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Editor's Selection of Poems
Summer: The Second Pastoral

by Alexander Pope

excerpt See what delights in sylvan scenes appear! Descending gods have found Elysium here. In woods bright Venus with Adonis stray'd, And chaste Diana haunts the forest shade. Come, lovely nymph, and bless the silent hours, When swains from shearing seek their nightly bow'rs; When weary reapers quit the sultry field, And crown'd with corn their thanks to Ceres yield, This harmless grove no lurking viper hides, But in my breast the serpent Love abides. Here bees from blossoms sip the rosy dew, But your Alexis knows no sweets but you. Oh deign to visit our forsaken seats, The mossy fountains, and the green retreats! Where'er you walk, cool gales shall fan the glade, Trees, where you sit, shall crowd into a shade; Where'er you tread, the blushing flow'rs shall rise, And all things flourish where you turn your eyes. Oh! how I long with you to pass my days, Invoke the Muses, and resound your praise! Your praise the birds shall chant in ev'ry grove, And winds shall waft it to the pow'rs above, But would you sing, and rival Orpheus' strain, The wond'ring forests soon should dance again; The moving mountains hear the pow'rful call, And headlong streams hang list'ning in their fall!

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