Elegy Poems - Poems For Elegy - Elegy To The Memory Of An Unfortunate Lady - Poem by Alexander Pope | Poem Hunter

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Elegy To The Memory Of An Unfortunate Lady - Poem by Alexander Pope

What beck'ning ghost, along the moon-light shade
Invites my steps, and points to yonder glade?
'Tis she!--but why that bleeding bosom gor'd,
Why dimly gleams the visionary sword?
Oh ever beauteous, ever friendly! tell,
Is it, in heav'n, a crime to love too well?
To bear too tender, or too firm a heart,
To act a lover's or a Roman's part?
Is there no bright reversion in the sky,
For those who greatly think, or bravely die?

Why bade ye else, ye pow'rs! her soul aspire
Above the vulgar flight of low desire?
Ambition first sprung from your blest abodes;
The glorious fault of angels and of gods;
Thence to their images on earth it flows,
And in the breasts of kings and heroes glows.
Most souls, 'tis true, but peep out once an age,
Dull sullen pris'ners in the body's cage:
Dim lights of life, that burn a length of years
Useless, unseen, as lamps in sepulchres;
Like eastern kings a lazy state they keep,
And close confin'd to their own palace, sleep.

From these perhaps (ere nature bade her die)
Fate snatch'd her early to the pitying sky.
As into air the purer spirits flow,
And sep'rate from their kindred dregs below;
So flew the soul to its congenial place,
Nor left one virtue to redeem her race.

But thou, false guardian of a charge too good,
Thou, mean deserter of thy brother's blood!
See on these ruby lips the trembling breath,
These cheeks now fading at the blast of death:
Cold is that breast which warm'd the world before,
And those love-darting eyes must roll no more.
Thus, if eternal justice rules the ball,
Thus shall your wives, and thus your children fall;
On all the line a sudden vengeance waits,
And frequent hearses shall besiege your gates.
There passengers shall stand, and pointing say,
(While the long fun'rals blacken all the way)
"Lo these were they, whose souls the furies steel'd,
And curs'd with hearts unknowing how to yield.
Thus unlamented pass the proud away,
The gaze of fools, and pageant of a day!
So perish all, whose breast ne'er learn'd to glow
For others' good, or melt at others' woe."

What can atone (oh ever-injur'd shade!)
Thy fate unpitied, and thy rites unpaid?
No friend's complaint, no kind domestic tear
Pleas'd thy pale ghost, or grac'd thy mournful bier.
By foreign hands thy dying eyes were clos'd,
By foreign hands thy decent limbs compos'd,
By foreign hands thy humble grave adorn'd,
By strangers honour'd, and by strangers mourn'd!
What though no friends in sable weeds appear,
Grieve for an hour, perhaps, then mourn a year,
And bear about the mockery of woe
To midnight dances, and the public show?
What though no weeping loves thy ashes grace,
Nor polish'd marble emulate thy face?
What though no sacred earth allow thee room,
Nor hallow'd dirge be mutter'd o'er thy tomb?
Yet shall thy grave with rising flow'rs be drest,
And the green turf lie lightly on thy breast:
There shall the morn her earliest tears bestow,
There the first roses of the year shall blow;
While angels with their silver wings o'ershade
The ground, now sacred by thy reliques made.

So peaceful rests, without a stone, a name,
What once had beauty, titles, wealth, and fame.
How lov'd, how honour'd once, avails thee not,
To whom related, or by whom begot;
A heap of dust alone remains of thee,
'Tis all thou art, and all the proud shall be!

Poets themselves must fall, like those they sung,
Deaf the prais'd ear, and mute the tuneful tongue.
Ev'n he, whose soul now melts in mournful lays,
Shall shortly want the gen'rous tear he pays;
Then from his closing eyes thy form shall part,
And the last pang shall tear thee from his heart,
Life's idle business at one gasp be o'er,
The Muse forgot, and thou belov'd no more!


Comments about Elegy To The Memory Of An Unfortunate Lady by Alexander Pope

  • Veteran Poet - 1,087 Points Fantone Mdala (5/6/2019 1:38:00 PM)

    This is a well written poem. Brings out the true artist inside the poet (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • Gold Star - 112,337 Points Ramesh T A (5/6/2019 1:11:00 PM)

    Alexander Pope noted for satirical notes or criticism has written wonderful elegy on the unfortunate lady and so, it makes anyone read again and again to understand better! (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 627,509 Points Edward Kofi Louis (5/6/2019 11:22:00 AM)

    To love too well! ! ! ! !
    Too firm a heart.

    Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
Read all 5 comments »

Poems About Elegy

  1. 1. Elegy Written In A Country Churchyard , Thomas Gray
  2. 2. Elegy , Dylan Thomas
  3. 3. Elegy For Jane , Theodore Roethke
  4. 4. Duino Elegies: The First Elegy , Rainer Maria Rilke
  5. 5. Elegy In April And September , Wilfred Owen
  6. 6. Duino Elegies: The Tenth Elegy , Rainer Maria Rilke
  7. 7. Duino Elegies: The Fourth Elegy , Rainer Maria Rilke
  8. 8. Elegy To The Memory Of An Unfortunate Lady , Alexander Pope
  9. 9. An Imperial Elegy , Wilfred Owen
  10. 10. Elegy Xix: To His Mistress Going To Bed , John Donne
  11. 11. Elegy I , Rainer Maria Rilke
  12. 12. A Satirical Elegy On The Death Of A Late.. , Jonathan Swift
  13. 13. Elegy Xvi: On His Mistress , John Donne
  14. 14. Elegy In The Classroom , Anne Sexton
  15. 15. An Elegy On The Death Of Kenneth Patchen , Lawrence Ferlinghetti
  16. 16. Elegy I: Jealousy , John Donne
  17. 17. Elegy X , Rainer Maria Rilke
  18. 18. Elegy Xviii: Love's Progress , John Donne
  19. 19. Elegy , Carolyn Forché
  20. 20. Elegy X: The Dream , John Donne
  21. 21. An Elegy On The Death Of A Mad Dog , Oliver Goldsmith
  22. 22. Elegy Xiii: His Parting From Her , John Donne
  23. 23. Elegy Iv , Rainer Maria Rilke
  24. 24. March Elegy , Anna Akhmatova
  25. 25. Elegy Ii: The Anagram , John Donne
  26. 26. Elegy V: His Picture , John Donne
  27. 27. Elegy In A Country Churchyard , Gilbert Keith Chesterton
  28. 28. Elegy Iii: Change , John Donne
  29. 29. Elegy Iv: The Perfume , John Donne
  30. 30. Elegy Ix: The Autumnal , John Donne
  31. 31. Elegy Vii , John Donne
  32. 32. From The Tenth Elegy , Rainer Maria Rilke
  33. 33. Elegy Viii: The Comparison , John Donne
  34. 34. Elegy Upon Tiger , Jonathan Swift
  35. 35. Elegy V , Ovid
  36. 36. Elegy , Joseph Brodsky
  37. 37. An Elegy On A Lap-Dog , John Gay
  38. 38. Elegy , Siegfried Sassoon
  39. 39. Elegy Vi , John Donne
  40. 40. An Elegy In Frost , Sandra Fowler
  41. 41. Elegy , Alan Dugan
  42. 42. Elegy Xvi: The Expostulation , John Donne
  43. 43. Elegy For Tibullus , Ovid
  44. 44. An Elegy Upon James Therburn, In Chatto , James Thomson
  45. 45. Elegy Before Death , Edna St. Vincent Millay
  46. 46. Elegy , Edna St. Vincent Millay
  47. 47. Love: An Elegy , Mark Akenside
  48. 48. Elegy To Time , Lorraine Margueritte Gasrel ..
  49. 49. Elegy , Ambrose Bierce
  50. 50. Elegy Xvii: On His Mistress , John Donne
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