1770 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Alexander Pope

Charles Yorke, "To a Lady, with a Present of Pope's Works" Gentleman's Magazine 40 (January 1770) 39.



The lover oft to please some faithless dame,
With vulgar presents feeds the dying flame,
Then adds a verse, of slighted vows complains,
Whilst she the giver and the gift disdains.
These strains to thee no idle suit commend,
On whom gay loves with chaste desires attend;
Nor fancied excellence, nor amorous care,
Prompts to rash praise, or feels with fond despair;
Enough, if the fair volume find access;
Then the great poet's lay shall best express;
Thy beauteous image there thou may'st regard,
Which strikes with modest awe the meanest bard.
Sure had he living view'd thy tender youth,
The blush of honour, and the grace of truth,
Ne'er with Belinda's charms his song had glow'd,
But from thy form the lov'd idea flow'd;
His wanton satire ne'er the sex had scorn'd,
For thee, by virtue and the Muse adorn'd.