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Alexander Pope.

Born 1688. Died 1744.


From 'an Essay On Man.'

[EAVEN from all creatures hides the book of Fate,
All but the page prescribed, their present state:
From brutes what men, from men what spirits

Or who could suffer being here below?

The lamb thy riot dooms to bleed to-day,

Had he thy reason, would he skip and play?

Pleased to the last, he crops the flowery food,

And licks the hand just raised to shed his blood.

O blindness to the future! kindly given,

That each may fill the circle marked by Heaven:

Who sees with equal eye, as God of all,

A hero perish, or a sparrow fall,

Atoms or systems into ruin hurled,

And now a bubble burst, and now a world.

Hope humbly then; with trembling pinions soar,

Wait the great teacher, Death; and God adore.

What future bliss, he gives not thee to know,

But gives that hope, to be thy blessing now.

Hope springs eternal in the human breast:

Man never is, but always to be blest:

The soul uneasy, and confined from home,

Rests and expatiates in a world to come.
Lo, the poor Indian! whose untutored mind

Sees God in clouds, or hears him in the wind;

His soul proud Science never taught to stray
Far as the solar walk, or milky way:
Yet simple Nature to his hope has given,
Behind the cloud-topt hill, an humbler heaven;
Some safer world in depth of woods embraced,
Some happier island in the watery waste,
Where slaves once more their native land behold,
No fiends torment, no Christians thirst for gold.
To be, contents his natural desire,
He asks no angel's wing, no seraph's fire;
But thinks, admitted to that equal sky,
His faithful dog shall bear him company.

See some strange comfort every state attend, And pride bestowed on all, a common friend: See some fit passion every age supply; Hope travels through, nor quits us when we die. Behold the child, by Nature's kindly law, Pleased with a rattle, tickled with a straw: Some livelier plaything gives his youth delight, A little louder, but as empty quite. Scarfs, garters, gold, amuse his riper stage, And beads and prayer-books are the toys of age Pleased with this bauble still, as that before; 'Till tired he sleeps, and Life's poor play is o'er. Meanwhile opinion gilds with varying rays Those painted clouds that beautify our days: Each want of happiness by Hope supplied, And each vacuity of sense by Pride: These build as fast as knowledge can destroy; In Folly's cup still laughs the bubble, Joy; One prospect lost, another still we gain; And not a vanity is given in vain; Even mean Self-love becomes, by force divine, The scale to measure others' wants by thine. See! and confess, one comfort still must rise; 'Tis this, Though man's a fool, yet God is wise.

On The Character Of Addison.

PEACE to all such! but were there one whose fires
True genius kindles, and fair fame inspires;
Blest with each talent and each art to please,
And born to write, converse, and live with ease:
Should such a man, too fond to live alone,
Bear, like the Turk, no brother near the throne,
View him with scornful, yet with jealous eyes,
And hate for arts that caused himself to rise;
Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer,
And, without sneering, teach the rest to sneer;
Willing to wound, and yet afraid to strike,
Just hint a fault, and hesitate dislike;
Alike reserved to blame or to commend,
A timorous foe, and a suspicious friend;
Dreading even fools, by flatterers besieged,
And so obliging, that he ne'er obliged;
Like Cato, give his little senate laws,
And sit attentive to his own applause;
While wits and templars every sentence raise,
And wonder with a foolish face of praise—
Who but must laugh, if such a man there be!
Who would not weep, if Atticus were he!

From 'an Elegy On An Unfortunate Lady.'

~W THAT can atone (O ever injured shade!)
* » Thy fate unpitied, and thy rites unpaid?
No friend's complaint, no kind domestic tear,
Pleased thy pale ghost, or graced thy mournful bier:
By foreign hands thy dying eyes were closed,
By foreign hands thy decent limbs composed,
By foreign hands thy humble grave adorned,
By strangers honoured, and by strangers mourned!
What though no friends in sable weeds appear;
Grieve for an hour, perhaps, then mourn a year,

And bear about the mockery of woe
To midnight dances, and the public show?
What though no weeping Loves thy ashes grace,
Nor polished marble emulate thy face?
What though no sacred earth allow thee room,
Nor hallowed dirge be muttered o'er thy tomb?
Yet shall thy grave with rising flowers be drest,
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;
While angels with their silver wings o'ershade
The ground now sacred by thy relics made.

So, peaceful rests, without a stone, a name,
What once had beauty, titles, wealth, and fame.
How loved, how honoured once, avails thee not,
To whom related, or by whom begot;
A heap of dust alone remains of thee;
'Tis all thou art, and all the proud shall be!

The Universal Prayer.

FATHER of all! in every age,
In every clime ador'd,
By saint, by savage, and by sage,
Jehovah, Jove, or Lord!

Thou Great First Cause, least understood,

Who all my sense confined
To know but this, that thou art good,

And that myself am blind:

Yet gave me in this dark estate,

To see the good from ill;
And, binding nature fast in fate,

Left free the human will.

What conscience dictates to be done,

Or warns me not to do, This teach me more than hell to shun,

That more than heaven pursue.

What blessings thy free bounty gives

Let me not cast away; For God is paid when man receives:

To enjoy is to obey.

Yet not to earth's contracted span
Thy goodness let me bound,

Or think thee Lord alone of man,
When thousand worlds are round.

Let not this weak unknowing hand
Presume thy bolts to throw,

And deal damnation round the land
On each I judge thy foe.

If I am right, thy grace impart

Still in the right to stay;
If I am wrong, oh! teach my heart

To find that better way.

Save me alike from foolish pride,

Or impious discontent,
At aught thy wisdom has denied,

Or aught thy goodness lent.

Teach me to feel another's woe,

To hide the fault I see; That mercy I to others show,

That mercy show to me.

Mean though I am, not wholly so,
Since quickened by thy breath;

O lead me, wheresoe'er I go,
Through this day's life or death.

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