1792 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Alexander Pope

C., "Stanzas to Pope's Weeping Willow at Twickenham. Written in 1792" The Pic Nic 1 (8 January 1803) 26.



Weep, verdant willow! ever weep,
And spread thy pendant branches round:—
Oh, may no gaudy flowret creep
Along the consecrated ground!
Thou art the Muses' fav'rite tree;—
They lov'd the bard who planted thee.

The wintry blast assails in vain:
The forked light'ning passes by
To stretch the oak upon the plain,
Whose tow'ring branches brav'd the sky:—
The Muses guard their fav'rite tree;
They lov'd the bard who planted thee.

And oft, 'tis said, at ev'ning hour,
To Fancy's eye bright forms appear,
To glide beneath the leafy bow'r,
While music steals on Fancy's ear:—
The Muses haunt their fav'rite tree;
They lov'd the bard who planted thee.

But all the Muses' tender care
Cannot prolong the final date;
Rude Time will strip thy branches bare,
And thou must feel the stroke of fate:—
E'en thou, the Muses' fav'rite tree,
Must fall like him who planted thee.*

But still the Muse will hover near—
And, planted there by hands unseen,
Another willow will appear,
Of pensive form, upon the green;
To grace the spot, when thou, no more
Shalt over-arch the hallow'd shore.

* The event, here foretold, has since happened, and the tree is no more.