'd th' unbodied shades
These ever new, nor subject to decays,
Spread, and grow brighter, with the length of To midnight banquets in the glimm'ring glades;
Made visionary fabrics round them rise,
So Zembla's rocks (the beauteous work of And airy spectres skim before their eyes;
Rise white in air, and glitter o'er the coast;
Pale suns, unfelt, at distance roll away,
And on th' impassive ice the lightnings play;
Eternal snows the growing mass supply,
Till the bright mountains prop th' incumbent
As Atlas fix'd, each hoary pile appears
The gather'd winter of a thousand years.
On this foundation Fame's high temple stands;
Stupendous pile! not rear'd by mortal hands.
Whate'er proud Rome or artful Greece beheld,
Or elder Babylon, its frame excell'd.
Four faces had the dome, and ev'ry face
Of various structure, but of and grace:
Four brazen gates, on columns lifted high,
Salute th' diff'rent quarters of the sky.
Here fabled chiefs, in darker ages boru,
Or worthies old, whom arms or arts adorn,
Who cities rais'd, or tam'd a monstrous race,
The walls in venerable order grace:
Heroes in animated marble frown,
And legislators seem to think in stone.
Westward a sumptuous frontispiece appear'd,
On Doric pillars of white marble rear'd,
Crown'd with an architrave of antique mold,
And sculpture rising on the roughen'd gold.
In shaggy spoils here Thesens was beheld,
And Perseus dreadful with Minerva's shield:
There great Alcides, stooping with his toil,
Rests on his club, and holds th' Hesperian
Of talismans and sigils knew the pow'r,
And careful watch'd the planetary hour.
Superior, and alone, Confucius stood,
Who taught that useful science, to be good.
But, on the south, a long majestic race || Of Egypt's priests the gilded niches grace, Who measur'd earth, describ'd the starry spheres,
And trac'd the long records of lunar years. | High on his car Sesostris struck my view, Whom sceptered slaves in golden harness drew:
His hands a bow and pointed javelin hold,
His giant limbs are arm'd in scales of gold.
Between the statues obelisks were plac'd,
And the learn'd walls with hieroglyphics
Of gothic structure was the northern side,
O'erwroughtwith ornaments of barb'rous pride;
There hugeColosses rose, with trophies crown'd;
And Runic characters were grav'd around.
There sat Zamolxis with erected eyes;
And Odin here in mimic trances dies.
There on rude iron columns, smear'd with
The borrid forms of Scythian heroes stood, Druids and bards (their once loud harps un
And youths that died to be by poets sung.
These, and a thousand more of doubtful fame,
To whom old fables gave a lasting name,
In ranks adorn'd the temple's outward face:
Here Orpheus sings; trees moving to the The wall in lustre and effect like glass,
Start from their roots, and form a shade around:
Amphion there the loud creating lyre
Strikes, and beholds a sudden Thebes aspire!
Cytheron's echoes auswer to his call,
And balf the mountain rolls into a wall:
Which o'er each object casting various dyes,
Enlarges some, and others multiplies:
Nor void of emblem was the mystic wall;
For thus romantic fame increases all.
The temple shakes, the sounding gates un-
There might you see the length'ning spires Wide vaults appear, and roofs of fretted
The domes swell up, the widening arches Rais'd on a thousand pillars, wreath'd around With laurel foliage, and with eagles crown'd.
Of bright transparent beryl were the walls,
The friezes gold, and gold the capitals:
As heaven with stars, the roof with jewels glows,
And ever-living lamps depend in rows.
Full in the passage of each spacious gate,
The sage Historians in white garments wait;
Grav'd o'er their seats the form of Time was
Here Hector glorious from Patroclus' fall,
Here dragg'd in triumph round the Trojan
Motion and life did ev'ry part inspire, [fire;
Bold was the work, and prov'd the master's
A strong expression most he seem'd t' affect,
And here and there disclos'd a brave neglect.
A golden column next in rank appear'd,
On which a shrine of purest gold was rear`d;
His scythe revers'd, and both his pinions Finish'd the whole, and labour'd ev'ry part,
Within stood heroes, who thro' loud alarms In bloody fields pursued renown in arms. High on a throne, with trophies charg'd, I view'd [dued, The youth that all things but himself subHis feet on sceptres and tiaras trod,
And his horn'd head belyed the Lybian god. There Cæsar, grac'd with both Minervas, shone;
Cæsar, the world's great master, and his own;
Unmov'd, superior still in ev'ry state,
And scarce detested in his country's fate.
But chief were those who not for empire
But with their toils their people's safety
High o'er the rest Epaminondas stood;
Timoleon, glorious in his brother's blood;
Bold Scipio, saviour of the Roman state,
Great in his triumphs, in retirement great;
And wise Aurelius, in whose well-taught'
With boundless pow'r unbounded virtue,
His own strict judge, and patron of mankind.
Much suff'ring heroes next their honours
Those of less noisy and less guilty fame,
Fair Virtue's silent train: supremne of these
Here ever shines the godlike Socrates;
He whom ungrateful Athens could expel,
At all times just but when he sign'd the shell;||
Here his abode the martyr'd Phocion claims,
With Agis, not the last of Spartan names;
Unconquer'd Cato shews the wound he tore;
And Brutus his ill genius meets no more.
But in the centre of the hallow'd choir,
Six pompous columns o'er the rest aspire;
Around the shrine itself of Fame they stand,
Hold the chief honours, and the fane com-
High on the first the mighty Homer shone,
Eternal adamant compos'd his throne;
Father of verse! in holy fillets drest,
His silver beard wav'd gently o'er his breast;
Tho' blind, a boldness in his look appears;
In years he seem'd, but not impair'd by years.
The wars of Troy were round the pillar seen:
Here fierce Tydides wounds the Cyprian
With patient touches of unwearied art:
The Mantuan there iu sober triumph sate,
Compos'd his posture, and his look sedate;
On Homer still he fix'd a rev'rend eye,
Great without pride, in modest majesty.
In living sculpture on the sides were spread
The Latian wars, and haughty Turnus dead;
Eliza stretch'd upon the fun'ral pyre ;
Eneas bending with his aged sire:
Troy flam'd in burning gold; and o'er the
Arms and the Man in golden cyphers shone.
Four swans sustain a car of silver bright,
With heads advanc'd, and pinious stretch'd for
Here, like some furious prophet, Pindar rode,
And seem'd to labour with th' inspiring god.
Across the harp a careless band he flings,
And boldly sinks into the sounding strings.
The figur'd games of Greece the column grace;
Neptune and Jove survey the rapid race.
The youths hang o'er their chariots as they
The fiery steeds seem starting from the stone: The champions, in distorted posture, threat: And all appear'd irregularly great.
Here happy Horace tun'd th' Ausonian lyre To sweeter sounds, and temper'd Pindar's fire: Pleas'd with Alcæus' manly rage t'infuse The softer spirit of the Sapphic muse. The polish'd pillar diffèrent sculptures grace, A work outlasting monumental brass. Here smiling loves and Bacchanals appear; The Julian star, and great Augustus here. The doves that round the infant poet spread Myrtles and bays, hang hov'ring o'er his head.
Here, in a shrine that cast a dazzling light, Sat fix'd in thought the mighty Stagyrite; His sacred head a radiant zodiac crown'd, And various animals his sides surround; His piercing eyes, erect, appear to view Superior worlds, and look all nature through.
With equal rays immortal Tully shone, The Roman rostra deck'd the consul's throne: Gath'ring his flowing robe, he seem'd to stand In act to speak, and graceful stretch'd his band, Behind, Rome's genius waits with civic
And the great father of his country owns
These massy columns in a circle rise, O'er which a pompous dome invades the skies: Scarce to the top I stretch'd my aching sight, So large it spread, and swell'd to such a height. Full in the midst proud Fame's imperial seat With jewels blaz'd, magnificently great: The vivid em'ralds there revive the eye, The flaming rubies shew their sanguine dye, Bright azure rays from lively sapphires stream,
And lucid amber casts a golden gleam. With various-colour'd light the pavement shone,
And all on fire appear'd the glowing throne; The dome's high arch reflects the mingled blaze,
And forms a rainbow of alternate rays.
When on the goddess first I cast my sight,
Scarce seem'd her stature of a cubit's height;
But swell'd to larger size, the more I gaz'd,
Till to the roof her tow'ring head she rais'd.
With her, the temple ev'ry moment grew ;
And ampler vistas open'd to my view :
Upwards the columus shoot, the roofs ascend,
Aud arches widen, and long aisles extend.
Such was her form as ancient bards have told,
Wings raise her arms, and wings her feet en-
A thousand busy tongues the goddess bears,
A thousand open eyes, and thousand list ning
Beneath, in order rang'd, the tuneful Nine (Her virgin handmaids) still attend the shrine; With eyes on Fame for ever fix'd, they sing ; For Fame they raise the voice, and tune the string: [lays, With Time's first birth began the heavenly And last eternal thro' the length of days.
Around these wonders as I cast a look, The trumpet sounded, and the temple shook; And all the nations, summon'd at the call, From diffrent quarters fill the crowded hall: Of various tongues the mingled sounds were
In various garbs promiscuous throngs appear'd;
Thick as the bees that with the spring renew
Their flow'ry toils, and sip the fragrant dew,
When the wing'd colonies first tempt the sky,
O'er dusky fields and shaded waters fly,
Or settling seize the sweets the blossoms yield,
And a low murmur runs along the field.
Millions of suppliant crowds the shrine attend,
And all degrees before the goddess beud ;
The poor, the rich, the valiant, and the sage,
And boasting youth, and narrative old age.
Their pleas were diffrent, their request the
For good and bad alike are fond of fame.
Some she disgrac'd, and some with honours crown'd;
Unlike successes equal merits found.
Thus her blind sister, fickle Fortune, reigns :
And, undiscerning, scatters crowns and chains.
First at the shrine the learned world appear,
And to the Goddess thus prefer their pray'r;
Long have we sought t'instruct and please
With studies pale, with midnight vigils blind;
But thank'd by few, rewarded yet by none,
We here appeal to thy superior throne:
Ou wit and learning the just prize bestow;
For fame is all we must expect below.
The Goddess heard, and bade the Muses
The golden trumpet of eternal praise:
From pole to pole the winds diffuse the sound,
That fills the circuit of the world around;
Not all at once, as thunder breaks the cloud :
The notes at first were rather sweet than loud;
By just degrees they ev'ry moment rise,
Fill the wide earth, and gain upon the skies.
At ev'ry breath were balmy odours shed,
Which still grew sweeter as they wider spread;
Less fragrant scents th' unfolding rose exhales,
Or spices breathing in Arabian gales.
Next these the good and just, an awful train,
Thus on their knees address the sacred fane:
Since living virtue is with envy curs'd,
And the best men are treated like the worst,
Do thou, just Goddess, call our merits forth,
| And give each deed th' exact intrinsic worth.
Not with bare justice shall your act be crown'd
(Said Fame), but high above desert renown'd:
Let fuller notes th' applauding world amaze,
And the loud clarion labour in your praise.
This band dismiss'd, behold another crowd Preferr'd the same request, and lowly bow'd; The constant tenour of whose well-spent days No less deserv'd a just return of praise. But straight the direful trump of slander sounds!
Thro' the big dome the doubling thunder bounds;
Loud as the burst of cannon rends the skies,
The dire report thro' ev'ry region flies;
In ev'ry ear incessant rumours rung,
And gath`ring scandals drew on ev'ry tongue.
From the black trumpet's rusty concave broke
Sulphureous flames, and clouds of rolling
The pois'nous vapour blots the purple skies,
And withers all before it as it flies.
A troop came next who crowns and armour
And proud defiance in their looks they bore: For thee (they cried) amidst alarms and strife We sail'd in tempests down the stream of life;
For thee whole nations fill'd with flames and
And swam to empire thro' the purple flood.
Those ills we dar'd, thy inspiration own;
What virtue seem'd, was done for thee alone.
Ambitious fools! (the Queen replied, and
Be all your acts in deep oblivion drown'd:
There sleep forgot, with mighty tyrants gone;
Your statues moulder'd, and your names un-
A sudden cloud straight snatch'd them from
And each majestic phantom sunk in night.
Then came the smallest tribe I yet had seen; Plain was their dress, and modest was their mien.
Great idol of mankind! we neither claim
The praise of merit, nor aspire to fame;
But, safe in deserts from th' applause of men,
Would die unheard of, as we liv'd uuseen.
'Tis all we beg thee, to conceal from sight
Those acts of goodness which themselves re-
O let us still the secret joy partake,
To follow virtue even for virtue's sake.
And live there men who slight immortal fame?
Who then with incense shali adore our name?
But, mortals! know, 'tis still our greatest pride
To blaze those virtues which the good would
Rise! Muses, rise! add all your tuneful breath;
These must not sleep in darkness and in death.
She said; in air the trembling music floats,
And on the winds triumphant swell the notes;
So soft, tho' high, so loud, and yet so clear,
Even list'ning angels lean from Heaven to
The Queen assents, the trumpet rends the
And at each blast a lady's honour dies.
Pleas'd with the strange success, vast num-
Around the shrine, and made the same request:
What! you (she cried) unlearn'd in arts to
Slaves to yourselves, and even fatign'd with
Who lose a length of undeserving days-
Would you usurp the lover's dear-bought
To just contempt, ye vain pretenders, fall;
The people's fable and the scorn of all!
Straight the black clarion sends a horrid
Loud laughs burst out, and bitter scoffs fly
Whispers are loud, with taunts reviling loud
And scornful hisses run thro' all the crowd.
Last, those who boast of mighty mischiefs
At the dread sound pale mortals stood aghast,
And startled nature trembled with the blast.
This having heard and seen, some pow'r un-
Strait chang'd the scene, and snatch'd me from
Before my view appea.'d a structure fair,
Its site uncertain, if in earth or air;
With rapid motion turn'd the mansion round;
With ceaseless noise the ringing walls re-
Not less in number were the spacious doors
Than leaves on trees, or sands upon the
Which still unfolded stand, by night, by day,
Pervious to winds, and open ev'ry way.
As flames by nature to the sky ascend,
As weighty bodies to the centre tend,
As to the sea returning rivers roll,
And the touch'd needle trembles to the pole;
Hither, as to their proper place, arise
All various sounds, from earth, and seas, and
Or spoke aloud, or whisper'd in the ear;
Nor ever silence, rest, or peace is here.
As on the smooth expanse of crystal lakes
The sinking stones at first a circle makes ;
The trembling surface, by the motion stirr'd,
Spread in a second circle, then a third;,
Wide, and more wide, the floating rings ad.
Fill all the watry plain, and to the margin
Thus ev'ry voice and sound, when first they
On neighb'ring air a soft impression make;
Another ambient circle then they mové;
That in its turn impels the next above;
Thro' undulated air the sounds are sent,
And spread o'er all the fluid element.
There various news 1 heard of love and strife, Of peace and war, health, sickness, death and life;
Of loss and gain, of famine and of store;
Of storms at sea, and travels on the shore;
Of prodigies, and portents seen in air;-
Of fires, and plagues, and stars with blazing
Of turns of fortune, changes in the state;
be fall of favourites, projects of the great;
fold mismanagements, taxations new:
A neither wholly false, nor wholly true.
Above, below, without, within, around,
Confus'd, unnumber'd multitudes are found,
Who pass, repass, advance, and glide away;
Hosts rais'd by fear, and phantoms of a day;
Astrologers, that future fates foreshew;
Projectors, quacks, and lawyers not a few;
And priests, and party zealots, numerous
Thro' thousand vents impatient, forth they flow,
And rush in millions on the world below;
Faine sits aloft, and points them out their
Their date determines, and prescribes their
Some to retain, and some to perish soon;
Or wane and wax alternate like the moon.
Around a thousand winged wonders fly,
Borne by the trumpet's blast, and scatter'd
thro' the sky.
There, at one passage, oft you may survey
A lie and truth contending for the way;
And long 'twas doubtful, both so closely pent,
Which first should issue thro' the narrow vent.
At last agreed, together out they fly,
Inseparable now the truth and lie;
The strict companions are for ever join'd,
|| And this or that unmix'd no mortal e'er shall
While thus I stood, intent to see and hear, One came, methought, and whisper'd in my
What could thus high thy rash ambition raise?
Art thou, foud youth, a candidate for praise?
'Tis true, said I, not void of hopes I came,
For who so fond as youthful bards of faine?
But few, alas! the casual blessing boast,
So hard to gain, so easy to be lost.
How vain that second life in others' breath,
Th' estate which wits inherit after death!
Ease, health, and life, for this they must resign;
With home-born lies, or tales from foreign Uusure the tenure, but how vast the fine!
Each talk'd aloud, or in some secret place;
And wild impatience star'd in ev'ry face.
The flying rumours gather'd as they roll'd,
Scarce any tale was sooner heard than told;
And all who told it added something new,
And all who heard it made enlargements too;
In ev'ry ear it spread, on ev'ry tongue it grew.
Thus fying east and west, and north and south,
News travell'd with increase from mouth to
So from a spark that kindled first by chance,
With gath'ring force the quick'ning flames
Till to the clouds their curling heads aspire,
And tow'rs and temples sink in floods of fire.
When thus ripe lies are to perfection sprung,
Full grown, and fit to grace a mortal tongue,
The great man's curse, without the gains, en
Be envied, wretched—and be flatter`d, poor;
All luckless wits their enemies profest,
And all successful, jealous friends at best.
Nor Fame I slight, nor for her favours call;
She comes unlook'd for, if she comes at all.
But if the purchase costs so dear a price,
As soothing folly, or exalting vice ;
Oh! if the Muse must flatter lawless sway,
And follow still where Fortune leads the way;
Or if no basis bear my rising name
But the fallen ruins of another's fame-
Then teach me, Heaven! to scorn the guilty
Drive from my breast that wretched lust of
Unblemish'd let me live, or die unknown;
Oh grant an honest fame, or grant me noue!
END OF THE BEAUTIES OF POPE.