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To Mr. POPE.
POPE, to whofe reed beneath the beechen shade,
The nymphs of Thames a pleas'd attention paid;
While yet thy Muse, content with humbler praise,
Warbled in Windfor's grove her fylvan lays;
Though now fublimely borne on Homer's wing,
Of glorious wars, and godlike chiefs she sing:
Wilt thou with me re-vifit once again
The crystal fountain, and the flow'ry plain?
Wilt thou, indulgent, hear my verse relate
The various changes of a lover's ftate;
And while each turn of passion I pursue,
Afk thy own heart if what I tell be true?
To the green margin of a lonely wood,
Whose pendent shades o'erlook'd a filver flood,
Young Damon came, unknowing where he ftray'd,
Full of the image of his beauteous maid :
His flock far off, unfed, untended lay,
To every favage a defenceless prey;
No fenfe of int'reft cou'd their master move,
And ev'ry care feem'd trifling now but Love,
Awhile in penfive filence he remain'd,
But tho' his voice was mute his looks complain'd;
At length the thoughts within his bosom pent,
Forc'd his unwilling tongue to give them vent.
Ye Nymphs, he cry'd, ye Dryads, who fo long
Have favour'd Damon, and infpir'd his fong;
For whom, retir'd, I fhun the gay reforts
Of fportful cities, and of pompous courts;
In vain I bid the reftlefs world adieu,
To feek tranquillity and peace with you.
Tho' wild Ambition, and deftructive Rage,
No Factions here can form, no Wars can wage;
Tho' Envy frowns not on your humble fhades,
Nor Calumny your innocence invades,
Yet cruel Love, that troubler of the breast,
Too often violates boasted reft;
With inbred ftorms disturbs your calm retreat,
And taints with bitterness each rural fweet.
Ah luckless day! when first with fond furprize
On Delia's face I fix'd my eager eyes ;
Then in wild tumults all my foul was toft,
Then reason, liberty, at once were loft:
And ev'ry wish, and thought, and care was gone,
But what my heart employ'd on her alone.
Then too fhe fmil'd: can fmiles our peace destroy,
Those lovely children of Content and Joy?
How can soft pleasure and tormenting woe,
From the same spring at the fame moment flow?
Unhappy boy, these vain enquiries cease,
Thought cou'd not guard, nor will reftore thy peace:
Indulge the frenzy that thou must endure,
And footh the pain thou know'ft not how to cure.
Come, flatt'ring Memory, and tell my heart
How kind fhe was, and with what pleafing art
She ftrove its fondeft wishes to obtain,
Confirm her pow'r, and faster bind my chain.
If on the green we danc'd a mirthful band,
To me alone she gave her willing hand;
Her partial taste, if e'er I touch'd the lyre,
Still in my fong found fomething to admire.
By none but her my crook with flow'rs was crown'd,
By none but her my brows with ivy bound :
The world that Damon was her choice believ'd,
The world, alas! like Damen, was deceiv'd,
When laft I saw her, and declar'd my fire
In words as foft as paffion cou'd infpire,
Coldly fhe heard, and full of scorn withdrew,
Without one pitying glance, one sweet adieu.
The frighted hind, who fees his ripen'd corn
Up from the roots by fudden tempests torn,
Whose fairest hopes destroy'd and blafted lie,
Feels not fo keen à pang of grief as I.
Ah, how have I deferv'd, inhuman maid,
my faithful fervice thus répay'd?
Were all the marks of kindness I receiv'd,
But dreams of joy, that charm'd me and deceiv'd?
Or did you only nurfe my growing love,
That with more pain I might your hatred prove
Sure guilty treachery no place cou'd find
In fuch a gentle, fuch a gen'rous mind:
A maid brought up the woods and wilds among,
Cou'd ne'er have learnt the art of courts fo young:
No; let me rather think her anger feign'd,
Still let me hope my Delia may be gain'd;
'Twas only modefty that feem'd disdain,
And her heart fuffer'd when the gave me pain.
Pleas'd with this flatt'ring thought, the love fick boy
Felt the faint dawning of a doubtful joy;
Back to his flock more cheerful he return'd,
When now the fetting fun lefs fiercely burn'd,
Blue vapours rofe along the mazy rills,
And light's laft blufhes ting'd the diftant hills.