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ALEXANDER POPE
English poet and critic
(1688 - 1744)
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Say first, of God above or man below,
  What can we reason but from what we know?
      - Essay on Man (ep. I, l. 17) [Reason]

Why has not man a microscopic eye?
  For this plain reason, Man is not a Fly.
    Say, what the use, were finer optics giv'n,
      T' inspect a mite, not comprehend the heav'n?
      - Essay on Man (ep. I, l. 193) [Eyes]

Die of a rose in aromatic pain.
      - Essay on Man (ep. I, l. 200) [Roses]

Who finds not Providence all good and wise,
  Alike in what it gives, and what denies.
      - Essay on Man (ep. I, l. 205) [Providence]

The spider's touch, how exquisitely fine!
  Feels at each thread, and lives along the line.
      - Essay on Man (ep. I, l. 217) [Spiders]

How instinct varies in the grov'lling swine,
  Compar'd, half-reasoning elephant, with thine!
    'Twixt that and reason what a nice barrier!
      Forever sep'rate, yet forever near!
      - Essay on Man (ep. I, l. 221)
        [Instinct : Swine]

What thin partitions sense from thought divide.
      - Essay on Man (ep. I, l. 226) [Sense]

All are but parts of one stupendous whole,
  Whose body Nature is, and God the soul;
    That chang'd thro' all, and yet in all same,
      Great in the earth as in th' ethereal frame;
        Warms in the sun, refreshes in the breeze,
          Glows in the stars, and blossoms in the trees;
            Lives thro' all life, extends thro' all extent,
              Spreads undivided, operates unspent;
                Breathes in our soul, informs our mortal part,
                  As full, as perfect, in a hair as heart.
      - Essay on Man (ep. I, l. 267) [Nature]

Warms in the sun, refreshes in the breeze,
  Glows in the stars, and blossoms in the trees.
      - Essay on Man (ep. I, l. 271) [Providence]

To Him no high, no low, no great, no small;
  He fills, He bounds, connects and equals all!
      - Essay on Man (ep. I, l. 277) [God]

All Nature is but art unknown to thee;
  All chance direction, which thou canst not see;
    All discord, harmony not understood;
      All partial evil, universal good;
        And spite of pride, in erring reason's spite,
          One truth is clear, Whatever is is right.
      - Essay on Man (ep. I, l. 289) [Right]

So man, who here seems principal alone,
  Perhaps acts second to some sphere unknown
    Touches some wheel, or verges to some goal;
      'Tis but a part we see, and not a whole.
      - Essay on Man (ep. I, l. 57) [Man]

The blest to-day is as completely so,
  As who began a thousand years ago.
      - Essay on Man (ep. I, l. 75) [Blessings]

Pleas'd to the last he crops the flowery food,
  And licks the hand just rais'd to shed his blood.
      - Essay on Man (ep. I, l. 83) [Fidelity]

Oh, blindness to the future! kindly giv'n,
  That each may fill the circle mark'd by heaven.
      - Essay on Man (ep. I, l. 85) [Future]

Who sees with equal eye, as God of all,
  A hero perish, or a sparrow fall,
    Atoms or systems into ruin hurl'd,
      And now a bubble burst, and now a world.
      - Essay on Man (ep. I, l. 87) [Providence]

Together let us beat this ample field,
  Try that the open, what the covert yield.
      - Essay on Man (ep. I, l. 9) [Chase]

Hope springs eternal in the human breast,
  Man never is, but always to be blest.
      - Essay on Man (ep. I, l. 95) [Hope : Proverbs]

The soul, uneasy and confin'd from home,
  Rests and expatiates in a life to come.
      - Essay on Man (ep. I, l. 97) [Soul]

Lo, the poor Indian! whose untutored mind
  Sees God in clouds, or hears him in the wind.
      - Essay on Man (ep. I, l. 99) [God]

Know then thyself, presume not God to scan;
  The proper study of mankind is man.
      - Essay on Man (ep. II, l. 1) [Man]

Strength of mind is exercise, not rest.
      - Essay on Man (ep. II, l. 104) [Mind]

On life's vast ocean diversely we sail,
  Reason the card, but passion is the gale.
      - Essay on Man (ep. II, l. 107) [Life]

He mounts the storm, and walks upon the wind.
      - Essay on Man (ep. II, l. 110) [God]

Love, Hope, and Joy, fair pleasure's smiling train,
  Hate, Fear, and Grief, the family of pain,
    These mix'd with art, and to due bounds confin'd
      Make and maintain the balance of the mind.
      - Essay on Man (ep. II, l. 117) [Mind]


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