Friday, April 24, 2009

Augustan Poetry

Characteristics: forward propulstion, based on classic Greek and Roman forms

Lit. devices: satire, iambic pentameter, wit, irony, paradox

Styles: heroic couplets, mundane plots, use of current political events (allegorically and directly), mock epics

Major themes: human frailty, mocking of human behavior

Authors: Alexander Pope, John Dryden


by: Alexander Pope (1688-1744)

      luttering spread thy purple pinions,
      Gentle Cupid, o'er my heart,
      I a slave in thy dominions,
      Nature must give way to art.
      Mild Arcadians, ever blooming,
      Nightly nodding o'er your flocks,
      See my weary days consuming,
      All beneath yon flowery rocks.
      Thus the Cyprian goddess weeping,
      Mourned Adonis, darling youth:
      Him the boar, in silence creeping,
      Gored with unrelenting tooth.
      Cynthia, tune harmonious numbers;
      Fair Discretion, tune the lyre;
      Soothe my ever-waking slumbers;
      Bright Apollo, lend thy choir.
      Gloomy Pluto, king of terrors,
      Armed in adamantine chains,
      Lead me to the crystal mirrors,
      Watering soft Elysian plains.
      Mournful Cypress, verdant willow,
      Gilding my Aurelia's brows,
      Morpheus, hovering o'er my pillow,
      Hear me pay my dying vows.
      Melancholy, smooth M├Žander,
      Swiftly purling in a round,
      On thy margin lovers wander
      With thy flowery chaplets crowned.
      Thus when Philomela, drooping,
      Softly seeks her silent mate,
      So the bird of Juno stooping;
      Melody resigns to fate.

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