Alexander Pope (1688–1744). Complete Poetical Works. 1903.

Poems: 1708–12


  • Written in 1709 and sent in a letter to Henry Cromwell in 1711.

  • WHEN wise Ulysses, from his native coast

    Long kept by wars, and long by tempests toss’d,

    Arrived at last, poor, old, disguised, alone,

    To all his friends, and ev’n his Queen unknown,

    Changed as he was, with age, and toils, and cares,

    Furrow’d his rev’rend face, and white his hairs,

    In his own palace forc’d to ask his bread,

    Scorn’d by those slaves his former bounty fed,

    Forgot of all his own domestic crew,

    The faithful Dog alone his rightful master knew!

    Unfed, unhous’d, neglected, on the clay,

    Like an old servant now cashier’d, he lay;

    Touch’d with resentment of ungrateful man,

    And longing to behold his ancient lord again.

    Him when he saw he rose, and crawl’d to meet,

    (’T was all he could) and fawn’d and kiss’d his feet,

    Seiz’d with dumb joy; then falling by his side,

    Own’d his returning lord, look’d up, and died!