1814 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Alexander Pope

Anonymous, "Inscription for Pope's Villa at Twickenham, in its present 'Improved' State" Morning Chronicle (19 January 1814).



Trav'ller pass careless by; nor stop in hope,
Of viewing here the scene belov'd by POPE.
Years saw preserv'd his mansion and his grot,
All later worthies sought the sacred spot;
And adding still new rev'rence to its shade,
Time amply recompens'd the spoil it made.

Whether 'twas Avarice laid these gardens waste,
Or vulgar Foppery of affected taste,
Boots not to know. — Depart, content to think,
Those heartless minds that bade his relics sink,
May vainly labour till their final day
To touch the blooming honours of his lay,
With his immortal song shall live their shame,
Trite as his verse — conspicuous as his fame.
Oft as the great, the wise, the spot shall view,
For tho' despoil'd, some rev'rence still is due;
Now scorn shall brand, from lips whence scorn is keen,
The want of feeling that could change the scene;
While friends, if even friends will urge defence,
Shall only dare to plead a want of sense.