1807 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Alexander Pope

Anonymous, "On the Report that the beautiful Grounds at Twickenham, planted by Pope, had been converted into a common Garden" The Sun (19 June 1807).



Oh! Thou to taste and nobler feelings dead,
Whose ruthless hand this vulgar ruin spread!
Where POPE'S chaste fancy deck'd the classic ground,
In her lov'd haunt the BRITISH MUSE to wound!
By GENIUS, NATURE, and by TIME endear'd!
Ne'er can that Muse her deep regret proclaim,
But brands the havoc with eternal shame.
Thus he of yore, ambitious, wild, and vain,
Destroy'd at Ephesus the sacred fane!
Yet 'twas the love of Fame beguil'd his mind,
And some excuse in human pride we find;
Fame that impels the heart to high emprize,
Fame that ensnares the virtuous and the wise;
But thou, unknown, and reckless of a name,
Deaf to the madd'ning strains of syren Fame;
Thou, guilt that nothing palliates, could'st deface
What GENIUS, NATURE, TIME, were proud to grace.

* These lines were written during the life of the last Owner of this interesting place, but, it is said, that the present Possessor of it means to complete the Gothic ravage.