A Farewell To London

by Alexander Pope
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"Luxurious Lobster-nights, Farewell"

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Last Updated on January 19, 2017, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 137

Context:Though he satirizes bluntly, even crudely, in this poem, it would appear that Pope, upon contemplating retirement into the country to work on his translations of Homer, had mixed emotions. He loved the London life, though he could see the weaknesses and the sins of his friends and acquaintances. Though some persons, like Earl Warwick, are treated harshly, the poet speaks fondly of others: "Farewell Arbuthnot's raillery/ On every learned sot;/ And Garth, the best good Christian he,/ Although he knows it not." And though he could satirize town life and its endless round of activities, Pope knew the pleasures of city tables, both public and private, including the table of Richard Boyle, Earl of Burlington, known for his tastes:

Luxurious lobster-nights, farewell,
For sober, studious days!
And Burlington's delicious meal,
For salads, tarts, and pease!

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