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Lines by a Person of Quality by Alexander Pope


Apparently, when Pope wrote this, he was trying to be humorous and thought of it simply as verse. However, his readers took the poem seriously and praised it as poetry. "Lines by a Person of Quality" is written in ABAB in each stanza. It is written somewhat like doggerel, but given its status among the poetry community it is no longer seen as such. Nonetheless, the poem does have great meaning that can easily be contributed to Pope's amazing writing style.


Lines by a Person of Quality

Also known as "Song. By A Person of Quality."

Fluttering 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 flowery rocks.

Thus the Cyprian goddess weeping,
Mourned Adonis, darling youth:
Him the boar, in silence creeping,
Gored with unrelenting tooth.

Cynthia, tune harmonious numbers;
Fair Discretion, tune the lyre;
Soothe my ever-waking slumbers;
Bright Apollo, lend thy choir.

Gloomy Pluto, king of terrors,
Armed in adamantine chains,
Lead me to the crystal mirrors,
Watering soft Elysian plains.

Mournful Cypress, verdant willow,
Gilding my Aurelia's brows,
Morpheus, hovering o'er my pillow,
Hear me pay my dying vows.

Melancholy, smooth M├Žander,
Swiftly purling in a round,
On thy margin lovers wander
With thy flowery chaplets crowned.

Thus when Philomela, drooping,
Softly seeks her silent mate,
So the bird of Juno stooping;
Melody resigns to fate.


Next: On a Certain Lady at Court
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