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BY A PERSON OF QUALITY.
WRITTEN IN THE YEAR 1733.
FLUTT'RING Spread thy purple pinions,
Mild Arcadians, ever blooming,
See my weary days consuming,
Thus the Cyprian Goddess weeping,
Cynthia, tune harmonious numbers;
Gloomy Pluto, King of Terrors,
Mournful Cypress, verdant Willow,
Melancholy, smooth Meander,
With thy flow'ry chaplets crown'd.
Thus when Philomela, drooping,
Ir is remarkable, that this song imposed upon one of Pope's professed Commentators, the late learned Gilbert Wakefield, who took it for a serious composition: "It appears," he says, "disjointed and obscure," and asks, in reference to the fourth verse," what is the propriety of this observation? and what its application to the present subject?" On this occasion Mr. Toulmin, a friend of Mr. Wakefield's, addressed to him a copy of verses, which Mr. Wakefield,
with a good-humoured confession of his mistake, has printed in the subsequent volume of his Observations on Pope, 8vo. 1769, conceiving that" they will form an agreeable termination of his Preface."
"Watchful Wakefield, late and early
Wit has caught her critic fairly,
Twisting sand into a rope," &c.
But perhaps the most solemn and successful imposition that ever was practised on an inconsiderate reader, is the Ode on Science; printed (as is also the Love Song by a person of quality) in Pope and Swift's Miscellanies; and which, like that, to judge from the style, is not unlikely to have been the work of Pope.
ODE ON SCIENCE.
O, Heavenly born! in deepest dells
Beneath the mossy cave;
Indulge the verdure of the woods,
For melancholy ever reigns
With scientific light;
While Dian, huntress of the vales,
Yet, Goddess, yet the way explore
When Solon and Lycurgus taught
Of mad opinion's maze,
To erring zeal they gave new laws,
Bid bright Astræa gild the morn,
To hecatomb the year;
Without thy aid, in vain the poles,
Come, fairest princess of the throng,
While raptur'd bards no more behold
A vernal age of purer gold,
In Heliconian streams.
Drive Thraldom with malignant hand,
To curse some other destin'd land,
By Folly led astray;
Iërne bear on azure wing,
Energic let her soar, and sing
So when Amphion bade the lyre
ON A CERTAIN LADY AT COURT.
I KNOW the thing that's most uncommon;
I know a reasonable Woman,
Not warp'd by Passion, aw'd by Rumour,
And sensible soft Melancholy.
"Has she no faults then, (Envy says,) Sir?"
Yes, she has one, I must aver;
When all the World conspires to praise her,
Ver. 1. I know the thing] Equal in elegance to any compliment that Waller has paid to Saccharissa, especially the last stanza, and the answer to Envy. The Lady addrest was Mrs. Howard, of Marble-hill, bed-chamber woman to Queen Caroline, and afterwards Countess of Suffolk.