About the poet
Pope was born into a Catholic family in 1688, the year of The Glorious Revolution, when...
from The Dunciad Variorum, Book ii
See in the circle next Eliza placed,
Two babes of love close clinging to her waist;
Fair as before her works she stands confess’d,
In flowers and pearls by bounteous Kirkall dress’d.
The Goddess then: ‘Who best can send on high
The salient spout, far-streaming to the sky,
His be yon Juno of majestic size,
With cow-like udders, and with ox-like eyes.
This China Jordan let the chief o’ercome
Replenish, not ingloriously, at home.’
Chetwood and Curll accept the glorious strife
(Tho’ this his son dissuades, and that his wife);
One on his manly confidence relies,
One on his vigour and superior size.
First Chetwood lean’d against his letter’d post;
It rose, and labour’d to a curve at most:
So Jove’s bright bow displays its wat’ry round
(Sure sign that no spectator shall be drown’d).
A second effort brought but new disgrace,
For straining more, it flies in his own face
Thus the small jet, which hasty hands unlock,
Spirts in the gard’ner’s eyes who turns the cock.
Not so from shameless Curll; impetuous spread
The stream, and smoking flourish’d o’er his head:
So (famed like thee for turbulence and horns)
Eridanus his humble fountain scorns;
Thro’ half the heav’ns he pours th’ exalted urn;
His rapid waters in their passage burn.
Swift as it mounts, all follow with their eyes;
Still happy Impudence obtains the prize.
Thou triumph’st, victor of the high-wrought day,
And the pleas’d dame, soft smiling, lead’st away.
Chetwood, thro’ perfect modesty o’ercome,
Crown’d with the Jordan, walks contented home.
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