Alexander Pope Quotes

Sir, I admit your gen’ral rule, That every poet is a fool; But you yourself may serve to show it, That every fool is not a poet. (When Matthew Prior wrote a poem describing every poet as a fool, Pope retaliated with this verse.)

While pensive poets painful vigils keep – Sleepless themselves to give their readers sleep.

Such were the notes thy once loved poet sung, Till death untimely stopped his tuneful tongue. (to Robert, Earl of Oxford)

Is there a parson much bemused in beer, A maudlin poetess, a rhyming peer, A clerk foredoomed his father’s soul to cross, Who pens a stanza when he should engross?

Call, if you will, bad rhyming a disease, It gives men happiness, or leaves them ease.

Ask where’s the North? At York tis on the Tweed; In Scotland at the Orcades; and there, At Greenland, Zembla, or the Lord knows where.

A man of business may talk of philosophy; a man who has none may practice it.

On life’s vast ocean diversely we sail, Reason the card, but passion is the gale.

And hence one master – passion in the breast, Like Aaron’s serpent, swallows up the rest.

The ruling passion, be it what it will, The ruling passion conquers reason still.