1744 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Alexander Pope

C. B., "Verses on the Death of Alexander Pope" Westminster Journal (30 June 1744).



While Scribblers, studious to asperse the Name
Of Pope, unrivall'd by the Sons of Fame,
Libel the Bard, who lash'd the shameless Rake,
And brand the Satire which themselves might take,
Which at the Verse that gall'd the lawless Great,
And sham'd the Villain, or in Church or State;
My Muse asserts the Honours of his Pen,
Whose Moral Precepts point the Bliss of Men;
Of him who bless'd the World with Homer's Flame,
And rais'd in Strains august Messiah's Name;
In softer Numbers sung the blooming Fair,
Revolving Seasons, and Belinda's Hair.

Too partial Death! to snatch from Earth a Bard,
Lov'd by the Virtuous, by the guilty fear'd,
By Courts caress'd, unknowing how to fawn,
Foe to a Knave, in Scarlet or in Lawn.

Let envious Criticks blame the Poet's Rage,
And blast the Verse too poignant for the Age,
This Truth shall by the Virtuous be confest,
Deeply implanted in each worthy Breast:

Pope dies! the happiest Favourite of the Nine,
Himself a Mortal, but his Works divine.