1801 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Alexander Pope

Anonymous, "Lines occasioned by reading that the Willow planted by Pope, had been cut into Pieces and distributed amongst the Sentimental and Curious" The Star (22 August 1801).



While level lies the Muse's tree,
Shall not a Muse be found to wail;
Nor Echo swell one plaint for thee,
Whose Poet sweeten'd ev'ry gale?

The favour'd plant, beneath whose shade
POPE late gave voice to Phoebus' lyre,
Neglected never can be laid,
While British breasts his lays inspire.

The children of its foreign boughs,
Now natives of BRITANNIA'S isle,
Still lower hang their mournful brows,
Nor greet us with one vernal smile.

Yet shall the bark be long preserv'd,
And guarded as a magic spell,
In curious forms, by fondness carv'd,
The Poet's varied art recall.

And oft shall flow the tender tear,
While Fancy paints his alter'd state;
The mind that's past this bounded sphere,
Submits to unrelenting fate.

Ev'n earlier than the branch he rear'd,
He bow'd him to the silent tomb;
While in thy weeping form appear'd
The sad memorial of his doom.

Now thou hast fall'n — but, in thy place,
The Muse, to deck her darling's hearse,
Shall plant the laurel's lasting grace,
Emblem of his immortal verse!