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To Mr. Thomas Southern, on his Birth-Day poem – Alexander Pope

A poem by Alexander Pope (1688-1744) , the greatest English poet of “Augustan” or Georgian period


Resign’d to live, prepar’d to die,

With not one sin, but poetry,

This day Tom’s fair account has run

(Without a blot) to eighty-one.

Kind Boyle, before his poet, lays

A table, with a cloth of bays;

And Ireland, mother of sweet singers,

Presents her harp still to his fingers.

The feast, his tow’ring genius marks

In yonder wild goose and the larks!

The mushrooms shew his wit was sudden!

And for his judgement, lo a pudden!

Roast beef, tho’ old, proclaims him stout,

And grace, altho’ a bard, devout.

May Tom, whom heav’n send down to raise

The price of prologues and of plays,

He ev’ry birth-day more a winner,

Digest his thirty thousandth dinner;

Walk to his grave without reproach,

And scorn a rascal and a coach.

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