An Essay On Man By Alexander Pope Meaning

An Essay On Man By Alexander Pope Meaning-61
Nothing made wholly for itself, nor yet wholly for another, ver. In the same temple, the resounding wood, All vocal beings hymn’d their equal God: The shrine with gore unstain’d, with gold undress’d, Unbribed, unbloody, stood the blameless priest: Heaven’s attribute was universal care, And Man’s prerogative to rule, but spare. But just disease to luxury succeeds, And every death its own avenger breeds; The fury-passions from that blood began, And turn’d on Man, a fiercer savage, Man. Pride then was not; nor arts, that pride to aid; Man walk’d with beast, joint tenant of the shade; The same his table, and the same his bed; No murder clothed him, and no murder fed. Of half that live the butcher and the tomb; Who, foe to Nature, hears the general groan, Murders their species, and betrays his own.

Nothing made wholly for itself, nor yet wholly for another, ver. In the same temple, the resounding wood, All vocal beings hymn’d their equal God: The shrine with gore unstain’d, with gold undress’d, Unbribed, unbloody, stood the blameless priest: Heaven’s attribute was universal care, And Man’s prerogative to rule, but spare. But just disease to luxury succeeds, And every death its own avenger breeds; The fury-passions from that blood began, And turn’d on Man, a fiercer savage, Man. Pride then was not; nor arts, that pride to aid; Man walk’d with beast, joint tenant of the shade; The same his table, and the same his bed; No murder clothed him, and no murder fed. Of half that live the butcher and the tomb; Who, foe to Nature, hears the general groan, Murders their species, and betrays his own. Here, too, all forms of social union find, And hence let reason, late, instruct mankind: Here subterranean works and cities see; There towns aërial on the waving tree.

This, too serves always, reason never long; One must go right, the other may go wrong.

Reason, however able, cool at best, Cares not for service, or but serves when press’d, Stays till we call, and then not often near; But honest instinct comes a volunteer, Sure never to o’ershoot, but just to hit; While still too wide or short is human wit; Sure by quick nature happiness to gain, Which heavier reason labours at in vain.

Learn each small people’s genius, policies, The ants’ republic, and the realm of bees; How those in common all their wealth bestow, And anarchy without confusion know; And these for ever, though a monarch reign, Their separate cells and properties maintain.

Mark what unvaried laws preserve each state, Laws wise as Nature, and as fix’d as Fate.

Who first taught souls enslaved, and realms undone, The enormous faith of many made for one; That proud exception to all Nature’s laws, To invert the world, and counterwork its cause?

Force first made conquest, and that conquest, law; ‘Till Superstition taught the tyrant awe, Then shared the tyranny, then lent it aid, And gods of conquerors, slaves of subjects made: She, midst the lightning’s blaze, and thunder’s sound, When rock’d the mountains, and when groan’d the ground, She taught the weak to bend, the proud to pray, To Power unseen, and mightier far than they: She, from the rending earth and bursting skies, Saw gods descend, and fiends infernal rise: Here fix’d the dreadful, there the blest abodes; Fear made her devils, and weak hope her gods; Gods partial, changeful, passionate, unjust, Whose attributes were rage, revenge, or lust; Such as the souls of cowards might conceive, And, form’d like tyrants, tyrants would believe. Part pays, and justly, the deserving steer: Know, Nature’s children all divide her care; The fur that warms a monarch, warm’d a bear. Nature that tyrant checks; he only knows, And helps, another creature’s wants and woes. Man cares for all: to birds he gives his woods, To beasts his pastures, and to fish his floods; For some his interest prompts him to provide, For more his pleasure, yet for more his pride: All feed on one vain patron, and enjoy Th’ extensive blessing of his luxury. ’ replies a pamper’d goose: And just as short of reason he must fall, Who thinks all made for one, not one for all. 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 born, They rise, they break, and to that sea return. To each unthinking being, Heaven, a friend, Gives not the useless knowledge of its end: To Man imparts it; but with such a view As, while he dreads it, makes him hope it too: The hour conceal’d, and so remote the fear, Death still draws nearer, never seeming near. that Heaven assign’d Its only thinking thing this turn of mind. Origin of true religion and government, from the same principle — of love, ver. Origin of superstition and tyranny, from the same principle — of fear, ver. The influence of self-love operating to the social and public good, ver. Restoration of true religion and government on their first principle, ver. See matter next, with various life endued, Press to one centre still, the general Good. The creature had his feast of life before; Thou too must perish, when thy feast is o’er! Prescient, the tides or tempests to withstand, Build on the wave, or arch beneath the sand? See then the acting and comparing powers One in their nature, which are two in ours; And reason raise o’er instinct as you can, In this ’tis God directs, in that ’tis Man. Reason instructed by instinct in the invention of arts, ver. Who bid the stork, Columbus-like, explore Heavens not his own, and worlds unknown before? Who made the spider parallels design, Sure as De Moivre, without rule or line? Attract, attracted to, the next in place Form’d and impell’d its neighbour to embrace. The bounding steed you pompously bestride, Shares with his lord the pleasure and the pride. And, till he ends the being, makes it blest; Which sees no more the stroke, or feels the pain, Than favour’d Man by touch ethereal slain. Various forms of each, and the true end of all, ver. Here then we rest: ‘The Universal Cause Acts to one end, but acts by various laws.’ In all the madness of superfluous health, The trim of pride, the impudence of wealth, Let this great truth be present night and day; But most be present, if we preach or pray. Say, will the falcon, stooping from above, Smit with her varying plumage, spare the dove? That very life his learned hunger craves, He saves from famine, from the savage saves; Nay, feasts the animal he dooms his feast.

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