1731 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Alexander Pope

Anonymous, "To Mr. Pope" Grub-Street Journal (30 December 1731).



Accept, great Poet, nor with frowns disdain
This youthful, short, tho' too ambitious strain.
Thyself the cause of these presumptuous lays;
Thee who can read, and not attempt thy praise!

While o'er the deathless page I turn my eyes,
What fierce emotions in my soul arise!
While to my present thought, each flowing line
Appears the labour of th' united Nine.

Charm'd with the beauties of thy rural scenes,
I pant for Windsor's shades, and flow'ry greens;
Her groves thrice grateful to the tuneful throng,
Her brooks that glide not smoother than thy song.

But who thy Iliad justly can admire!
Thy Iliad wrote with more than mortal fire!
Whene'er thy trumpet speaks th' approaching fight,
We pant with tumults of severe delight;
All HOMER'S lightning in thy numbers shines;
And all his battel thunders in thy lines.

Our passions move obedient to thy call,
And rise aspiring, or obsequious fall:
And could inanimates soft musick hear,
The tale of ORPHEUS would in POPE appear.