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Like theirs, our Friendship! and I boast my name
THE HON. SIMON HARCOURT. The following lines confer great honour on their young and highly accomplished author. The ideas are noble and poetical, the sentiments manly and grave, and the expression such as to give full effect to the whole. Pope never received a finer compliment than in the lines commencing—"Say, wondrous youth !”
Mr. Harcourt was only son to the Lord Chancellor Harcourt, and died in 1720. His Epitaph by Pope is one of the very few that have escaped with but little injury from the severity of Johnson.
TO MR. POPE.
ON THE PUBLISHING HIS WORKS.
But hark, what shouts, what gath’ring crowds rejoice! Unstain’d their praise by any venal voice, Such as th' ambitious vainly think their due, When prostitutes, or needy flatt'rers sue. And see the Chief! before him laurels borne; 15 Trophies from undeserving temples torn; Here Rage enchain'd reluctant raves, and there Pale Envy dumb, and sick’ning with despair, Prone to the earth she bends her loathing eye, Weak to support the blaze of majesty.
20 But what are they that turn the sacred page? Three lovely Virgins, and of equal age; Intent they read, and all enamour'd seem, As he that met his likeness in the stream: The GRACES these; and see how they contend, 25 Who most shall praise, who best shall recommend.
The Chariot now the painful steep ascends, The pæans cease; thy glorious labour ends. Here fix'd, the bright eternal Temple stands, Its prospect an unbounded view commands: 30 Say, wond’rous youth, what column wilt thou choose, What laurell’d arch for thy triumphant Muse? Tho' each great Ancient court thee to his shrine, Tho' ev'ry laurel through the dome be thine, (From the proud Epic, down to those that shade 35 The gentler brow of the soft Lesbian maid) Go to the Good and Just, an awful train, Thy soul's delight, and glory of the Fane: While through the earth thy dear remembrance flies, “Sweet to the World, and grateful to the skies.” 40
LORD LYTTELTON. Mr. Bowles objects to Dr. Warton's preference of Fenton's verses, and thinks“ these lines of Lord Lyttelton much superior to all the other recommendatory verses, as elegant and correct in themselves, as the sentiments they convey appear sincere, and worthy an ingenious, liberal, and cultivated mind. There is a small inaccuracy,” he adds, “ in one or two expressions, and perhaps it would have been better if Virgil's speech had formed the conclusion.”
Of the comparative merits of these commendatory poems the reader must be allowed to form his own judgment ; but it is somewhat extraordinary that Mr. Bowles should recommend as an amendment, that the poem should close with Virgil's speech, when this is evidently already
TO MR. POPE.
From Rome, 1730. IMMORTAL Bard ! for whom each Muse has wove The fairest garlands of th’ Aonian grove; Preserv'd, our drooping Genius to restore, When Addison and Congreve are no more; After so many stars extinct in night,
5 The darken'd age's last remaining light! To thee from Latian realms this verse is writ, Inspir’d by memory of ancient Wit: For now no more these climes their influence boast, Fall’n is their glory, and their virtue lost:
10 From Tyrants, and from Priests, the Muses fly, Daughters of Reason and of Liberty. Nor Baiæ now, nor Umbria’s plain they love, Nor on the banks of Nar, or Mincio rove; To Thames's flow'ry borders they retire,
15 And kindle in thy breast the Roman fire. So in the shades, where cheer'd with summer rays Melodious linnets warbled sprightly lays, Soon as the faded, falling leaves complain Of gloomy winter's unauspicious reign, No tuneful voice is heard of joy or love, But mournful silence saddens all the grove.
Unhappy Italy! whose alter'd state
Illustrious Names! that once in Latium shin'd,
As late on Virgil's tomb fresh flow'rs I strow'd,
“Great Bard! whose numbers I myself inspire,
Nor, when each soft engaging Muse is thine,
65 And plants her Palm beneath the Olive's shade. Such was the Theme for which my lyre I strung, Such was the People whose exploits I sung ; Brave, yet refin’d, for Arms and Arts renown'd, With diff'rent bays by Mars and Phæbus crown'd, 70 Dauntless opposers of tyrannic sway, But pleas’d, a mild Augustus to obey.
If these commands submissive thou receive, Immortal and unblam'd thy name shall live; Envy to black Cocytus shall retire,
75 And howl with Furies in tormenting fire; Approving Time shall consecrate thy Lays, And join the Patriot's with the Poet's Praise.”
CHRISTOPHER PITT. MR. CHRISTOPHER Pitt was Rector of Pimperne, near Blandford, in Dorsetshire. He early distinguished himself by an elegant version of Vida's Art of Poetry, and afterwards by his translation of the Æneid, which is preferred by many to that of Dryden. That Pope thought favourably of Pitt's translation appears in a letter from Mr. Spence, in which he says, “ Before this, I gave you Mr. Pope's real sentiment on your first book. I dare say it
was his real sentiment; because, as I told you, I took care to ask him the question before I had mentioned my being acquainted with you, and it was literally what I told you.”
TO MR. POPE,
ON HIS TRANSLATION OF HOMER'S ILIAD.
"Tis true, what fam’d Pythagoras maintain’d, That souls departed in new bodies reign'd: