1738 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Alexander Pope

A. P. of Twickenham, Esq., "The Fourth Epistle of the First Book of Horace's Epistles. A Modern Translation" Daily Gazetteer (11 April 1738).



Say, St. John, who alone peruse
With candid Eye, the mimick Muse,
What Schemes of Politicks, or Laws,
In Gallic Lands, the Patriot draws.
Is then a greater Work in hand,
Than all the Tomes of Haines's Band?
Or shoots the Folly as it flies?
Or catches Manners as they rise?
Or urg'd by unquench'd native Heat,
Does St. John Greenwich Sports repeat?
Where (emulous of Chartres' Fame)
Ev'n Chartres Self is scarce a Name.

To you (th' all envy'd Gift of Heav'n)
Th' indulgent Gods, unask'd, have giv'n,
A Form compleat in ev'ry Part,
And, to enjoy the Gift, the Art.

What could a tender Mother's Care,
Wish better, to her Fav'rite Heir,
Than Wit, and Fame, and lucky Hours,
A Stock of Health, and Golden Show'rs,
And graceful Fluency of Speech,
Precepts before unknown to teach?

Amidst thy various Ebbs of Fear;
And gleaming Hope, and black Despair,
Yet, let thy Friend this Truth impart,
A Truth I tell with bleeding Heart,
(In Justice for your Labours past)
That ev'ry Day should be your last,
That ev'ry Hour you Life renew,
Is to your injur'd Country due.

If Spight of Fears, of Mercy Spight,
My Genius still must rail, and write,
Haste to thy Twick'nam's safe Retreat,
And mingle with the grumbling Great,
There half devoured by Spleen, you'll find
The rhyming Bubbler of Mankind;
There (Objects of our mutual Hate)
We'll ridicule both Church and State.