Page images




THOU who shalt stop, where Thames' translucent



Shines a broad Mirror through the shadowy Cave;
Where ling'ring drops from min'ral Roofs distil,
And pointed Crystals break the sparkling Rill,
Unpolish'd Gems no ray on Pride bestow,
And latent Metals innocently glow :
Approach. Great NATURE studiously behold!
And eye the Mine without a wish for Gold.
Approach: But awful! Lo! the Aegerian Grot,
Where, nobly pensive, ST. JOHN sate and thought;


On his Grotto] The improving and finishing his Grot was the favourite amusement of his declining years; and the beauty of his poetic genius, in the disposition and ornaments of this romantic recess, appears to as much advantage as in his best contrived Poems. Warburton.

Ver. 8. eye the Mine]

"Aurum irrepertum, et sic melius situm
Cum terra celet."

After Ver. 6. in the MS.


Horat. 1. 3. od. 3.

You see that Island's wealth, where, only free,
Earth to her entrails feels not Tyranny.

i. e. Britain is the only place in the globe which feels not tyranny

even to its very



Where British sighs from dying WYNDHAM stole, And the bright flame was shot through MARCHMONT'S Soul.


Ver. 9. Aegerian Grot.] These are two charming lines; but are blemished by two bad rhymes, Grot to Thought; scarce excusable in so short a poem, in which every syllable ought to be


It is remarkable that Juvenal, having mentioned this celebrated cave, takes occasion to inveigh against artificial grotto-work, and adulterating the simple beauties of nature, in lines uncommonly poetical:

"In vallem Ægeriæ descendimus, et Speluncas
Dissimiles veris; quanto præstantius esset
Numen aquæ, viridi si margine clauderit undas
Herba, nec ingenuum violarent marmora tophum."
Sat. iii. v. 17.

Milton, in an exquisite Latin poem, addressed to Salsillus, vol. ii. p. 532, has beautifully feigned that Numa is still living in this dark grove and grotto, in the perpetual enjoyment of his Ægeria. Warton.

Ver. 10. Where nobly pensive ST. JOHN] Lord Bolingbroke's account of the conversations, and manner of Pope's friends passing their time in his Garden, is not uninteresting:

"All I dare promise you is, that my thoughts, in what order soever they flow, shall be communicated to you, just as they pass through my mind, just as they used to be when we conversed together on these or any other subject, when we sauntered alone, or, as we have often done, with good Arbuthnot, and the jocose Dean of St. Patrick, among the multiplied scenes of your little Garden." Letter to Sir William Wyndham.



Ver. 11. Where British sighs from dying Wyndham stole,] In his MS. it was thus:

To Wyndham's breast the patriot passions stole, which made the whole allude to a certain anecdote of not much consequence to any but the parties concerned. Warburton.

Let such, such only, tread this sacred Floor,
Who dare to love their Country, and be poor.


Ver. 11. dying Wyndham.] Sir William Wyndham was a most upright and amiable man, and conscientiously attached to the exiled House of James. Born of a Tory family; "imbued," says Mr. Coxe, "from his earlier years with notions of Divine right, he uniformly opposed the succession of the House of Brunswick."

By marriage, in the reign of Edward the Sixth, with the daughter of Sir John Sydenham, of Orchard, the elder line of the ancient family of this name, from Wymondham in Norfolk, was settled at Orchard, since called Orchard Wyndham in Somersetshire. Sir William was lineally descended from this branch. He was born in the year 1686, and upon the death of his father, succeeded to the title of Baronet. He married in 1708, Lady Catherine Seymour, daughter of Charles, Duke of Somerset.

[ocr errors]

Pope's connection with him was probably owing to Lord Bolingbroke, through life his intimate friend, and with whom he kept up a constant correspondence, which was continued with his son, afterwards Earl of Egremont, till the death of Lord Bolingbroke. Under Lord Oxford's administration he was made Master of the Buck-Hounds, and was afterwards Secretary at War, and Chancellor of the Exchequer. For obvious reasons, he expe-, rienced a great reverse of fortune on the accession of George I. and was committed to the Tower in 1716. He was released under bail, and continued to be highly respected for his probity and abilities. He died in 1740. Bowles.




АH, friend! 'tis true-this truth you lovers


In vain my structures rise, my gardens grow,
In vain fair Thames reflects the double scenes
Of hanging mountains, and of sloping greens:
Joy lives not here, to happier seats it flies,
And only dwells where WORTLEY casts her eyes.

What are the gay parterre, the chequer'd shade,
The morning bower, the ev'ning colonnade,
But soft recesses of uneasy minds,

To sigh unheard in, to the passing winds?
So the struck deer in some sequester'd part
Lies down to die, the arrow at his heart,
He, stretch'd unseen in coverts hid from day,
Bleeds drop by drop, and pants his life away."





ONCE (says an Author, where, I need not say)
Two Trav'llers found an Oyster in their way;
Both fierce, both hungry; the dispute grew strong,
While Scale in hand Dame Justice past along.
Before her each with clamour pleads the Laws,
Explain'd the matter, and would win the cause.
Dame Justice weighing long the doubtful Right,
Takes, opens, swallows it, before their sight.
The cause of strife remov'd so rarely well,
There take (says Justice), take ye each a Shell.
We thrive at Westminster on Fools like you :
"Twas a fat Oyster-Live in peace-Adieu.

It will be no unuseful or unpleasing amusement to compare this translation with the original:

"Un jour, dit un Auteur, n'importe en quel chapitre,

Deux voyageurs à jeun rencontrerent une huître ;
Tous deux la contestoient, lorsque dans leur chemin,
La Justice passa, la balance à la main.

Devant elle à grand bruit ils expliquent la chose;
Tous deux avec depens veulent gagner leur cause.
La Justice pesant ce droit litigieux,
Demande l'huître, l'ouvre, et l'avale à leurs
Et par ce bel arrest terminant la bataille:
Tenez voilà, dit elle, à chacun une écaille.

Des sottises d'autrui, nous vivons au palais;


Messieurs, l'huître étoit bonne. Adieu, Vivez en paix."

In the fifth, sixth, seventh, ninth, and twelfth verses, Pope is inferior to the original.


« EelmineJätka »