Literary Lessons From Twickenham, London, England

Those who had been constitutionally inept to cope

with high refinements in the verse of Alexander Pope---

the strong and agile suppleness of his iambic lines;

the ancient poets' traditions in his poems' several designs:

and to bring diversion from their shallow, shabby lack,

they subjected the Poet to the most uncouth attack;

what they could not have imitated they dared to condemn.

Counless revere him now, with laughing disrespect to them---

who are remembered, if at all, only for virulence,

and for their scribblings' raving rants of sheer incompetence;

lacking the customary verve of English eloquence;

and making neither beauty nor the good of common sense;

and when they could not topple his accomplishment, they dared

to question the man's practice of the faith they had not shared.

 

Starward

Author's Notes/Comments: 

The poem is based on literary history.  When Pope's critics could saw that their criticisms of his poems bore no fruit, with no effect upon his style or his readers' appreciation of it, they turned their attack both to his physical deformity (his back was twisted into a hump after a childhood infection of spinal tuberculosis) and, with the most contemptible lack of couth, his devout practice of the Roman Catholic faith.

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