Alexander Pope

The Dunciad, in Four Books

London: Printed for M. Cooper [etc.] 1743
208 p.

from BOOK the THIRD.

ARGUMENT.

BUT in her Temple's last recess inclos'd,
On Dulness' lap [the King of Dunces's] Anointed head repos'd.
Him close she curtains round with Vapours blue,
And soft besprinkles with Cimmerian dew.
Then raptures high the seat of Sense o'erflow,
Which only heads refin'd from Reason know.
Hence, from the straw where Bedlam's Prophet nods,
He hears loud Oracles, and talks with Gods: I1
Hence the Fool's Paradise, the Statesman's Scheme,
The air-built Castle, and the golden Dream,
The Maid's romantic wish, the Chemist's flame,
And Poet's vision of eternal Fame.
And now, on Fancy's easy wing convey'd,
The King descending, views th'Elysian Shade.
A slip-shod Sibyl led his steps along,
In lofty madness meditating song;
Her tresses staring from Poetic dreams,
And never wash'd, but in Castalia's streams.
Taylor, their better Charon, lends an oar,
(Once swan of Thames, tho' now he sings no more.)
Benlowes, propitious still to blockheads, bows;
And Shadwell nods the Poppy on his brows.
Here, in a dusky vale where Lethe rolls,I2
Old Bavius sits, to dip poetic souls,I3
And blunt the sense, and fit it for a skull
Of solid proof, impenetrably dull:
Instant, when dipt, away they wing their flight,
Where Brown and Mears unbar the gates of Light,I4
Demand new bodies, and in Calf's array,
Rush to the world, impatient for the day.
Millions and millions on these banks he views,
Thick as the stars of night, or morning dews,I5
As thick as bees o'er vernal blossoms fly,
As thick as eggs at Ward in Pillory.
Wond'ring he gaz'd . . . .

Did Pope Plagiarize?

 

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