1744 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Alexander Pope

Anonymous, "An Elegy on the Death of Mr. Pope" Daily Post (15 June 1744).



Accept, great Shade, the Tribute of a Lay,
That hails thee onward to eternal Day;
At thy Approach, the Sacred Roofs resound,
Repeated Euge's eccho all around;
Eager about thee crowd th' Angelic Band,
And seem forgetful of Divine Command:
At thy Approach, in Admiration lost,
Heav'ns Will's suspended, truant half its Host;
That Bard be ours, enraptur'd Seraphs cried,
Of Vice and Folly who repell'd the Tide;
His shining Ethics must each Heart engage,
Whose Life's a fairer Transcript of his Page;
That Bard be ours, on whose mellifluous Tongue,
Pale Envy burst, the Rival of our Song;
Receive, great Chief, this Palm reserv'd for Thee,
First Earth-born added to our Hierarchy:
Say, did you envy his immortal Fire?
'Till now imperfect was the Etherial Choir?
Blest Poet, hail! to nobler Task consign'd,
At once to glad all Heav'n, and mend Mankind:
O Sir John publish! that belongs to thee,
His latent Strains, thy Claim, Posterity!
His mortal Part, O Westminster! thy Trust!
Lay near his Gays, and blend their kindred Dust,
So strong their Union, who, it may be said,
Ne'er parted living, nor were parted dead.

Ye jarring Cities cease your envious Strife,
For now 'tis bootless, which gave Homer Life.
Exalt the Cliffs, O Albion! Pope was thine,
The Pride of Ages, and the Boast of Time.

B. F., June 11, 1744.