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

Later Poems

Song, by a Person of Quality

  • Written in the Year 1733
  • The public astonished Pope by taking this burlesque seriously, and praising it as poetry.

  • I
    FLUTT’RING spread thy purple Pinions,

    Gentle Cupid, o’er my Heart;

    I a Slave in thy Dominions;

    Nature must give Way to Art.

    Mild Arcadians, ever blooming,

    Nightly nodding o’er your Flocks,

    See my weary Days consuming,

    All beneath yon flow’ry Rocks.

    Thus the Cyprian Goddess weeping,

    Mourn’d Adonis, darling Youth:

    Him the Boar in Silence creeping,

    Gored with unrelenting Tooth.

    Cynthia, tune harmonious Numbers;

    Fair Discretion, string the Lyre;

    Soothe my ever-waking Slumbers:

    Bright Apollo, lend thy Choir.

    Gloomy Pluto, King of Terrors,

    Arm’d in adamantine Chains,

    Lead me to the Crystal Mirrors,

    Wat’ring soft Elysian Plains.

    Mournful Cypress, verdant Willow,

    Gilding my Aurelia’s Brows,

    Morpheus hov’ring o’er my Pillow,

    Hear me pay my dying Vows.

    Melancholy smooth Mæander,

    Swiftly purling in a Round,

    On thy Margin Lovers wander,

    With thy flow’ry Chaplets crown’d.

    Thus when Philomela drooping,

    Softly seeks her silent Mate,

    See the Bird of Juno stooping;

    Melody resigns to Fate.