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

Poems: 1718–27

To Mr. Gay

Who Had Congratulated Pope on Finishing His House and Gardens

Written early in 1722

AH, friend! ’t is true—this truth you lovers know—

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.