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English poet and critic
(1688 - 1744)
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Nature and Nature's laws lay hid in night:
  God said, "Let Newton be!" and all was light.
      - Epitaph Intended for Sir Isaac Newton
        [Epitaphs : Light]

To this sad shrine, whoe'er thou art! draw near!
  Here lies the friend most lov'd, the son most dear;
    Who ne'er knew joy but friendship might divide,
      Or gave his father grief but when he died.
      - Epitaph on Harcourt [Epitaphs]

Calmly he looked on either Life, and here
  Saw nothing to regret, or there to fear:
    From Nature's temp'rate feast rose satisfy'd,
      Thank'd Heaven that he had lived, and that he died.
      - Epitaph X [Epitaphs]

Of Manners gentle, of Affections mild;
  In Wit a Man: Simplicity, a child.
      - Epitaph XI [Character]

Authors are partial to their wit, 'tis true
  But are not critics to their judgment too?
      - Essay of Criticism (l. 17) [Authorship]

Trust not yourself; but your defects to know,
  Make use of ev'ry friend--and ev'ry foe.
      - Essay of Criticism (l. 214) [Friends]

So modest plainness sets off sprightly wit,
  For works may have more wit than does 'em good,
    As bodies perish through excess blood.
      - Essay of Criticism (l. 302) [Wit]

True ease in writing comes from art, not chance,
  As those move easiest who have learn'd to dance.
      - Essay of Criticism (l. 362),
        also Epistles of Horace at II, 178

One science only will one genius fit,
  So vast is art, so narrow human wit.
      - Essay of Criticism (pt. I, l. 60)
        [Proverbs : Science]

Such labour'd nothings, in so strange a style.
  Amaze th' learn'd, and make the learned smile.
      - Essay of Criticism (pt. II, l. 126)

To err is human, to forgive, divine.
      - Essay on Criticism [Forgiveness : Proverbs]

'Tis hard to say if greater want of skill
  Appear in writing or in judging ill;
    But, of the two less dang'rous is th' offence
      To tire our patience than mislead our sense.
      - Essay on Criticism (l. 1) [Authorship]

So modern 'pothecaries, taught the art
  By doctor's bills to play the doctor's part,
    Bold in the practice of mistaken rules,
      Prescribe, apply, and call their masters fools.
      - Essay on Criticism (l. 108) [Medicine]

Music resembles poetry: in each
  Are nameless graces which no methods teach
    And which a master-hand alone can reach.
      - Essay on Criticism (l. 143) [Music]

From vulgar bounds with brave disorder part,
  And snatch a grace beyond the reach of art.
      - Essay on Criticism (l. 152) [Grace]

What the weak head with strongest bias rules,
  Is pride, the never-failing vice of fools.
      - Essay on Criticism (l. 203) [Pride]

Poets like painters, thus unskill'd to trace
  The naked nature and the living grace,
    With gold and jewels cover every part,
      And hide with ornaments their want of art.
      - Essay on Criticism (l. 293) [Poets]

Words are like leaves; and where they most abound,
  Much fruit of sense beneath is rarely found.
      - Essay on Criticism (l. 309) [Words]

Expression is the dress of thought, and still
  Appears more decent as more suitable;
    A vile conceit in pompous words express'd,
      Is like a clown in regal purple dress'd.
      - Essay on Criticism (l. 318) [Style]

In words, as fashions, the same rule will hold:
  Alike fantastic, if too new, or old:
    Be not the first by whom the new are tried,
      Nor yet the last to lay the old aside.
      - Essay on Criticism (l. 333) [Words]

As some to church repair,
  Not for the doctrine, but the music there.
      - Essay on Criticism (l. 343) [Music]

The sound must seem an echo to the sense.
      - Essay on Criticism (l. 365) [Sound]

Avoid Extremes; and shun the fault of such
  Who still are pleas'd too little or too much.
      - Essay on Criticism (l. 385) [Extremes]

At every trifle scorn to take offence;
  That always shows great pride or little sense.
      - Essay on Criticism (l. 386) [Trifles]

For fools admire, but me of sense approve.
      - Essay on Criticism (l. 391) [Admiration]

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