1746 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Alexander Pope

W. W—de, "On the Loss of Mr. Pope in the present general Prevalence of Vice and Corruption" British Magazine 1 (July 1746) 196-97.



In these corrupted, these degen'rate days,
Say whose the province to correct our ways?
To whom is the Herculean task assign'd,
Our follies to display, or mend mankind?
In vain expected now — Vice lifts her head
Elate, and proudly vaunts great POPE is dead.
Let folly now her shameless front uprear,
Secure from censure, as unaw'd by fear:
Let bold corruption now revive again,
Safe from the lash of any other pen:
To check my rapid course, none dares presume,
My lawless empire I'll anew resume.
Too true her boasts! Britannia o'er his urn,
Yet mourn the poet, yet the patriot mourn;
All grief is poor for genius so compleat,
No mourning equal to a loss so great.
If aught that's here below, oh shade rever'd,
Can claim acceptance, or be worth regard,
Amid those numbers which thy praise rehearse,
Let to thy mem'ry be inscrib'd this verse;
Tho' latest, yet receive it at thy shrine,
And in a nation's grief accept of mine.