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New oysters cry'd, nor sighs for cheerful ale;
Thus, while my joyless minutes tedious flow,
* To-wit, his garret.
So horrible he seems! His faded brow
Beware, ye debtors ! when ye walk, beware,
So pass my days. But when nocturnal shades This world envelope, and th’ inclement air Persuades men to repel benumbing frosts With pleasant wines, and crackling blaze of wood , Me, lonely sitting, nor the glimmering light Of make-weight candle, nor the joyous talk Of loving friend, delights; distress'd, forlorn, Amidst the horrors of the tedious night, Darkling I sigh, and feed with dismal thoughts My anxious mind; or sometimes mournful verse Indite, and sing of groves and myrtle shades, Or desperate lady near a purling stream, Or lover pendent on a willow-tree. Meanwhile I labor with eternal drought, And restless wish, and rave; my parched throat Finds no relief, nor heavy eyes repose : But if a slumber haply does invade My weary limbs, my fancy, still awake, Thoughtful of drink, and eager, in a dream, Tipples imaginary pots of ale ; In vain ;-awake I find the settled thirst Still gnawing, and the pleasant phantom curse.
Thus do I live, from pleasure quite debarr'd, Nor taste the fruits that the sun's genial rays Mature, john-apple, nor the downy peach, Nor walnut in rough-furrowed coat secure, Nor medlar fruit delicious in decay; Afflictions great! yet greater still remain. My galligaskins, that have long withstood The winter's fury and encroaching frosts, By time subdued (what will not time subdue !) An horrid chasm disclose with orifice Wide, discontinuous ; at which the winds Eurus and Auster and the dreadful force Of Boreas, that congeals the Cronian waves, Tumultuous enter with dire chilling blasts, Portending agues. Thus a well-fraught ship, Long sails secure, or through the Ægean deep, Or the Ionian, till cruising near The Lilybean shore, with hideous crush On Scylla or Charybdis (dangerous rocks) She strikes rebounding; whence the shatter'd oak, So fierce a shock unable to withstand, Admits the sea. In at the gaping side The crowding waves gush with impetuous rage,
Resistless, overwhelming. Horrors seize
BORN, 1688—DIED, 1744.
Besides being an admirable wit and satirist, and a man of the most exquisite good sense, Pope was a true poet; and though in all probability his entire nature could never have made him a great one (since the whole man contributes to form the genius, and the very weakness of his organization was in the way of it), yet in a different age the boy who wrote the beautiful verses,
Blest be the man whose wish and care, would have turned out, I think, a greater poet than he was. He had more sensibility, thought, and fancy, than was necessary for the purposes of his school ; and he led a sequestered life with his books and his grotto, caring little for the manners he drew, and capable of higher impulses than had been given him by the wits of the time of Charles the Second. It was unlucky for him (if indeed it did not produce a lucky variety for the reading world) that Dryden came immediately before him. Dryden, a robuster nature, was just great enough to mislead Pope ; and French ascendency completed his fate. Perhaps, after all, nothing better than such a honey and such a sting as this exquisite writer de. veloped, could have been got out of his little delicate pungent nature; and we have every reason to be grateful for what they have done for us. Hundreds of greater pretensions in poetry have not attained to half his fame, nor did they deserve it; for they did not take half his pains. Perhaps they were unable to take them, for want of as good a balance of qualities. Success is generally commensurate with its grounds.