1807 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Alexander Pope

Richmond, "On the Demolition of Pope's Villa" Morning Post (14 October 1807).



Genius of TWIT'NAM! tell me why
Thy clouded face is sunk in mourning?
Has some fierce tempest of the sky
Thy fav'rite bow'rs been overturning.
For ne'er since Fate's decree, I ween,
Depriv'd thee of thy tuneful Master,
Hast thou so melancholy been—
Sure thou hast felt some new disaster?

He deeply sigh'd, and whilst a tear
Adown his aged cheek came stealing,
"The cause," he cried, "thou soon shalt hear
That clouds my looks — that wounds my feeling;
That Seat, long sacred to the home
Of Him who Britain's Muses polish'd,
FASHION, inexorable dame,
Sternly commands to be demolish'd!
Taste's advocates have tried, in vain,
To change the purpose of the Vandal!—
Not even Satire could restrain
Her fell design, nor public scandal:
That monument, which vengeful storms
Would have regarded with compassion,
Now modern barbarism deforms—
And POPE is sacrificed to FASHION!!!"