Front Page Titles (by Subject) PASTORALS - The Complete Poetical Works of Alexander Pope
PASTORALS - Alexander Pope, The Complete Poetical Works of Alexander Pope 
The Complete Poetical Works of Alexander Pope. Cambridge Edition, ed. Henry W. Boynton (Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Co., 1903).
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- Editor’s Note
- Biographical Sketch
- Early Poems
- Ode On Solitude
- A Paraphrase (on Thomas À Kempis, L. III. C. 2)
- To the Author of a Poem Entitled Successio [ ]
- The First Book of Statius’s Thebais Translated In the Year 1703
- Imitations of English Poets
- Spenser [ ] the Alley
- Waller On a Lady Singing to Her Lute
- Cowley the Garden
- Earl of Rochester On Silence
- Earl of Dorset Artemisia
- Dr. Swift the Happy Life of a Country Parson
- Discourse On Pastoral Poetry
- I: Spring; Or, Damon [ ] to Sir William Trumbull
- II: Summer; Or, Alexis to Dr. Garth
- III: Autumn; Or, Hylas and Ægon [ ] to Mr. Wycherley
- IV: Winter; Or, Daphne [ ] to the Memory of Mrs. Tempest
- Windsor Forest [ ] to the Right Hon. George Lord Lansdown
- Paraphrases From Chaucer
- January and May: Or, the Merchant’s Tale
- The Wife of Bath Her Prologue
- The Temple of Fame [ ]
- Translations From Ovid
- Sappho to Phaon From the Fifteenth of Ovid’s Epistles
- The Fable of Dryope [ ] From the Ninth Book of Ovid’s Metamorphoses
- Vertumnus and Pomona From the Fourteenth Book of Ovid’s Metamorphoses
- An Essay On Criticism [ ]
- Part I
- Part Ii
- Part Iii
- Poems Written Between 1708 and 1712
- Ode For Music On St. Cecilia’s Day
- The Balance of Europe
- The Translator
- On Mrs. Tofts, a Famous Opera-singer
- Epistle to Mrs. Blount, With the Works of Voiture.
- The Dying Christian to His Soul
- Epistle to Mr. Jervas [ ] With Dryden’s Translation of Fresnoy’s Art of Painting
- Impromptu to Lady Winchilsea Occasioned By Four Satirical Verses On Women Wits, In the Rape of the Lock
- Elegy to the Memory of an Unfortunate Lady
- The Rape of the Lock an Heroi-comical Poem [ ]
- Canto I
- Canto Ii
- Canto Iii
- Canto Iv
- Canto V
- Poems Written Between 1713 and 1717
- Prologue to Mr. Addison’s Cato
- Epilogue to Mr. Rowe’s Jane Shore Designed For Mrs. Oldfield
- To a Lady, With the Temple of Fame
- Upon the Duke of Marlborough’s House At Woodstock
- Lines to Lord Bathurst
- Macer [ ] a Character
- Epistle to Mrs. Teresa Blount On Her Leaving the Town After the Coronation
- Lines Occasioned By Some Verses of His Grace the Duke of Buckingham
- A Farewell to London [ ] In the Year 1715
- Imitation of Martial
- Imitation of Tibullus
- The Basset-table [ ] an Eclogue
- Epigram On the Toasts of the Kit-cat Club [ ] Anno 1716
- The Challenge a Court Ballad
- The Looking-glass On Mrs. Pulteney
- Prologue, Designed For Mr. D’urfey’s Last Play
- Prologue to the ‘three Hours After Marriage’
- Prayer of Brutus From Geoffrey of Monmouth
- To Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
- Extemporaneous Lines On a Portrait of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Painted By Kneller
- Eloisa to Abelard [ ]
- Poems Written Between 1718 and 1727
- An Inscription Upon a Punch-bowl In the South Sea Year, For a Club: Chased With Jupiter Placing Callisto In the Skies, and Europa With the Bull
- Epistle to James Craggs, Esq. Secretary of State
- A Dialogue
- Verses to Mr. C. St. James’s Palace, London, Oct. 22
- To Mr. Gay Who Had Congratulated Pope On Finishing His House and Gardens
- On Drawings of the Statues of Apollo, Venus, and Hercules Made For Pope By Sir Godfrey Kneller
- Epistle to Robert Earl of Oxford and Mortimer Prefixed to Parnell’s Poems
- Two Choruses to the Tragedy of Brutus
- To Mrs. M. B. On Her Birthday
- Answer to the Following Question of Mrs. Howe
- On a Certain Lady At Court
- To Mr. John Moore Author of the Celebrated Worm-powder
- The Curll Miscellanies Umbra
- Poems Suggested By Gulliver
- Later Poems
- On Certain Ladies
- Prologue to a Play For Mr. Dennis’s Benefit, In 1733, When He Was Old, Blind, and In Great Distress, a Little Before His Death
- Song, By a Person of Quality Written In the Year 1733
- Verses Left By Mr. Pope On His Lying In the Same Bed Which Wilmot, the Celebrated Earl of Rochester, Slept In At Adderbury, Then Belonging to the Duke of Argyle, July 9th, 1739
- On His Grotto At Twickenham Composed of Marbles, Spars, Gems, Ores, and Minerals
- On Receiving From the Right Hon. the Lady Frances Shirley a Standish and Two Pens
- On Beaufort House Gate At Chiswick
- To Mr. Thomas Southern On His Birthday, 1742
- 1740: A Poem [ ]
- Poems of Uncertain Date
- To Erinna
- Lines Written In Windsor Forest
- Verbatim From Boileau First Published By Warburton In 1751
- Lines On Swift’s Ancestors
- On Seeing the Ladies At Crux Easton Walk In the Woods By the Grotto Extempore By Mr. Pope
- Inscription On a Grotto, the Work of Nine Ladies
- To the Right Hon. the Earl of Oxford Upon a Piece of News In Mist [mist’s Journal] That the Rev. Mr. W. Refused to Write Against Mr. Pope Because His Best Patron Had a Friendship For the Said Pope
- Epigrams and Epitaphs
- On a Picture of Queen Caroline Drawn By Lady Burlington
- Epigram Engraved On the Collar of a Dog Which I Gave to His Royal Highness
- Lines Written In Evelyn’s Book On Coins
- From the Grub-street Journal
- I: Epigram
- II: Epigram
- III: Mr. J. M. S[myth]e Catechised On His One Epistle to Mr. Pope
- IV: Epigram On Mr. M[oo]re’s Going to Law With Mr. Giliver: Inscribed to Attorney Tibbald
- V: Epigram
- VI: Epitaph On James Moore-smythe
- VII: A Question By Anonymous
- VIII: Epigram
- IX: Epigram
- On Charles Earl of Dorset In the Church of Withyam, Sussex
- On Sir William Trumbull One of the Principal Secretaries of State to King William Iii
- On the Hon. Simon Harcourt Only Son of the Lord Chancellor Harcourt
- On James Craggs, Esq. In Westminster Abbey
- On Mr. Rowe In Westminster Abbey
- On Mrs. Corbet Who Died of a Cancer In Her Breast
- On the Monument of the Hon. R. Digby and of His Sister Mary Erected By Their Father, Lord Digby, In the Church of Sherborne, In Dorsetshire, 1727.
- On Sir Godfrey Kneller In Westminster Abbey, 1723
- On General Henry Withers In Westminster Abbey, 1729
- On Mr. Elijah Fenton At Easthamstead, Berks, 1729
- On Mr. Gay In Westminster Abbey, 1730
- Intended For Sir Isaac Newton In Westminster Abbey
- On Dr. Francis Atterbury Bishop of Rochester, Who Died In Exile At Paris, 1732
- On Edmund Duke of Buckingham Who Died In the Nineteenth Year of His Age, 1735
- For One Who Would Not Be Buried In Westminster Abbey
- Another On the Same
- On Two Lovers Struck Dead By Lightning
- An Essay On Man [ ]
- In Four Epistles to Lord Bolingbroke
- The Design
- Epistle I of the Nature and State of Man, With Respect to the Universe
- Epistle Ii of the Nature and State of Man With Respect to Himself As an Individual
- Epistle Iii of the Nature and State of Man With Respect to Society
- Epistle Iv of the Nature and State of Man, With Respect to Happiness
- Moral Essays
- Epistle I [ ] to Sir Richard Temple, Lord Cobham
- Epistle Ii [ ] to a Lady of the Characters of Women
- Epistle Iii [ ] to Allen, Lord Bathurst
- Epistle IV: To Richard Boyle, Earl of Burlington of the Use of Riches
- Epistle V: To Mr. Addison Occasioned By His Dialogues On Medals
- Universal Prayer Deo Opt. Max.
- Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot [ ] Being the Prologue to the Satires
- Satires, Epistles, and Odes of Horace Imitated [ ]
- The First Satire of the Second Book of Horace
- The Second Satire of the Second Book of Horace [ ]
- The First Epistle of the First Book of Horace [ ]
- The Sixth Epistle of the First Book of Horace [ ]
- The First Epistle of the Second Book of Horace [ ]
- The Second Epistle of the Second Book of Horace [ ]
- Satires of Dr. John Donne, Dean of St. Paul’s, Versified [ ]
- Epilogue to the Satires [ ] In Two Dialogues. Written In 1738
- The Sixth Satire of the Second Book of Horace [ ]
- The Seventh Epistle of the First Book of Horace [ ]
- The First Ode of the Fourth Book of Horace [ ]
- The Ninth Ode of the Fourth Book of Horace
- The Dunciad In Four Books
- Martinus Scriblerus of the Poem
- Preface Prefixed to the Five First Imperfect Editions of the Dunciad, In Three Books, Printed At Dublin and London, In Octavo and Duodecimo, 1727.
- The Publisher to the Reader
- A Letter to the Publisher Occasioned By the First Correct Edition of the Dunciad
- Advertisement to the First Edition With Notes, Quarto, 1729
- Advertisement to the First Edition of the Fourth Book of the Dunciad, When Printed Separately In the Year 1742
- Advertisement to the Complete Edition of 1743
- The Dunciad [ ] to Dr. Jonathan Swift
- Book I
- Book Ii [ ]
- Book Iii [ ]
- Book Iv [ ]
- Translations From Homer the Iliad
- Pope’s Preface
- Book I: The Contention of Achilles and Agamemnon
- Book II: The Trial of the Army and Catalogue of the Forces
- Book III: The Duel of Menelaus and Paris
- Book IV: The Breach of the Truce, and the First Battle
- Book V: The Acts of Diomed
- Book VI: The Episodes of Glaucus and Diomed, and of Hector and Andromache
- Book VII: The Single Combat of Hector and Ajax
- Book VIII: The Second Battle, and the Distress of the Greeks
- Book IX: The Embassy to Achilles
- Book X: The Night Adventure of Diomede and Ulysses
- Book XI: The Third Battle, and the Acts of Agamemnon
- Book XII: The Battle At the Grecian Wall
- Book XIII: The Fourth Battle Continued, In Which Neptune Assists the Greeks. the Acts of Idomeneus
- Book XIV: Juno Deceives Jupiter By the Girdle of Venus
- Book XV: The Fifth Battle, At the Ships; and the Acts of Ajax
- Book XVI: The Sixth Battle: the Acts and Death of Patroclus
- Book XVII: The Seventh Battle, For the Body of Patroclus.—the Acts of Menelaus
- Book XVIII: The Grief of Achilles, and New Armour Made Him By Vulcan
- Book XIX: The Reconciliation of Achilles and Agamemnon
- Book XX: The Battle of the Gods, and the Acts of Achilles
- Book XXI: The Battle In the River Scamander
- Book XXII: The Death of Hector
- Book XXIII: Funeral Games In Honour of Patroclus
- Book XXIV: The Redemption of the Body of Hector
- Pope’s Concluding Note.
- The Odyssey
- Book III: The Interview of Telemachus and Nestor
- Book V: The Departure of Ulysses From Calypso
- Book VII: The Court of AlcinoÜs
- Book IX: The Adventures of the Cicons, Lotophagi, and Cyclops
- Book X: Adventures With Æolus, the LÆstrygons, and Circe
- Book XIII: The Arrival of Ulysses In Ithaca
- Book XIV: The Conversation With EumÆus
- Book XV: The Return of Telemachus
- Book XVII: Book XXI: The Bending of Ulysses’ Bow
- Book XXII: The Death of the Suitors
- Book XXIV: Postscript By Pope
- A. a Glossary of Names of Pope’s Contemporaries Mentioned In the Poems.
- Bibliographical Note
- Rura mihi et rigui placeant in vallibus amnes,
- Flumma amem, sylvasque, inglorius!
The Pastorals, by Pope’s account, were written at sixteen, in 1704. ‘Beyond the fact that he systematically antedated his compositions in order to obtain credit for precocity,’ says Courthope, ‘there is nothing improbable in the statement.’ They were first published in 1709, in Tonson’s Sixth Miscellany. The Discourse on Pastoral Poetry did not appear till the edition of 1717, but is here given the place which he desired for it at the head of the Pastorals: and the original footnotes, referring to critical authorities, are retained.
DISCOURSE ON PASTORAL POETRY
There are not, I believe, a greater number of any sort of verses than of those which are called Pastorals; nor a smaller than of those which are truly so. It therefore seems necessary to give some account of this kind of poem; and it is my design to comprise in this short paper the substance of those numerous dissertations that critics have made on the subject, without omitting any of their rules in my own favour. You will also find some points reconciled, about which they seem to differ, and a few remarks which, I think, have escaped their observation.
The origin of Poetry is ascribed to that age which succeeded the creation of the world: and as the keeping of flocks seems to have been the first employment of mankind, the most ancient sort of poetry was probably pastoral. It is natural to imagine, that the leisure of those ancient shepherds admitting and inviting some diversion, none was so proper to that solitary and sedentary life as singing; and that in their songs they took occasion to celebrate their own felicity. From hence a poem was invented, and afterwards improved to a perfect image of that happy time; which, by giving us an esteem for the virtues of a former age, might recommend them to the present. And since the life of shepherds was attended with more tranquillity than any other rural employment, the poets chose to introduce their persons, from whom it received the name of Pastoral.
A Pastoral is an imitation of the action of a shepherd, or one considered under that character. The form of this imitation is dramatic, or narrative, or mixed of both: the fable simple, the manners not too polite nor too rustic: the thoughts are plain, yet admit a little quickness and passion, but that short and flowing: the expression humble, yet as pure as the language will afford; neat, but not florid; easy, and yet lively. In short, the fable, manners, thoughts, and expressions are full of the greatest simplicity in nature.
The complete character of this poem consists in simplicity, brevity, and delicacy; the two first of which render an eclogue natural, and the last delightful.
If we would copy nature, it may be useful to take this idea along with us, that Pastoral is an image of what they call the golden age: so that we are not to describe our shepherds as shepherds at this day really are, but as they may be conceived then to have been, when the best of men followed the employment. To carry this resemblance yet further, it would not be amiss to give these shepherds some skill in astronomy, as far as it may be useful to that sort of life; and an air of piety to the gods should shine through the poem, which so visibly appears in all the works of antiquity; and it ought to preserve some relish of the old way of writing: the connection should be loose, the narrations and descriptions short, and the periods concise. Yet it is not sufficient that the sentences only be brief; the whole eclogue should be so too: for we cannot suppose poetry in those days to have been the business of men, but their recreation at vacant hours.
But, with respect to the present age, nothing more conduces to make these composures natural, than when some knowledge in rural affairs is discovered. This may be made to appear rather done by chance than on design, and sometimes is best shown by inference; lest, by too much study to seem natural, we destroy that easy simplicity from whence arises the delight. For what is inviting in this sort of poetry proceeds not so much from the idea of that business, as of the tranquillity of a country life.
We must therefore use some illusion to render a pastoral delightful; and this consists in exposing the best side only of a shepherd’s life, and in concealing its miseries. Nor is it enough to introduce shepherds discoursing together in a natural way; but a regard must be had to the subject; that it contain some particular beauty in itself, and that it be different in every eclogue. Besides, in each of them a designed scene or prospect is to be presented to our view, which should likewise have its variety. This variety is obtained, in a great degree, by frequent comparisons, drawn from the most agreeable objects of the country; by interrogations to things inanimate; by beautiful digressions, but those short; sometimes by insisting a little on circumstances; and, lastly, by elegant turns on the words, which render the numbers extremely sweet and pleasing. As for the numbers themselves, though they are properly of the heroic measure, they should be the smoothest, the most easy and flowing imaginable.
It is by rules like these that we ought to judge of Pastoral. And since the instructions given for any art are to be delivered as that art is in perfection, they must of necessity be derived from those in whom it is acknowledged so to be. It is therefore from the practice of Theocritus and Virgil (the only undisputed authors of Pastoral) that the critics have drawn the foregoing notions concerning it.
Theocritus excels all others in nature and simplicity. The subjects of his Idyllia are purely pastoral; but he is not so exact in his persons, having introduced reapers and fishermen as well as shepherds. He is apt to be too long in his descriptions, of which that of the cup in the first pastoral is a remarkable instance. In the manners he seems a little defective, for his swains are sometimes abusive and immodest, and perhaps too much inclining to rusticity; for instance, in his fourth and fifth Idyllia. But it is enough that all others learned their excellences from him, and that his dialect alone has a secret charm in it, which no other could ever attain.
Virgil, who copies Theocritus, refines upon his original; and, in all points where judgment is principally concerned, he is much superior to his master. Though some of his subjects are not pastoral in themselves, but only seem to be such, they have a wonderful variety in them, which the Greek was a stranger to. He exceeds him in regularity and brevity, and falls short of him in nothing but simplicity and propriety of style; the first of which, perhaps, was the fault of his age, and the last of his language.
Among the moderns their success has been greatest who have most endeavoured to make these ancients their pattern. The most considerable genius appears in the famous Tasso, and our Spenser. Tasso, in his Aminta, has as far excelled all the pastoral writers, as in his Gierusalemme he has outdone the epic poets of his country. But as this piece seems to have been the original of a new sort of poem, the pastoral comedy, in Italy, it cannot so well be considered as a copy of the ancients. Spenser’s Calendar, in Mr. Dryden’s opinion, is the most complete work of this kind which any nation has produced ever since the time of Virgil. Not but that he may be thought imperfect in some few points: his eclogues are somewhat too long, if we compare them with the ancients; he is sometimes too allegorical, and treats of matters of religion in a pastoral style, as the Mantuan had done before him; he has employed the lyric measure, which is contrary to the practice of the old poets; his stanza is not still the same, nor always well chosen. This last may be the reason his expression is sometimes not concise enough; for the tetrastic has obliged him to extend his sense to the length of four lines, which would have been more closely confined in the couplet.
In the manners, thoughts, and characters, he comes near to Theocritus himself; though, notwithstanding all the care he has taken, he is certainly inferior in his dialect: for the Doric had its beauty and propriety in the time of Theocritus; it was used in part of Greece, and frequent in the mouths of many of the greatest persons: whereas the old English and country phrases of Spenser were either entirely obsolete, or spoken only by people of the lowest condition. As there is a difference betwixt simplicity and rusticity, so the expression of simple thoughts should be plain, but not clownish. The addition he has made of a calendar to his eclogues is very beautiful; since by this, besides the general moral of innocence and simplicity, which is common to other authors of Pastoral, he has one peculiar to himself; he compares human life to the several seasons, and at once exposes to his readers a view of the great and little worlds, in their various changes and aspects. Yet the scrupulous division of his pastorals into months has obliged him either to repeat the same description, in other words, for three months together, or, when it was exhausted before, entirely to omit it; whence it comes to pass that some of his eclogues (as the sixth, eighth, and tenth for example) have nothing but their titles to distinguish them. The reason is evident, because the year has not that variety in it to furnish every month with a particular description, as it may every season.
Of the following eclogues I shall only say, that these four comprehend all the subjects which the critics upon Theocritus and Virgil will allow to be fit for Pastoral; that they have as much variety of description, in respect of the several seasons, as Spenser’s; that, in order to add to this variety, the several times of the day are observed, the rural employments in each season or time of day, and the rural scenes or places proper to such employments, not without some regard to the several ages of man, and the different passions proper to each age.
But after all, if they have any merit, it is to be attributed to some good old authors; whose works, as I had leisure to study, so, I hope, I have not wanted care to imitate.
SPRING; OR, DAMON[ ]
TO SIR WILLIAM TRUMBULL
- First in these fields I try the sylvan strains,
- Nor blush to sport on Windsor’s blissful plains:
- Fair Thames, flow gently from thy sacred spring,
- While on thy banks Sicilian Muses sing;
- Let vernal airs thro’ trembling osiers play,
- And Albion’s cliffs resound the rural lay.
- You, that too wise for pride, too good for power,
- Enjoy the glory to be great no more,
- And carrying with you all the world can boast,
- To all the world illustriously are lost!10
- O let my Muse her slender reed inspire,
- Till in your native shades you tune the lyre:
- So when the nightingale to rest removes,
- The thrush may chant to the forsaken groves;
- But charm’d to silence, listens while she sings,
- And all th’ aërial audience clap their wings.
- Soon as the flocks shook off the nightly dews,
- Two swains, whom love kept wakeful, and the Muse,
- Pour’d o’er the whitening vale their fleecy care,
- Fresh as the morn, and as the season fair:20
- The dawn now blushing on the mountain’s side,
- Thus Daphnis spoke, and Strephon thus replied:
- Hear how the birds on ev’ry blooming spray
- With joyous music wake the dawning day!
- Why sit we mute, when early linnets sing,
- When warbling Philomel salutes the spring?
- Why sit we sad, when Phosphor shines so clear,
- And lavish Nature paints the purple year?
- Sing, then, and Damon shall attend the strain,
- While yon slow oxen turn the furrow’d plain.30
- Here the bright crocus and blue violet glow;
- Here western winds on breathing roses blow.
- I’ll stake yon lamb, that near the fountain plays,
- And from the brink his dancing shade surveys.
- And I this bowl, where wanton ivy twines,
- And swelling clusters bend the curling vines:
- Four figures rising from the work appear,
- The various seasons of the rolling year;
- And what is that, which binds the radiant sky,
- Where twelve fair signs in beauteous order lie?40
- Then sing by turns, by turns the Muses sing;
- Now hawthorns blossom, now the daisies spring;
- Now leaves the trees, and flowers adorn the ground:
- Begin, the vales shall every note rebound.
- Inspire me, Phœbus, in my Delia’s praise,
- With Waller’s strains, or Granville’s moving lays!
- A milk-white bull shall at your altars stand,
- That threats a fight, and spurns the rising sand.
- O Love! for Sylvia let me gain the prize,
- And make my tongue victorious as her eyes:50
- No lambs or sheep for victims I’ll impart,
- Thy victim, Love, shall be the shepherd’s heart.
- Me gentle Delia beckons from the plain,
- Then, hid in shades, eludes her eager swain;
- But feigns a laugh to see me search around,
- And by that laugh the willing Fair is found.
- The sprightly Sylvia trips along the green;
- She runs, but hopes she does not run unseen.
- While a kind glance at her pursuer flies,
- How much at variance are her feet and eyes!60
- O’er golden sands let rich Pactolus flow,
- And trees weep amber on the banks of Po;
- Blest Thames’s shores the brightest beauties yield:
- Feed here, my lambs, I’ll seek no distant field.
- Celestial Venus haunts Idalia’s groves;
- Diana Cynthus, Ceres Hybla loves:
- If Windsor shades delight the matchless maid,
- Cynthus and Hybla yield to Windsor shade.
- All nature mourns, the skies relent in showers,
- Hush’d are the birds, and closed the drooping flowers;70
- If Delia smile, the flowers begin to spring,
- The skies to brighten, and the birds to sing.
- All Nature laughs, the groves are fresh and fair,
- The sun’s mild lustre warms the vital air;
- If Sylvia smiles, new glories gild the shore,
- And vanquish’d Nature seems to charm no more.
- In spring the fields, in autumn hills I love,
- At morn the plains, at noon the shady grove,
- But Delia always; absent from her sight,
- Nor plains at morn, nor groves at noon delight.80
- Sylvia’s like autumn ripe, yet mild as May,
- More bright than noon, yet fresh as early day:
- Ev’n spring displeases, when she shines not here,
- But bless’d with her, ’t is spring throughout the year.
- Say, Daphnis, say, in what glad soil appears
- A wondrous tree , that sacred monarchs bears?
- Tell me but this, and I’ll disclaim the prize,
- And give the conquest to thy Sylvia’s eyes.
- Nay, tell me first, in what more happy fields
- The thistle springs , to which the lily yields:
- And then a nobler prize I will resign;91
- For Sylvia, charming Sylvia, shall be thine.
- Cease to contend; for, Daphnis, I decree
- The bowl to Strephon, and the lamb to thee.
- Blest swains, whose nymphs in ev’ry grace excel;
- Blest nymphs, whose swains those graces sing so well!
- Now rise, and haste to yonder woodbine bowers,
- A soft retreat from sudden vernal showers;
- The turf with rural dainties shall be crown’d,
- While opening blooms diffuse their sweets around.100
- For see! the gath’ring flocks to shelter tend,
- And from the Pleiads fruitful showers descend.
SUMMER; OR, ALEXIS
TO DR. GARTH
- A shepherd’s boy (he seeks no better name)
- Led forth his flocks along the silver Thame,
- Where dancing sunbeams on the waters play’d
- And verdant alders form’d a quiv’ring shade.
- Soft as he mourn’d, the streams forgot to flow,
- The flocks around a dumb compassion show,
- The Naiads wept in ev’ry wat’ry bower,
- And Jove consented in a silent shower.
- Accept, O Garth! the Muse’s early lays,
- That adds this wreath of ivy to thy bays;
- Hear what from love unpractis’d hearts endure,11
- From love, the sole disease thou canst not cure.
- Ye shady beeches, and ye cooling streams,
- Defence from Phœbus’, not from Cupid’s beams,
- To you I mourn; nor to the deaf I sing:
- The woods shall answer, and their echo ring.
- The hills and rocks attend my doleful lay,
- Why art thou prouder and more hard than they?
- The bleating sheep with my complaints agree,
- They parch’d with heat, and I inflamed by thee.20
- The sultry Sirius burns the thirsty plains,
- While in thy heart eternal Winter reigns.
- Where stray ye, Muses! in what lawn or grove,
- While your Alexis pines in hopeless love?
- In those fair fields where sacred Isis glides,
- Or else where Cam his winding vales divides?
- As in the crystal spring I view my face,
- Fresh rising blushes paint the wat’ry glass;
- But since those graces please thy eyes no more,
- I shun the fountains which I sought before.30
- Once I was skill’d in ev’ry herb that grew,
- And ev’ry plant that drinks the morning dew;
- Ah, wretched shepherd, what avails thy art,
- To cure thy lambs, but not to heal thy heart!
- Let other swains attend the rural care,
- Feed fairer flocks, or richer fleeces shear:
- But nigh yon mountain let me tune my lays,
- Embrace my love, and bind my brows with bays.
- That flute is mine which Colin’s tuneful breath
- Inspired when living, and bequeath’d in death:40
- He said, ‘Alexis, take this pipe, the same
- That taught the groves my Rosalinda’s name.’
- But now the reeds shall hang on yonder tree,
- Forever silent, since despised by thee.
- Oh! were I made by some transforming power
- The captive bird that sings within thy bower!
- Then might my voice thy list’ning ears employ,
- And I those kisses he receives enjoy.
- And yet my numbers please the rural throng,
- Rough satyrs dance, and Pan applauds the song;50
- The nymphs, forsaking ev’ry cave and spring,
- Their early fruit and milk-white turtles bring;
- Each am’rous nymph prefers her gifts in vain,
- On you their gifts are all bestow’d again.
- For you the swains the fairest flowers design,
- And in one garland all their beauties join;
- Accept the wreath which you deserve alone,
- In whom all beauties are comprised in one.
- See what delights in sylvan scenes appear!59
- Descending Gods have found Elysium here.
- In woods bright Venus with Adonis stray’d,
- And chaste Diana haunts the forest-shade.
- Come, lovely nymph, and bless the silent hours,
- When swains from shearing seek their nightly bowers;
- When weary reapers quit the sultry field,
- And, crown’d with corn, their thanks to Ceres yield.
- This harmless grove no lurking viper hides,
- But in my breast the serpent Love abides.
- Here bees from blossoms sip the rosy dew,
- But your Alexis knows no sweets but you.
- O deign to visit our forsaken seats,71
- The mossy fountains, and the green retreats!
- Where’er you walk, cool gales shall fan the glade;
- Trees, where you sit, shall crowd into a shade;
- Where’er you tread, the blushing flowers shall rise,
- And all things flourish where you turn your eyes.
- O! how I long with you to pass my days,
- Invoke the Muses, and resound your praise!
- Your praise the birds shall chant in ev’ry grove,
- And winds shall waft it to the powers above.80
- But would you sing, and rival Orpheus’ strain,
- The wond’ring forests soon should dance again;
- The moving mountains hear the powerful call,
- And headlong streams hang list’ning in their fall!
- But see, the shepherds shun the noonday heat,
- The lowing herds to murmuring brooks retreat,
- To closer shades the panting flocks remove:
- Ye Gods! and is there no relief for love?
- But soon the sun with milder rays descends
- To the cool ocean, where his journey ends.90
- On me Love’s fiercer flames forever prey,
- By night he scorches, as he burns by day.
AUTUMN; OR, HYLAS AND ÆGON[ ]
TO MR. WYCHERLEY
- Beneath the shade a spreading beech displays,
- Hylas and Ægon sung their rural lays;
- This mourn’d a faithless, that an absent love,
- And Delia’s name and Doris’ fill’d the grove.
- Ye Mantuan Nymphs, your sacred succour bring,
- Hylas and Ægon’s rural lays I sing.
- Thou, whom the Nine with Plautus’ wit inspire,
- The art of Terence, and Menander’s fire;
- Whose sense instructs us, and whose humour charms,
- Whose judgment sways us, and whose spirit warms!10
- O, skill’d in Nature! see the hearts of swains,
- Their artless passions, and their tender pains.
- Now setting Phœbus shone serenely bright,
- And fleecy clouds were streak’d with purple light;
- When tuneful Hylas, with melodious moan,
- Taught rocks to weep, and made the mountains groan.
- Go, gentle gales, and bear my sighs away!
- To Delia’s ear the tender notes convey.
- As some sad turtle his lost love deplores,
- And with deep murmurs fills the sounding shores;20
- Thus, far from Delia, to the winds I mourn,
- Alike unheard, unpitied, and forlorn.
- Go, gentle gales, and bear my sighs along!
- For her, the feather’d quires neglect their song;
- For her, the limes their pleasing shades deny;
- For her, the lilies hang their heads and die.
- Ye flowers that droop, forsaken by the spring,
- Ye birds that, left by Summer, cease to sing,
- Ye trees, that fade when Autumn-heats remove,
- Say, is not absence death to those who love?30
- Go, gentle gales, and bear my sighs away!
- Curs’d be the fields that cause my Delia’s stay!
- Fade ev’ry blossom, wither ev’ry tree,
- Die ev’ry flower, and perish all but she!
- What have I said? Where’er my Delia flies,
- Let Spring attend, and sudden flowers arise!
- Let op’ning roses knotted oaks adorn,
- And liquid amber drop from ev’ry thorn!
- Go, gentle gales, and bear my sighs along!
- The birds shall cease to tune their ev’ning song,40
- The winds to breathe, the waving woods to move,
- And streams to murmur, ere I cease to love.
- Not bubbling fountains to the thirsty swain,
- Not balmy sleep to lab’rers faint with pain,
- Not showers to larks, nor sunshine to the bee,
- Are half so charming as thy sight to me.
- Go, gentle gales, and bear my sighs away!
- Come, Delia, come; ah, why this long delay?
- Thro’ rocks and caves the name of Delia sounds,
- Delia, each cave and echoing rock rebounds.50
- Ye Powers, what pleasing frenzy soothes my mind!
- Do lovers dream, or is my Delia kind?
- She comes, my Delia comes!—Now cease, my lay,
- And cease, ye gales, to bear my sighs away!
- Next Ægon sung, while Windsor groves admired:
- Rehearse, ye Muses, what yourselves inspired.
- Resound, ye hills, resound my mournful strain!
- Of perjur’d Doris dying I complain:
- Here where the mountains, less’ning as they rise,
- Lose the low vales, and steal into the skies:60
- While lab’ring oxen, spent with toil and heat,
- In their loose traces from the field retreat:
- While curling smokes from village-tops are seen,
- And the fleet shades glide o’er the dusky green.
- Resound, ye hills, resound my mournful lay!
- Beneath yon poplar oft we pass’d the day:
- Oft on the rind I carv’d her am’rous vows,
- While she with garlands hung the bending boughs:
- The garlands fade, the vows are worn away;
- So dies her love, and so my hopes decay.
- Resound, ye hills, resound my mournful strain!71
- Now bright Arcturus glads the teeming grain,
- Now golden fruits on loaded branches shine,
- And grateful clusters swell with floods of wine;
- Now blushing berries paint the yellow grove:
- Just Gods! shall all things yield returns but love?
- Resound, ye hills, resound my mournful lay!
- The shepherds cry, ‘Thy flocks are left a prey’—
- Ah! what avails it me the flocks to keep,
- Who lost my heart while I preserv’d my sheep!80
- Pan came, and ask’d, ‘What magic caus’d my smart,
- Or what ill eyes malignant glances dart?’
- What eyes but hers, alas, have power to move!
- And is there magic but what dwells in love?
- Resound, ye hills, resound my mournful strains!
- I’ll fly from shepherds, flocks, and flow’ry plains;
- From shepherds, flocks, and plains, I may remove,
- Forsake mankind, and all the world—but Love!
- I know thee, Love! on foreign mountains bred,
- Wolves gave thee suck, and savage tigers fed.90
- Thou wert from Ætna’s burning entrails torn,
- Got by fierce whirlwinds, and in thunder born!
- Resound, ye hills, resound my mournful lay!
- Farewell, ye woods; adieu the light of day!
- One leap from yonder cliff shall end my pains,
- No more, ye hills, no more resound my strains!
- Thus sung the shepherds till th’ approach of night,
- The skies yet blushing with departing light,
- When fallen dews with spangles deck’d the glade,
- And the low sun had lengthen’d ev’ry shade.100
WINTER; OR, DAPHNE[ ]
TO THE MEMORY OF MRS. TEMPEST
- Thyrsis! the music of that murm’ring spring
- Is not so mournful as the strains you sing;
- Nor rivers winding thro’ the vales below
- So sweetly warble, or so smoothly flow.
- Now sleeping flocks on their soft fleeces lie,
- The moon, serene in glory, mounts the sky;
- While silent birds forget their tuneful lays,
- O sing of Daphne’s fate, and Daphne’s praise!
- Behold the groves that shine with silver frost,
- Their beauty wither’d, and their verdure lost.10
- Here shall I try the sweet Alexis’ strain,
- That call’d the list’ning Dryads to the plain?
- Thames heard the numbers as he flow’d along,
- And bade his willows learn the moving song.
- So may kind rains their vital moisture yield,
- And swell the future harvest of the field.
- Begin: this charge the dying Daphne gave,
- And said, ‘Ye shepherds, sing around my grave!’
- Sing, while beside the shaded tomb I mourn,
- And with fresh bays her rural shrine adorn.20
- Ye gentle Muses, leave your crystal spring,
- Let Nymphs and Sylvans cypress garlands bring:
- Ye weeping Loves, the stream with myrtles hide,
- And break your bows, as when Adonis died!
- And with your golden darts, now useless grown,
- Inscribe a verse on this relenting stone:
- ‘Let Nature change, let Heav’n and Earth deplore,
- Fair Daphne’s dead, and Love is now no more!’
- ’T is done; and Nature’s various charms decay,
- See gloomy clouds obscure the cheerful day!30
- Now hung with pearls the dropping trees appear,
- Their faded honours scatter’d on her bier.
- See, where on earth the flow’ry glories lie,
- With her they flourish’d, and with her they die.
- Ah, what avail the beauties Nature wore?
- Fair Daphne’s dead, and Beauty is no more!
- For her the flocks refuse their verdant food,
- The thirsty heifers shun the gliding flood;
- The silver swans her hapless fate bemoan,
- In notes more sad than when they sing their own;40
- In hollow caves sweet Echo silent lies,
- Silent, or only to her name replies;
- Her name with pleasure once she taught the shore;
- Now Daphne’s dead, and Pleasure is no more!
- No grateful dews descend from ev’ning skies,
- Nor morning odours from the flowers arise;
- No rich perfumes refresh the fruitful field,
- Nor fragrant herbs their native incense yield.
- The balmy zephyrs, silent since her death ,
- Lament the ceasing of a sweeter breath;50
- Th’ industrious bees neglect their golden store:
- Fair Daphne’s dead, and sweetness is no more!
- No more the mountain larks, while Daphne sings,
- Shall, list’ning in mid-air, suspend their wings;
- No more the birds shall imitate her lays,
- Or, hush’d with wonder, hearken from the sprays;
- No more the streams their murmurs shall forbear,
- A sweeter music than their own to hear;
- But tell the reeds, and tell the vocal shore,
- Fair Daphne’s dead, and music is no more!60
- Her fate is whisper’d by the gentle breeze,
- And told in sighs to all the trembling trees;
- The trembling trees, in every plain and wood,
- Her fate remurmur to the silver flood;
- The silver flood, so lately calm, appears
- Swell’d with new passion, and o’erflows with tears;
- The winds and trees and floods her death deplore,
- Daphne, our Grief, our Glory now no more!
- But see! where Daphne wond’ring mounts on high
- Above the clouds, above the starry sky!70
- Eternal beauties grace the shining scene,
- Fields ever fresh, and groves for ever green!
- There while you rest in amaranthine bowers,
- Or from those meads select unfading flowers,
- Behold us kindly, who your name implore,
- Daphne, our Goddess, and our Grief no more!
- How all things listen, while thy Muse complains!
- Such silence waits on Philomela’s strains,
- In some still ev’ning, when the whisp’ring breeze
- Pants on the leaves, and dies upon the trees.80
- To thee, bright Goddess, oft a lamb shall bleed,
- If teeming ewes increase my fleecy breed.
- While plants their shade, or flowers their odours give,
- Thy name, thy honour, and thy praise shall live!
- But see, Orion sheds unwholesome dews;
- Arise, the pines a noxious shade diffuse;
- Sharp Boreas blows, and Nature feels decay,
- Time conquers all, and we must Time obey.
- Adieu, ye vales, ye mountains, streams, and groves;
- Adieu, ye shepherds’ rural lays and loves;
- Adieu, my flocks; farewell, ye sylvan crew;91
- Daphne, farewell; and all the world adieu!
Fontenelle’s Discourse on Pastorals.
Heinsius in Theocr.
Rapin de Carm. Past. p. 2.
Rapin, Réflex. sur l’Art Poét. d’Arist. part ii. réfl. xxvii.
Pref. to Virg. Past. in Dryd. Virg.
Fontenelle’s Discourse on Pastorals.
Θερίσται, Idyl. x. and Ἁλιει̑ς, Idyl. xxi.
Rapin, Refl. on Arist. part ii. refl. xxvii.—Pref. to the Ecl. in Dryden’s Virg.
Dedication to Virg. Ecl.
[Page 21.]Spring: or, Damon.
[Line 86.]A wondrous tree, etc. An allusion to the Royal Oak, in which Charles II. had been hid from the pursuit after the battle of Worcester. (Pope.)
[Line 90.]The thistle springs, to which the lily yields. Alludes to the device of the Scots monarchs, the thistle worn by Queen Anne; and to the arms of France, the fleur de lys. (Pope.)
[Page 24.]Autumn; or, Hylas and Ægon.
[Line 7.]Thou, whom the Nine, etc. Mr. Wycherley, a famous author of comedies; of which the most celebrated were The Plain-Dealer and The Country Wife. He was a writer of infinite spirit, satire, and wit. The only objection made to him was that he had too much. However, he was followed, in the same way, by Mr. Congreve, though with a little more correctness. (Pope.)
[Page 26.]Winter; or, Daphne.
Mrs. Tempest. This lady was of an ancient family in Yorkshire, and particularly admired by the author’s friend, Mr. Walsh, who, having celebrated her in a pastoral elegy, desired his friend to do the same, as appears from one of his letters, dated Sept. 9, 1706: ‘Your last eclogue being on the same subject with mine on Mrs. Tempest’s death, I should take it very kindly in you to give it a little turn as if it were to the memory of the same lady.’ Her death having happened on the night of the great storm in 1703, gave a propriety to this eclogue, which in its general turn alludes to it. The scene of the pastoral lies in a grove, the time at midnight. (Pope.)
[Lines 49, 50.]The balmy zephyrs, etc. ‘I wish,’ said Johnson, ‘that his fondness had not overlooked a line in which the zephyrs are made to lament in silence.’