Epistle 1.10 – Essay on Man

by ALEXANDER POPE (1688-1744)

The consequence of all, the absolute submission due to Providence, both as to our present and future state.

Cease then, nor Order imperfection name:
Our proper bliss depends on what we blame.
Know thy own point: this kind, this due degree
Of blindness, weakness, Heaven bestows on thee.
Submit; in this, or any other sphere,
Secure to be as bless’d as thou canst bear:
Safe in the hand of one disposing Power,
Or in the natal, or the mortal hour.
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: Index to first lines

Reading by Martin Geeson for Librivox.org. Download entire audiobook here.

Alexander Pope

“Although Swift was a lifelong satirist, Pope was not. Of the three great poems of his twenties– An Essay on Criticism, Windsor-Forest, and The Rape of the Lock— only the last is satiric, and is as much a comedy as a satire.” The Imaginative World of Alexander Pope (1987) by Leopold Damrosch, Jr.

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