1742 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Alexander Pope

Anonymous, "Thomas Cooke and Alexander Pope" London Magazine 11 (July 1742) 355-56.



When venal scribblers dare attack a name,
That foremost stands in the first rank of fame;
A name that shines with such collected rays,
Drawn from true merit, not low party praise;
What gen'rous bosom beats not with disdain?
What Muse but flows in a satirick vein,
Where indignation will inspire the strain?
When long oblivion o'er thy works has roll'd,
Nor e'en Moorfields the mouldring leaves behold;
When, Cook! thy short-liv'd name, in endless night
Sleeps, undisturb'd with the least glimpse of light;
Pope shall continue his triumphant way,
And soar, and shine with still encreasing day.
See, borne aloft on all the wings of fame,
How high his flight! how wide diffus'd his name!
See, either pole with admiration burn!
See, mighty Nile restrain his flowing urn!
While, pleas'd he listens to the tuneful strains,
And sighs, oh Windsor! for thy verdant plains.
Lo! ev'ry nation, ev'ry tongue shall raise,
Their loudest shouts, in concert, to his praise;
Their mingled Io's all around shall fly,
And hail his progress thro' the wond'ring sky;
Till in majestick pomp the bard arrives,
At the bright dome that in description lives;
Lives in his lines, where he himself shall grace,
Close by his Homer, the next worthiest place.
Where long as nervous English shall prevail,
Nor sounding Greek its copious channels fail;
Where e'en till language self shall die away,
Homer and Pope shall equal honours sway.