[Page 268]

On a BAY-LEAF, pluck'd from VIRGIL'S Tomb near Naples.

1736.

1 BOLD was the irreligious hand,
2 That could all reverence withstand,
3 And sacrilegiously presume
4 To rob the poet's sacred tomb
5 Of so much honourable shade,
6 As this, so small a trophy, made;
7 Could dare to pluck from VIRGIL'S brow
8 The honours Nature did bestow,
9
* Pascua.
Sweetly the gentle goddess smil'd,
10 And listen'd to her favourite child;
11 Whether in shepherd's cleanly weed
12 He deftly tun'd his oaten reed,
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13 And taught the vocal woods around
14 His Amaryllis to resound;
15
Rura.
Or taught he in a graver strain
16 To cloath the field with waving grain;
17 And in the marriage-folds to twine
18 The barren elm, and cluster'd vine;
19 To yoke the lab'ring ox, to breed
20 To the known goal the foaming steed;
21 And sung the manners, rights, degrees,
22 And labours of the frugal bees;
23
Duces.
Or whether with Aeneas' name
24 He swell'd th' extended cheek of Fame,
25 And all his god-like labours sung,
26 Whence Rome's extended glories sprung;
27 The goddess smil'd, and own'd she knew
28 Th' original from whence he drew,
29 And grateful she spontaneous gave
30 This living honour to his grave.
31 Hail, thou sweet shade, whose rev'renc'd name
32 Still foremost in the mouth of Fame,
33 Doth preference and value give,
34 And teach this little leaf to live,
35 Methinks secluded from that brow,
36 Where grateful Nature bad it grow,
37 This beauteous green should fade away,
38 And yield to iron-tooth'd decay:
39 But VIRGIL'S name forbids that crime,
40 And blunts the threat'ning scythe of Time.

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    About this text

    Title (in Source Edition): On a BAY-LEAF, pluck'd from VIRGIL'S Tomb near Naples. 1736.
    Themes: poetry; literature; writing
    Genres:
    References: DMI 22585

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    A Collection of Poems in Six Volumes. By Several Hands. Vol. III. London: printed by J. Hughs, for R. and J. Dodsley, 1763 [1st ed. 1758], pp. 268-269. 6v.: music; 8⁰. (ESTC T131163; OTA K104099.003) (Page images digitized by the Eighteenth-Century Poetry Archive from a copy in the archive's library.)

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