From The Bibliophile Library of Literature, Art, & Rare Manuscripts, Vol. IV, compiled and arranged by Nathan Haskell Dole, Forrest Morgan, and Caroline Ticknor; The International Bibliophile Society, New York-London; 1904; pp. 1107-1109.
[“ALEXANDER POPE: An English poet; born May 22, 1688. His whole career was one of purely poetic work and the personal relations it bought him into. He published the “Essay on Criticism” in 1710, the “Rape of the Lock” in 1711, the “Messiah” in 1712, his translation of the Iliad in 1718-1720, and of the Odyssey in 1725. His “Essay on Man,” whose thoughts were mainly suggested by Bolingbroke, appeared in 1733. His “Satires,” modeled on Horace’s manner, but not at all in his spirit, are among his best-known works. He died May 20, 1744.]
[Elf.Note. — For examples of his sense of humor, see Alexander Pope, by James Parton, with links.]
YE Nymphs of Solyma ! begin the song:
To heav’nly themes sublimer strains belong.
The mossy fountains, and the sylvan shades,
The dreams of Pindus and th’ Aonian maids,
Delight no more — O thou my voice inspire
Who touched Isaiah’s hallowed lips with fire !
Rapt into future times, the Bard begun:
A Virgin shall conceive, a Virgin bear a Son !
From Jesse’s root behold a branch arise,
Whose sacred flow’r with fragrance fills the skies:
Th’ Æthereal spirit o’er its leaves shall move,
And on its top descends the mystic Dove.
Ye Heav’ns ! from high the dewy nectar pour,
And in soft silence shed the kindly show’r !
The sick and weak the healing plant shall aid,
From storms a shelter, and from heat a shade.
All crimes shall cease, and ancient frauds shall fail;
Returning Justice lift aloft her scale;
1108 Peace o’er the World her olive wand extend,
And white-robed Innocence from heav’n descend
Swift fly the years, and rise th’ expected morn !
Oh spring to light, auspicious Babe, be born !
See Nature hastes her earliest wreaths to bring,
With all the incense of the breathing spring:
See lofty Lebanon his head advance,
See nodding forests on the mountains dance:
And Carmel’s flow’ry top perfumes the skies !
Hark ! a glad voice the lonely desert cheers;
Prepare the way ! a God, a God appears:
A God, a God; the vocal hills reply,
The rocks proclaim th’ approaching Deity.
Lo, earth receives him from the bending skies !
Sink down ye mountains, and ye valleys rise,
With heads declined, ye cedars homage pay;
Be smooth ye rocks, ye rapid floods give way !
The Savior comes ! by ancient bards foretold:
Hear him, ye deaf, and all ye blind, behold !
He from thick films shall purge the visual ray,
And on the sightless eyeball pour the day:
’Tis he th’ obstructed paths of sound shall clear,
And bid new music charm th’ unfolding ear:
The dumb shall sing, the lame his crutch forego,
And leap exulting like the bounding roe.
No sigh, no murmur the wide world shall hear,
From ev’ry face he wipes off ev’ry tear.
In adamantine chains shall Death be bound,
And Hell’s grim Tyrant feel th’ eternal wound.
As the good shepherd tends his fleecy care,
Seeks freshest pasture and the purest air,
Explores the lost, the wand’ring sheep directs,
By day o’ersees them, and by night protects,
The tender lambs he raise in his arms,
Feeds from his hand, and in his bosom warms;
Thus shall mankind his guardian care engage,
The promised father of the future age
No more shall nation against nation rise,
Nor ardent warriors meet with hateful eyes,
Nor fields with gleaming steel be covered o’er,
The brazen trumpets kindle rage no more;
But useless lances into scythes shall bend,
And the broad falchion in a plowshare end.
Then palaces shall rise; the joyful Son
1109 Shall finish what his short-lived Sire begun;
Their vines a shadow to their race shall yield,
And the same hand that sowed, shall reap the field.
The swain in barren deserts with surprise
See lilies spring, and sudden verdure rise;
And starts, amidst the thirsty wilds to hear
New falls of water murm’ring in his ear.
On rifted rocks, the dragon’s late abodes,
The green reed trembles, and the bulrush nods.
Waste sandy valleys, once perplexed with thorn,
The spiry fir and shapely box adorn;
To leafless shrubs the flow’ring palms succeed,
And od’rous myrtle to the noisome weed.
The lambs with wolves shall graze the verdant mead,
And boys in flow’ry bands the tiger lead;
The steer and lion at one crib shall meet,
And harmless serpents lick he pilgrim’s feet.
The smiling infant in his hand shall take
The crested basilisk and speckled snake,
Pleased the green luster of the scales survey,
And with their forky tongues shall innocently play.
Rise, crowned with light, imperial Salem, rise !
Exalt thy tow’ry head, and lift thy eyes !
See, a long race thy spacious courts adorn;
See future sons, and daughters yet unborn,
In crowding ranks on ev’ry side arise,
Demanding life, impatient for the skies !
See barb’rous nations at thy gates attend,
Walk in thy light, and in thy temple bend;
See thy bright altars thronged with prostrate kings,
And heaped with products of Sabæan springs !
For thee Idume’s spicy forests blow,
And seeds of gold in Ophir’s mountains glow.
See heav’n its sparkling portals wide display,
And break upon thee in a flood of day !
No more the rising Sun shall gild the morn,
Nor ev’ning Cynthia fill her silver horn;
But lost, dissolved in thy superior rays,
One tide of glory, one unclouded blaze
O’erflow thy courts: the light himself shall shine
Revealed, and God’s eternal day be thine !
The seas shall waste, the skies in smoke decay,
Rocks fall to dust, and mountains melt away;
But fixed his word, his saving pow’r remains; —
Thy realm forever lasts, thy own MESSIAH reigns !