Know then thyself, presume not God to scan,The proper study of mankind is Man.Placed on this isthmus of a middle state,A being darkly wise and rudely great:With too much knowledge for the Sceptic side,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...
All this dread order break- for whom? for thee?Vile worm!- oh madness! pride! impiety!
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. So is a lot.
Where beams of imagination play,The memory’s soft figures melt away.
Poetic justice, with her lifted scale,Where, in nice balance, truth with gold she weighs,And solid pudding against empty praise. Here she beholds the chaos dark and deep,Where nameless somethings in their causes sleep,Till genial Jacob, or a warm third day,Call forth each mass, a poem, or a play:How hints, like spawn, scarce quick in embryo...
Know thyself, presume not God to scan;The proper study of mankind is man.
To wake the soul by tender strokes of art,To raise the genius, and to mend the heart
Presumptuous Man! the reason wouldst thou find,Why form’d so weak, so little, and so blind?First, if thou canst, the harder reason guess,Why form’d no weaker, blinder, and no less!Ask of thy mother earth, why oaks are madeTaller or stronger than the weeds they shade?Or ask of yonder argent fields above,Why Jove’s Satellites are less than...
True Wit is Nature to advantage dress’dWhat oft was thought, but ne’er so well express’d;Something whose truth convinced at sight we find,That gives us back the image of our mind.As shades more sweetly recommend the light,So modest plainness sets off sprightly wit.
Nature and Nature’s laws lay hid in night:God said, Let Newton be! and all was light.
The Wit of Cheats, the Courage of a Whore,Are what ten thousand envy and adore:All, all look up, with reverential Awe,At crimes that ‘scape, or triumph o’er the Law:While Truth, Worth, Wisdom, daily they decry-`’Nothing is sacred now but Villainy’- Epilogue to the Satires, Dialogue I
To be angry is to revenge the faults of others on ourselves.
I am his Highness’ dog at Kew;Pray tell me, sir, whose dog are you?
Heav’n from all creatures hides the book of Fate, All but the page prescrib’d, their present state; From brutes what men, from men what spirits know: 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? Pleas’d to the last, he...
SolitudeHappy the man, whose wish and care A few paternal acres bound, Content to breathe his native air In his own ground. Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread, Whose flocks supply him with attire; Whose trees in summer yield him shade, In winter fire. Blest, who can unconcern’dly find Hours, days, and years,...
Let Sporus tremble — “What? that thing of silk, Sporus, that mere white curd of ass’s milk?Satire or sense, alas! can Sporus feel?Who breaks a Butterfly upon a Wheel?”Yet let me flap this Bug with gilded wings,This painted Child of Dirt that stinks and stings; Whose Buzz the Witty and the Fair annoys,Yet Wit ne’er...
Men, some to business take, some to pleasure take; but every woman is at heart a rake
Wise wretch! with pleasures too refined to please,With too much spirit to be e’er at ease,With too much quickness ever to be taught,With too much thinking to have common thought:You purchase pain with all that joy can give,And die of nothing but a rage to live.
Know thy own point: this kind, this due degreeOf blindness, weakness, Heav’n bestows on thee.
Yes, I am proud; I must be proud to seeMen not afraid of God afraid of me.