An Essay on Man: Epistle IV

Original Text: 
Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man, 4 vols. (London, 1733-34). E-10 1503 Fisher Rare Book Library (Toronto). Facs. edn. Menston: Scolar Press, 1969. PR 3627 A1 1734A ROBA.
I.
167     What nothing earthly gives, or can destroy,
168The soul's calm sunshine, and the heart-felt joy,
169Is virtue's prize: a better would you fix?
170Then give Humility a coach and six,
171Justice a conq'ror's sword, or truth a gown,
172Or public spirit its great cure, a crown.
...
279  Is yellow dirt the passion of thy life?
280Look but on Gripus, or on Gripus' wife:
281If parts allure thee, think how Bacon shin'd,
282The wisest, brightest, meanest of mankind:
283Or ravish'd with the whistling of a name,
284See Cromwell, damn'd to everlasting fame!
285If all, united, thy ambition call,
286From ancient story learn to scorn them all.
287There, in the rich, the honour'd, fam'd, and great,
288See the false scale of happiness complete!
...
II.
373     Come then, my friend! my genius! come along;
374Oh master of the poet, and the song!
375And while the Muse now stoops, or now ascends,
376To man's low passions, or their glorious ends,
377Teach me, like thee, in various nature wise,
378To fall with dignity, with temper rise;
379Form'd by thy converse, happily to steer
380From grave to gay, from lively to severe;
381Correct with spirit, eloquent with ease,
382Intent to reason, or polite to please.
383Oh! while along the stream of time thy name
384Expanded flies, and gathers all its fame,
385Say, shall my little bark attendant sail,
386Pursue the triumph, and partake the gale?
387When statesmen, heroes, kings, in dust repose,
388Whose sons shall blush their fathers were thy foes,
389Shall then this verse to future age pretend
390Thou wert my guide, philosopher, and friend?
391That urg'd by thee, I turn'd the tuneful art
392From sounds to things, from fancy to the heart;
393For wit's false mirror held up nature's light;
394Shew'd erring pride, whatever is, is right;
395That reason, passion, answer one great aim;
396That true self-love and social are the same;
397That virtue only makes our bliss below;
398And all our knowledge is, ourselves to know.
Publication Start Year: 
1733
RPO poem Editors: 
N. J. Endicott
RPO Edition: 
2RP 1.619.
Form: