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Alexander Pope poetry
| Alexander Pope was born in 1688, the year in which a
"revolution" saw the British thrones being taken, for political
and confessional reasons, from King James II and being bestowed
on James' daughter Mary and her husband William. He was born into
a Roman Catholic family and this meant that he was likely to be
faced with institutional disabilities in the protestant Britain
that was facilitated by the revolution of 1688.
He also had other things to contend with - he suffered from Athsma, Tuberculosis and a curvature of the spine and, as a result, was of a diminutive stature. He won much success however both as a poet, and as a translator, prior to his demise of 1744.
Here are some famous and familiar quotations from Alexander
Behold the child, by nature's kindly law,
Pleas'd 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 tir'd he sleeps, and life's poor play is o'er.
How lov'd, how honour'd once, avails thee not,
To whom related, or by whom begot;
A heap of dust alone remains of thee;
'T is all thou art, and all the proud shall be!
On life's vast ocean diversely we sail,
Reason the card, but passion is the gale.
For fools rush in where Angels fear to tread.
A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.
Hope springs eternal in the human breast.
Blessed is the man who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.
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