1740 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Alexander Pope

Aaron Hill, "To Mr. Pope" 1740 ca.; Hill, Works (1753-54) 3:9-10.



The glow-worm scribblers of a feeble age,
Pale twinklers of an hour, provoke my rage,
In each dark hedge, we start an insect ire,
Which lives by night, and must at dawn expire.
Yet, such their number, that their specks combine,
And the unthinking vulgar swear they shine.

Poets are prodigies, so greatly rare,
They see the tasks of heav'n, and built with care.
Like suns unquench'd, unrival'd, and sublime,
They roll immortal, o'er the wastes of time.
Ages, in vain, close round, and snatch in fame,
High over all, still shines the Poet's name!
Lords of a life, that scorns the bounds of breath,
They snatch existence — and awaken death.

PRIDE! of their envy'd climes! they plant renown,
That shines the monarch's, by the muse's crown:
To say, that Virgil, with Augustus shin'd,
Does honour to the lord of half mankind.

So, when three thousand years have wan'd away,
And POPE is said to've liv'd, when GEORGE bore sway;
Millions shall lend the king the poet's fame,
And bless, implicit, the supported name.