Alexander by essay man pope

What can she more than tell us we are fools? She but removes weak passions for the strong:. Yes, nature's road must ever be preferr'd;. And treat this passion more as friend than foe:. A mightier pow'r the strong direction sends,.

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Like varying winds, by other passions toss'd,. This drives them constant to a certain coast. Let pow'r or knowledge, gold or glory, please,. Or oft more strong than all the love of ease;. Through life 'tis followed, ev'n at life's expense;. Strong grows the virtue with his nature mix'd;. The dross cements what else were too refin'd,. As fruits, ungrateful to the planter's care,.

The surest virtues thus from passions shoot,. Lust, through some certain strainers well refin'd,. But what will grow on pride, or grow on shame. Thus nature gives us let it check our pride. This light and darkness in our chaos join'd,. Though each by turns the other's bound invade,.


  1. An Essay on Man, by Alexander Pope.
  2. An Essay on Man.
  3. Essay on Man by Pope.
  4. POPE’S POEMS..
  5. The Design!

As, in some well-wrought picture, light and shade,. A thousand ways, is there no black or white? Ask your own heart, and nothing is so plain;. Vice is a monster of so frightful mien,. But where th' extreme of vice, was ne'er agreed:. Ask where's the North?

Pope: Essay on Man

At Greenland, Zembla, or the Lord knows where:. But thinks his neighbour farther gone than he! What happier natures shrink at with affright,. Virtuous and vicious ev'ry man must be,.


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  • The rogue and fool by fits is fair and wise;. And ev'n the best, by fits, what they despise. But heav'n's great view is one, and that the whole:. Fear to the statesman, rashness to the chief,. Which seeks no int'rest, no reward but praise;. Heav'n forming each on other to depend,. Wants, frailties, passions, closer still ally. To these we owe true friendship, love sincere,. Those joys, those loves, those int'rests to resign;.

    Whate'er the passion, knowledge, fame, or pelf,.

    Not one will change his neighbour with himself. The poor contents him with the care of heav'n. See the blind beggar dance, the cripple sing,.

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    See some strange comfort ev'ry state attend,. Hope travels through, nor quits us when we die. Behold the child, by nature's kindly law,. Pleas'd with a rattle, tickl'd with a straw:. Some livelier plaything gives his youth delight,. Scarfs, garters, gold, amuse his riper stage,.

    And beads and pray'r books are the toys of age:. Pleas'd with this bauble still, as that before;. Meanwhile opinion gilds with varying rays. Those painted clouds that beautify our days;. These build as fast as knowledge can destroy;. In folly's cup still laughs the bubble, joy;. Ev'n mean self-love becomes, by force divine,. The scale to measure others' wants by thine. More Poems by Alexander Pope. Elegy to the Memory of an Unfortunate Lady. Eloisa to Abelard. Epistle to Dr. See All Poems by this Author. See a problem on this page? More About This Poem. About this Poet. It is an attempt to justify, as Milton had attempted to vindicate, the ways of God to Man, and a warning that man himself is not, as, in his pride, he seems to believe, the center of all things.

    Though not explicitly Christian, the Essay makes the implicit assumption that man is fallen and unregenerate, and that he must seek his own salvation.

    Poem: Essay on Man, An - Epistle 3 by Alexander Pope

    The "Essay" consists of four epistles, addressed to Lord Bolingbroke, and derived, to some extent, from some of Bolingbroke's own fragmentary philosophical writings, as well as from ideas expressed by the deistic third Earl of Shaftesbury. Pope sets out to demonstrate that no matter how imperfect, complex, inscrutable, and disturbingly full of evil the Universe may appear to be, it does function in a rational fashion, according to natural laws; and is, in fact, considered as a whole, a perfect work of God. It appears imperfect to us only because our perceptions are limited by our feeble moral and intellectual capacity.

    His conclusion is that we must learn to accept our position in the Great Chain of Being — a "middle state," below that of the angels but above that of the beasts — in which we can, at least potentially, lead happy and virtuous lives.


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    Epistle I concerns itself with the nature of man and with his place in the universe; Epistle II, with man as an individual; Epistle III, with man in relation to human society, to the political and social hierarchies; and Epistle IV, with man's pursuit of happiness in this world. An Essay on Man was a controversial work in Pope's day, praised by some and criticized by others, primarily because it appeared to contemporary critics that its emphasis, in spite of its themes, was primarily poetic and not, strictly speaking, philosophical in any really coherent sense: Dr.

    Johnson , never one to mince words, and possessed, in any case, of views upon the subject which differed materially from those which Pope had set forth, noted dryly in what is surely one of the most back-handed literary compliments of all time that "Never were penury of knowledge and vulgarity of sentiment so happily disguised.