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


On Two Lovers Struck Dead by Lightning

  • John Hughes and Sarah Drew. See Pope’s letter to Lady Mary written in September, 1718.

  • I
    WHEN Eastern lovers feed the Funeral Fire,

    On the same pile their faithful Fair expire;

    Here pitying Heav’n that Virtue mutual found,

    And blasted both, that it might neither wound.

    Hearts so sincere th’ Almighty saw well pleas’d,

    Sent his own lightning, and the victims seiz’d.

    Think not by rig’rous judgment seiz’d,

    A pair so faithful could expire;

    Victims so pure Heav’n saw well pleas’d,

    And snatch’d them in celestial fire.

    Live well, and fear no sudden fate:

    When God calls Virtue to the grave,

    Alike ’t is Justice, soon or late,

    Mercy alike to kill or save.

    Virtue unmov’d can hear the call,

    And face the flash that melts the ball.