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ALEXANDER POPE
English poet and critic
(1688 - 1744)
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Willing to wound, and yet afraid to strike,
  Just hint a fault, and hesitate dislike;
    Alike reserv'd to blame, or to commend,
      A tim'rous foe, and a suspicious friend.
      - [Scandal]

Wit and judgment often are at strife.
      - [Wit]

"With every pleasing; every prudent part,
  Say, What can Chloe want?"--she wants a heart.
    She speaks, behaves, and acts just as she ought;
      But never, never reach'd one generous thought.
      - [Coquette]

With loads of learned lumber in his head.
      - [Pedantry]

With that can creep, and pride that licks the dust.
      - [Servility]

Woman is at best a contradiction still.
      - [Women]

Wretches hang that jurymen may dine.
      - [Wretched]

Ye sacred Nine! that all my soul possess . . .
  Bear me, O bear me to sequestered scenes,
    The bow'ry mazes, and surrounding greens.
      - [Country]

Yet hence the poor are clothed, the hungry fed; health to himself, and to his infants bread, the laborer bears.
      - [Work]

You eat, in dreams, the custard of the day.
      - [Dreams]

Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
      - An Essay on Criticism (part III, line 66)
        [Proverbs]

Let opening roses knotted oaks adorn,
  And liquid amber drop from every thorn.
      - Autumn (l. 36) [Roses]

The garlands fade, the vows are worn away;
  So dies her love, and so my hopes decay.
      - Autumn (l. 70) [Matrimony]

Ah! what avails it me the flocks to keep,
  Who lost my heart while I preserv'd my sheep.
      - Autumn (l. 79) [Love]

Tell me, my soul! can this be death?
      - Dying Christian to His Soul,
        Pope attributes his inspiration to Hadrian and to a Fragment of Sappho
        [Death]

Is it, in Heav'n, a crime to love too well?
  To bear too tender or too firm a heart,
    To act a lover's or a Roman's part?
      Is there no bright reversion in the sky
        For those who greatly think, or bravely die?
      - Elegy on an Unfortunate Lady [Love]

Yet shall thy grave with rising flow'rs be dressed,
  And the green turf lie lightly on thy breast;
    There shall the morn her earliest tears bestow,
      There the first roses of the year shall blow.
      - Elegy on an Unfortunate Lady (l. 65)
        [Graves]

So perish all whose breast ne'er learned to glow
  For other's good or melt at other's woe.
      - Elegy to an Unfortunate Lady [Woe]

What beck'ning ghost along the moonlight shade
  Invites my steps, and points to yonder glade?
      - Elegy to the Memory of an Unfortunate Lady
         (l. 1) [Apparitions]

By foreign hands thy dying eyes were clos'd.
  By foreign hands thy decent limbs compos'd,
    By foreign hands thy humble grave adorn'd,
      By strangers honour'd, and by strangers mourn'd.
      - Elegy to the Memory of an Unfortunate Lady
         (l. 51) [Death]

A heap of dust remains of thee;
  'Tis all thou art, and all the proud shall be!
      - Elegy to the Memory of an Unfortunate Lady
         (l. 73) [Death]

No craving void left aching in the soul.
      - Eloisa to Abelard [Soul]

No silver saints, by dying misers giv'n,
  Here brib'd the rage of ill-requited heav'n;
    But such plain roofs as Piety could raise,
      And only vocal with the Maker's praise.
      - Eloisa to Abelard (l. 137) [Churches]

Of all affliction taught a lover yet,
  'Tis true the hardest science to forget.
      - Eloisa to Abelard (l. 189) [Love]

How happy is the blameless vestal's lot!
  The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
    Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
      - Eloisa to Abelard (l. 207) [Obscurity]


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