Forty Years, And Two Months, After My Final Literature Class

A new perspective on that poet, Pope,

I have acquired, and it will help, I hope.

Reading his critics' nasty, barbed remarks,

one need not think of them as circling sharks.

With his faith, and his high style, discontent,

they felt an almost crushing need to vent;

humiliation was their masked intent.

But as one reads their shared, corrosive, spite,

the craven insults that they dared to write,

they are small shadows proving his great light,

small pebbles far beneath his towering peak;

or, on his sky, a falling star's brief streak.

They are remembered, at a scholar's whim,

only because they failed to harry him.

 

Starward

Author's Notes/Comments: 

In the last line, the verb "harry" was used, by James Stuart, James I, to describe his attitude toward the Puritan Party within the Church of England.  It is an archaic form of our verb "harass" and seems appropriate to this sonnet about the early eighteenth century's great English poet.

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