1744 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Alexander Pope

Robert Dodsley, "On the Death of Mr. Pope" Gentleman's Magazine 14 (August 1744) 447.



Come ye, whose souls harmonious sounds inspire,
Friends to the muse, and judges of her song;
Who, catching from the bard his heavenly fire,
Soar as he soars, sublimely wrapt along;
Mourn, mourn your loss: He's gone who had the art,
With sounds to sooth the ear, with sense to warm the heart.

Who now shall dare to lift the sacred rod,
Truth's faithful guard, where vice escapes the law?
Who now, high-soaring to the throne of God,
In nature's moral cause his pen shall draw?
Let none pretend: He's gone, who had the art,
With sounds to sooth the ear, with sense to warm the heart.

Vice now secure, her blushless front shall raise,
And all her triumph be thro' Britain borne;
Whose worthless sons from guilt shall purchase praise,
Nor dread the hand that pointed them to scorn;
No check remains: He's gone, who had the art,
With sounds to sooth the ear, with sense to warm the heart.

Ye tuneless bards, now tire each venal quill,
And from the public gather idle pence;
Ye tasteless peers, now build and plant your fill,
Tho' splendor borrows not one ray from sense:
Fear no rebuke: He's gone, who had the art,
With sounds to sooth the ear, with sense to warm the heart.

But, come, ye chosen, ye selected few,
Yet next in genius, as in friendship, join'd,
The social virtues of his heart who knew,
And tasted all the beauties of his mind;
Drop, drop a tear: He's gone, who had the art,
With sounds to charm the ear, and sense to warm the heart.

And, O great shade! permit thy humblest friend
His sigh to waft, his grateful tear to pay
Thy honour'd memory; and condescend
To hear, well-pleas'd, the weak yet well-meant lay
Lamenting thus: He's gone, who had the art,
With sounds to sooth the ear, with sense to warm the heart.