Alexander Pope (16881744). Complete Poetical Works. 1903.
The Dying Christian to His Soul
This Ode was written, we find [in 1712], at the desire of Steele; and our Poet, in a letter to him on that occasion, says,You have it, as Cowley calls it, just warm from the brain; it came to me the first moment I waked this morning; yet you ll see, it was not so absolutely inspiration, but that I had in my head, not only the verses of Hadrian, but the fine fragment of Sappho. It is possible, however, that our Author might have had another composition in his head, besides those he here refers to: for there is a close and surprising resemblance between this Ode of Pope, and one of an obscure and forgotten rhymer of the age of Charles the Second, Thomas Flatman. (Warton). Popes version of the Adriani morientis ad Animam was written at about this date, and sent to Steele for publication in The Spectator. It ran as follows: