Verse > Alexander Pope > Complete Poetical Works
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Alexander Pope (1688–1744).  Complete Poetical Works.  1903.
 
Later Poems
On His Grotto at Twickenham
 
        
Composed of Marbles, Spars, Gems, Ores, and Minerals
  
  These lines were enclosed in a letter to Bolingbroke, dated September 3, 1740.

THOU who shalt stop where Thames’ translucent wave
Shines a broad mirror thro’ the shadowy cave;
Where ling’ring drops from min’ral roofs distil,
And pointed crystals break the sparkling rill;
Unpolish’d gems no ray on pride bestow,        5
And latent metals innocently glow;
Approach. Great Nature studiously behold!
And eye the mine without a wish for gold.
Approach; but awful! lo! the Ægerian grot,
Where, nobly pensive, St. John sate and thought;        10
Where British sighs from dying Wyndham stole,
And the bright flame was shot thro’ Marchmont’s soul.
Let such, such only, tread this sacred floor,
Who dare to love their country, and be poor.
 
 
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