And now, Alexander Pope


And now, Alexander Pope
Rushing headlong, with breathtaking speed we careen from the seventeenth century (one of my favorites) to the eighteenth (Voltaire and his lot all but ruined it--but even so, there's so good stuff early on, before we got quite so "enlightened." This excerpt is from a much longer work by Alexander Pope. Pope also did a magnificent translation of both The Iliad and The Odyssey. The latter is currently available online at Blackmask as is "An Essay on Man," from which the following excerpt is taken.

from An Essay on Man in Four Epistles Epistle I Alexander Pope Go, wiser thou! and in thy scale of sense, Weigh thy opinion against providence; Call imperfection what thou fancy'st such, Say, here he gives too little, there too much: Destroy all creatures for thy sport or gust, Yet cry, If man's unhappy, God's unjust; If man alone ingross not Heav'n's high care, Alone made perfect here, immortal there: Snatch from his hand the balance and the rod, Re-judge his justice, be the God of God. In pride, in reas'ning pride, our error lies; All quit their sphere, and rush into the skies. Pride still is aiming at the blest abodes, Men would be angels, angels would be gods. Aspiring to be gods if angels fell, Aspiring to be angels men rebel: And who but wishes to invert the laws Of order, sins against th' eternal cause.
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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on August 25, 2002 3:44 PM.

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