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    HAPPY the man, whose wish and care
    A few paternal acres bound,
    Content to breathe his native air
         In his own ground.

    Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,
    Whose flocks supply him with attire;
    Whose trees in summer yield shade,
         In winter, fire.

    Blest, who can unconcern'dly find
    Hours, days, and years, slide soft away
    In health of body, peace of mind,
         Quiet by day.

    Sound sleep by night; study and ease
    Together mixed; sweet recreation,
    And innocence, which most does please
         With meditation.

    Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;
    Thus unlamented let me die;
    Steal from the world, and not a stone
         Tell where I lie.

    Alexander Pope

Sound and Sense

    True ease in writing comes from art, not chance,
    As those move easiest who have learned to dance.
    'Tis not enough no harshness gives offense,
    The sound must seem an echo to the sense:
    Soft is the strain when Zephyr gently blows,
    And the smooth stream in smoother numbers flows;
    But when loud surges lash the sounding shore,
    The hoarse, rough verse should like the torrent roar;
    When Ajax strives some rock's vast weight to throw,
    The line too labors, and the words move slow;
    Not so, when swift Camilla scours the plain,
    Flies o'er the unbending corn, and skims along the main.
    Hear how Timotheus' varied lays surprise,
    And bid alternate passions fall and rise!

    Alexander Pope

The Dying Christian to His Soul

    VITAL spark of heav'nly flame,
    Quit, oh, quit, this mortal frame!
    Trembling, hoping, ling'ring, flying,
    Oh, the pain, the bliss of dying!
    Cease, fond Nature, cease thy strife,
    And let me languish into life!

    Hark! they whisper; Angels say,
    Sister Spirit, come away.
    What is this absorbs me quite,
    Steals my senses, shuts my sight,
    Drowns my spirits, draws my breath?
    Tell me, my Soul! can this be Death?

    The world recedes; it disappears;
    Heav'n opens on my eyes; my ears
    With sounds seraphic ring:
    Lend, lend your wings! I mount! I fly!
    O Grave! where is thy Victory?
    O Death! where is thy Sting?

    Alexander Pope

Elegy to the Memory of an Unfortunate Lady

    WHAT beck'ning ghost along the moonlight shade
    Invites my steps, and points to yonder glade?
    'Tis she! -- but why that bleeding bosom gor'd?
    Why dimly gleams the visionary sword?
    Oh ever beauteous, ever friendly! tell,
    Is it, in Heav'n, a crime to love to well?
    To bear too tender or too firm a heart,
    To act a lover's or a Roman's part?
    Is there no bright reversion in the sky
    For those who greatly think, or bravely die?

    Why bade ye else, ye Powers! her soul aspire
    Above the vulgar flight of low desire?
    Ambition first sprung from your blest abodes,
    The glorious fault of Angels and of Gods:
    Thence to their images on earth it flows
    And in the breasts of Kings and Heroes glows.
    Most souls, 'tis true, but peep out once an age,
    Dull sullen pris'ners in the body's cage;
    Dim lights of life, that burn a length of years
    Useless, unseen, as lamps in sepulchres;
    Like eastern Kings a lazy state they keep,
    And, close confin'd to their palace, sleep.

    From these, perhaps (ere Nature bade her die),
    Fate snatch'd her early to the pitying sky.
    Ad into air the purer spirits flow,
    And sep'rate from their kindred dregs below;
    So flew the soul to its congenial place,
    Nor left one virtue to redeem her race.

    But thou, false guardian of a charge too good,
    Thou, mean deserter of thy brother's blood!
    See on these ruby lips the trembling breath,
    These cheeks now fading at the blast of death;
    Cold is that breast which warm'd the world before,
    And those love-darting eyes must roll no more.
    Thus, if eternal justice rules the ball,
    Thus shall your wives, and thus your children fall;
    On all the line a suddn vengeance waits,
    And frequent hearses shall besiege your gates;
    There passengers shall stand, and pointing say
    (While the long funerals blacken all the way),
    Lo! these were they whose souls the furies steel'd,
    And cursed with hearts unknowing how to yield.
    Thus unlamented pass the proud away,
    The gaze of fools, the pageant of a day!
    So perish all, whose breast ne'er learn'd to glow
    For others' good, or melt at others' woe.

    What can atone, O ever injured shade!
    Thy fate unpitied, and thy rites unpaid?
    No friend's complaint, no kind domestic tear
    Pleas'd thy pale ghost, or graced thy mournful bier;
    By foreign hands thy dying eyes were close,
    By foreign hands thy decent limbs composed,
    By foreign hands thy humble grave adorn'd,
    By strangers hounour'd, and by strangers mourn'd.
    What tho' no freinds in sable weeds appear,
    Grieve for an hour, perhaps, then mourn a year,
    And bear about the mockery of woe
    To midnight dances, and the public show?
    What tho' no weeping loves thy ashes grace,
    Nor polish'd marble emulate thy face?
    What tho' no sacred earth allow thee room,
    Nor hallow'd dirge be mutter o'er thy tomb?
    Yet shall thy grave with rising flowers be dress'd,
    And the green turf lie lightly on thy breast:
    There shall the morn her earliest tears bestow,
    There the first roses of the year shall blow;
    While angels with their silver wings o'er shade
    The ground, now sacred by thy relics made.

    So peaceful rests, without a stone, a name,
    What once had had Beauty, Titles, Wealth and Fame.
    How lov'd, how honour'd once, avails thee not,
    To whom related, or by whom begot;
    A heap of dust alone remains of thee;
    'Tis all thou art, and all the proud shall be!

    Poets themselves must fall like those they sung,
    Deaf the prais'd ear, and mute the tuneful tongue.
    Ev'n he whose soul now melts in mournful lays,
    Shall shortly want the gen'rous tear he pays;
    Then from his closing eyes thy form shall part,
    And the last pang shall tear thee from his heart;
    Life's idle bus'ness at one gasp be o'er,
    The Muse forgot, and thou belov'd no more!

    Alexander Pope

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