The Cambridge Companion to Alexander Pope
Cambridge University Press, Dec 6, 2007 - Literary Criticism
Alexander Pope was the greatest poet of his age and the dominant influence on eighteenth-century British poetry. His large oeuvre, written over a thirty-year period, encompasses satires, odes and political verse and reflects the sexual, moral and cultural issues of the world around him, often in brilliant lines and phrases which have become part of our language today. This is the first overview to analyse the full range of Pope's work and to set it in its historical and cultural context. Specially commissioned essays by leading scholars explore all of Pope's major works, including the sexual politics of The Rape of the Lock, the philosophical enquiries of An Essay on Man and the Moral Essays, and the mock-heroic of The Dunciad in its various forms. This volume will be indispensable not only for students and scholars of Pope's work, but also for all those interested in the Augustan age.
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Page 232 - Lo, the poor Indian ! whose untutor'd 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...
Page 161 - But though the ancients thus their rules invade (As kings dispense with laws themselves have made), Moderns, beware! or if you must offend Against the precept, ne'er transgress its end; Let it be seldom, and compell'd by need; And have, at least, their precedent to plead.
Page 32 - With too much weakness for the stoic's pride, He hangs between; in doubt to act, or rest; In doubt to deem himself a god, or beast...
Page 57 - See dying vegetables life sustain, See life dissolving vegetate again: All forms that perish other forms supply; (By turns we catch the vital breath, and die) Like bubbles on the sea of Matter borne, They rise, they break, and to that sea return.
Page 57 - Look round our world; behold the chain of love Combining all below and all above. See plastic Nature working to this end, The single atoms each to other tend, Attract, attracted to, the next in place Form'd and impell'd its neighbour to embrace. See Matter next, with various life endued, Press to one centre still, the general good.
Page 64 - Some to the sun their insect-wings unfold, Waft on the breeze, or sink in clouds of gold ; Transparent forms, too fine for mortal sight, Their fluid bodies half...
Page 89 - To one small sect, and all are damn'd beside. Meanly they seek the blessing to confine. And force that sun but on a part to shine, Which not alone the southern wit sublimes, But ripens spirits in cold northern climes...
Page 67 - But o'er the twilight groves and dusky caves, Long-sounding aisles and intermingled graves, Black Melancholy sits, and round her throws A death-like silence, and a dread repose : Her gloomy presence saddens all the scene, Shades every flower, and darkens every green ; Deepens the murmur of the falling floods, And breathes a browner horror on the woods.
Page 57 - Nothing is foreign ; parts relate to whole ; One all-extending, all-preserving Soul Connects each being, greatest with the least ; Made beast in aid of man, and man of beast ; All served, all serving : nothing stands alone ; The chain holds on, and where it ends unknown.