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pie of Fame," in imitation of Chaucer's " House of Fame,'' "Windsor Forest," a loco-descriptive poem, and "Eloisa to Abelard," the most popular, perhaps, of any of his productions. But all these poems, together with his Satires arid Epistles, added but very little to his formne. Accordingly, at the age of twenty-five, he issued proposals for the Translation of the Iliad, by subscription. The work was accomplished in five years, and while the profits were such as to gratify his utmost expectations,1 the great and signal merits of the translation received the warmest eulogiums from the literary world. In a few years after, in conjunction with Fcnton and Broome, he translated the Odyssey.

The fame which Pope acquired by these writings drew upon him the attacks of the envious ;s and a host of critics, individually insignificant, but troublesome from their numbers, continued to annoy him. To retaliate, he published, in 1728, "The Dunciad," a work "which fell among his opponents like an exterminating thunderbolt" But while it has displayed the temperament of the author in no very enviable light, it has perpetuated the memory of many wordiless scribblers, who otherwise would have sunk into oblivion. In 1733 he published his celebrated didactic poem, the " Essay on Man." No sooner did it appear than it was assailed by his enemies, and others, on the ground that it was full of skeptical or infidel tendencies. From this charge it was ably defended by the learned Dr. Warburton, and has since been most triumphantly vindicated in the preliminary discourse of Mr. Roscoe.3 After the publication of the "Essay on Man" he continued to compose occasional pieces, and planned many admirable works: among the latter was "A History of tho Rise and Progress of English Poetry." But he never lived to enter upon the work, for an asthmatic affection, to which he had long been subject, terminated, in 1744, in a dropsy of the chest, and ho expired on the 30tli of May of that year.4

u What rank," says Dr. Drake, "should be assigned to Pope in a classification of our English poets, has been a subject of frequent inquiry. It is evident, that by far the greater part of his original productions consists of ethic and satiric poetry; and by those who estimate mere moral sentiment, or the exposure, in splendid versiDcation, of fashionable vice or folly, as the highest province of the art, ho must be considered as the first of bards. If, however, sublimity, imagination, and pathos be, as they assuredly are, the noblest efforts of the creative powers, and tho most difficult of attainment, Pope will be found to have had some superiors, and several rivals. With Spenser, Shakspeare, and Milton, he cannot, in those essential qualities, enter into competition; antl when compared with Dryden, Young, and Thomson, the mind hesitates in the allotment of superiority."6

1 He cleared the sum of five thousand three hundred and twenty pounds.

t "Wrath hi cruel, and anger Is outrageous; but who Is able to stand before Esvv PmverU ixni. 4.

3 See Roscoe's edition of Pone, 10 vols. London, one of the choicest contributions to English lltcra•ture of the present century. Read, also, that elegant and Interesting piece of criticism, Warton's

"Essay on the Genius and Writings of Pope," a work of which It has been Justly said that, "however often perused, It affords fresh delight, and may be considered as one of the books best adapted to excite a love of literature."

4 In person, Pope was short and deformed, of great weakness and delicacy of body, and had, through life, suffered from ill hcaltli. Warton remarks, th:\t "his bodily make was of use to liim as a writer," quoting the following passage from Lord llacon's Essays: "It is good to consider deformity not as a sign, which is more dcceivable; but as a cause, which seldom fitleth of the ertl'ct. Whosoever hath any thing fixed iu his person that doth induce contempt, bath also a perpetual spur In himself to rescue and deliver himself from scorn."

s Read an admirable "Estimate of the Pocucal Character and Writings of Pope," prefixed to the second volume of Roscoe's edition.

Warton, in tlie dedication of his elegant "Essay on the Writings and Genius of Pope," after making four classes of the various English poets, remarks: "In which of these classes Pope deserves to be placed, the following work is intended to determine ;"' and he closes his second volume, thus: u Where, then, according to the question proposed at the beginning of this Essay, shall we justly be authorized to place our admired Pope? Not, assuredly, in die same rank with Spenser, Shakspeare, and Milton; however justly wre may applaud the 'Eloba,' and the lRape of the Lock;; but, considering the correctness, elegance, and utility of his works, the weight of sentiment, and the knowledge of man they contain, we may venture to assign him a place .next to Milton, ami just alwve Dryden.1 The preference here given to Pope, above other modern English poets, it must be rcrncml>ered, is founded on the excellencies of his works in general, and taken altogether; for there are parts and passages in other modern authors, in Young and in Thomson, for instance, equal to any of Pope; nnd ho has written nothing in a strain so truly sublime as the * Bard* of Gray/'*


A Sacred Eclogue, in imitation of VirgiTs Pollio.3

Ye nymphs of Solyma M begin the song:
To heavenly themes sublimcr strains belong.
The mossy fountains and the sylvan shades,
The dreams of Pindus5 and the Aonian maids,6
Delight no more—0 Thou my voice inspire
Who touch'd Isaiah's hallowd lips with (ire!

Rapt into future times, the bard begun:
A Virgin shall conceive, a Virgin bear a Son!
From Jesses root? behold a branch arise,
Whose sacred flower with fragrance fills the skies:
The Ethereal Spirit o'er its leaves shall move,
And on its top descend the mystic Dove.
Ye heavens!8 from high the dewy nectar pour,
And in soft silence shed the kindly shower!
The sick9 and weak the healing plant shall aid,
From storms a shelter, and from heat a shade.
All crimes shall cease, and ancient frauds shall fail;
Returning Justice10 lift aloft her scale;
Peace o'er the world her olive wand extend,
And white-robed Innocence from heaven descend.

1 He nieni)H next to that first class, which Includes Spenser, Sliukspeare, and Milton, naming these Iti a chronological order, and not In the order of their merits.

2 And what has he written equal to the "Elegy," or the "Progress of Poesy," of Grayf

8 Pollio was a Roman senator In Uie time of Augustus, and celebrated not only as a general, bat as a patron of letters and the fine arts. Virgil addressed to him his fourth Eclogue at a tune (B.C «) when Augustus and Antony had ratified a league of peace, and thus, as it was thought, established the tranquillity of the empire, as in the time* of the "golden age." In this Eclogue Virgil is m<*st eloquent in the praise of peace, and In some of his figures and expressions ts thought to have inutat'd the prophecies of Isaiah, which, probably, he had read in the Greek Septuagint- But howerer this may be as regards Virgil, Hoscoe well remarks of this production of Pope, that "the Idea of uniting the sacred prophecies and grand imagery of Isaiah, wiUi the mysterious visions and pomp of numbers displayed In the Pollio, thereby combining both sacred and heathen mythology in predicting the coming of Ute Messiah, is one of the liappiest subjects for producing emotions of sublimity that ever occurred to the mind of a poet." i Jerusalem. & A mountain In Thcssaly, sacred to the Muses. 8 Aonian maids—the Moses7 isa. xl. l. 8 Isa. xlv. s. 8 I«a. xxv. 4. 10 Isa. tx. 7.

Swift fly the years, and rise the expected morn!
O spring to light, auspicious Babe, be born!
See, Nature hastes her earliest wreaths to bring,
With all the incense of the breathing spring:
See lofty Lebanon1 his head advance.
See nodding forests on the mountains dance;
See spicy clouds from lowly Saron rise,
And Carmel's flowery top perfumes the skies!
Hark! a glad voice the lonely desert cheers;
Prepare the way!* A God, a God appears!
A God, a God! the vocal hills reply;
The rocks proclaim the approaching Deity.
Lo, earth receives him from the bending skies!
Sink down, ye mountains; and ye valleys, rise!
With heads declined, ye cedars, homage pay;
Be smooth, ye rocks; ye rapid floods, give way.
The Saviour comes! by ancient bards foretold!
Hear him, ye deaf;3 and all ye bUnd, behold!
He from thick films shall purge the visual ray,
And on the sightless eyeball pour the day:
!Tis he the obstructed paths of sound shall clear,
And bid new music charm th' unfolding ear:
The dumb shall sing, the lame his crutch forego,
And leap exulting, like the bounding roe.
No sigh, no murmur, the wide world shall hear j
From every face he wipes off every tear.
In adamantine chains shall death be bound,
And hell's grim tyrant feel th' eternal wound.
As the good shepherd4 tends his fleecy care,
Seeks freshest pasture, and the purest air;
Explores the lost, the wandering sheep directs,
By day o'ersees them, and by night protects;
The tender lambs he raises iu his arms,
Feeds from his hand, and in his bosom warms:
Thus shall mankind his guardian care engage,
The promised5 father of the future age.
No more shall nation6 against nation rise,
Nor ardent warriors meet with hateful eyes,
Nor fields with gleaming steel bo cover'd o'er,
The brazen trumpets kindle rage no more;
But useless lances into scythes shall bend,
And the broad faleliion in a ploughshare end.
Then palaces shall rise; the joyful son7
Shall finish what his short-lived sire begun:
Their vines a shadow to their race shall yield,
And the same hand that sow'd shall reap the field.
The swain in barren deserts8 with surprise
Sees lilies spring, and sudden verdure rise;
And starts amidst the thirsty wilds to hear
Ne w falls of water murmuring in his ear.
On rifted rocks, the dragon's late abodes,
The green reed trembles, and the bulrush nods.

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Waste sandy valleys,1 once perplex'd with thorn,

The spiry tir and shapely box adorn:

To leafless shrubs the flowering palm succeed,

And odorous myrtle to die noisome weed.

The lambs2 with wolves shall graze the verdant mead,

And boys in flowery bands the tiger lead.

The steer and lion at one crib shall meet,

And harmless serpents* lick the pilgrim's feet.

The smiling infant in his hand shall take

The crested basilisk and speckled snake,

Pleased, the green lustre of the scales survey,

And with their forky tongues shall innocently play.

Rise, crown'd widi light, imperial Salem,4 rise,

Exalt thy towery head, and lift thine eyes!

See a long race6 thy spacious courts adom;

See future sons and daughters, yet unborn,

In crowding ranks on every side arise,

Demanding life, impatient for the skies 1

See barbarous nations6 at thy gates attend,

Walk in thy light, and in thy temple bend;

See thy bright altars throng'd with prostrate kings,

And hcap'd with products of Sabean7 springs!

For thee Idumc's spicy forests blow,

And seeds of gold in Ophir's mountains glow.

Sec heaven its sparkling portals wide display,

And break upon thee in a flood of day!

No more die rising Sun8 shall gild the morn,

Nor evening Cynthia fill her silver horn j

But lost, dissolved in thy superior rays,

One tide of glory, one unclouded blaze

O'erflow thy courts: the Light himself shall shine

Reveal'd, and God's eternal day be thine I

The 6eas 9 shall waste, the skies in smoke decay,

Rocks fall to dust, and mountains melt away;

But fix'd his word, his saving power remains;

Thy realm for ever lasts, thy own Messiah reigns! Of the "Essay on Criticism," Dr. Johnson remarks, "if he had written nothing else, it would have placed him among die first critics anil the first poets; as it exhibits every mode of excellence that can embellish or dignify composition—selection of matter, novelty of arrangement, justness of precept, splendoi of illustration, and propriety of digression.'10


Of all the causes which conspire to blind
Man's erring judgment, and misguide the mind,
What the weak head with strongest bias rules.
Is Pride, the never-failing vice of fools.
Whatever Nature has in worth denied,
She gives in large recruits of needful Pride!

1 Isa. xli. 19; lv. 1J. !Isa. xi. «,-». s 1*1. Ikv. 25. iun. i. ila.u.1

« Isa. II. 3. .Tina. lx. 0. 8 Ian. lx. 19, 20. • Isa. 11. 6; Br. 10.

10 "For a person only twenty years old to have produced such an Essay, so replete with a knowledge of lite and manners, such accurate observations on men and books, such variety of literature, such strong good sense, and refined taste and Judgment, has been the subject or frequent and of Just admiration."-- Wsrttw.

For as in bodies, thus in soul?, we find

What wants in blood and spirits, swell'd with wind:

Pride, whore Wit fails, steps in to our defence,

And fills up all the mighty void of sense.

If once right reason drives that cloud away,

Truth breaks upon us with resistless day.

Trust not yourself; but, your defects to know,

.Make use of every friend—and every foe.

A little learning is a dangerous tiling!

Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:

There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,

And drinking largely sobers us again.

Fired at first sight with what the Muse imparts,

In fearless youth we tempt the heights of Arts,

Wlnle, from the bounded level of our mind,

Short views we take, nor see the lengths behind;

But more advanced, behold with strange surprise

New distant scenes of endless science rise!

So pleased at first the towering Alps we try,

Mount o'er the vales, and seem to tread the sky;

Th* eternal snows appear already past,

And the first clouds and mountains seem the last:

But, those attain'd, we tremble to survey

The growing labors of the lengthen'd way;

Th' increasing prospect tires our wandering eye*,

Hills peep o'er hills, and Alps on Alps arise!

Emmy an VrUtaem, 201.

Tis not enough no harshness gives offence,
The sound must seem an Echo to the sense:
Soft is the strain when Zephyr gently blows,
And the smooth stream in smoother numbers Hows;
But when loud surges lash the sounding shore,
The hoarse, rough verse should like the torrent roar.
When Ajux strives some rwit's vast weight to throw,
The line too labors, and the words move slow:
Not so when swift Camilla scours the plain,
Flies o'er th' unbending corn, and skims along the main.1

on Crilurum, 364.


Be thou the first true merit to befriend;
His praise is lost, who stays till all commend.
Short is the date, alas, of modern rhymes,
And 'tis but just to let them live betimes.

1 These lines arc usually cited as line examples of adapting the sound to the sens**, hut Dr. Johnson, In the ninety-second number of the Rambler, has demonstrated Uiat Pope has here signally tailed. •'The verse intended to represent the whisper of the vernal breeze must surely be confessed not much to excel in Eoftnces or volubility; and the * smooth stream' runs with a perpetual clash of jarring consonants. Tlic noise and turbulence of the 'torrent,' Is Indeed distinctly Imaged; for it requires very little skill to make our language rough. But in the lines which mcnUon the effort of 'Ajax,' there is no particular heaviness or delay. The 'swiftness of Camilla1 is rather contrasted Uiao exemplified. Why the verse should be lengthened to express speed will not easily be discovered. But (be Alexandrine, by lt« pause in the. midst, is a tardy and stately measure; and the word 'unbending,' oiic of the most sluggish and slow which our language affords, cannot much accelerate IU motion."

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