Alexander Pope Quotes

Who says in verse what others say in prose.

Waller was smooth; but Dryden taught to join The varying verse, the full resounding line, The long majestic march, and energy divine.

Soft is the strain when zephyr gently blows, And the smooth stream in smoother numbers flows; But when loud surges lash the sounding shore, The hoarse rough verse should like the torrent roar. When Ajax strives some rock’s vast weight to throw, The line too labors, and the words move slow: Not so when swift […]

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.

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.

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

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.