Another Pope


(Titter) Couldn't resist the pun. Oh well. Many don't care for the poetry of Alexander Pope, they find it too rigidly regular, too uncannily metrical, stiff and inelastic, poems as chunks of concrete. To which I reply, Gustibus non est disputandem. I really like all of those aspects of Pope and his flair for finding just the right chink in the armor, just the right thing to say, as in this excerpt from the somewhat shorter Essay on Criticism

from Essay on Criticism Alexander Pope

Of all the Causes which conspire to blind
Man's erring Judgment, and misguide the Mind,
What the weak Head with strongest Byass rules,
Is Pride, the never-failing Vice of Fools.
Whatever Nature has in Worth deny'd,
She gives in large Recruits of needful Pride;
For as in Bodies, thus in Souls, we find
What wants in Blood and Spirits, swell'd with Wind;
Pride, where Wit fails, steps in to our Defence,
And fills up all the mighty Void of Sense!
If once right Reason drives that Cloud away,
Truth breaks upon us with resistless Day;
Trust not your self; but your Defects to know,
Make use of ev'ry Friend—and ev'ry Foe.

A little Learning is a dang'rous Thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian Spring:
There shallow Draughts intoxicate the Brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on August 25, 2002 3:56 PM.

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