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Epistle I, Verse I Is the great chain, that draws all to agree, And drawn supports, upheld by God or thee? the reason wouldst thou find, Why form'd so weak, so little, and so blind?Then in the scale of reasoning life 'tis plain There must be, somewhere, such a rank as Man: And all the question (wrangle e'er so long) Is only this, if God has placed him wrong?
But All subsists by elemental strife; And passions are the elements of life.
The general Order, since the whole began, Is kept in Nature, and is kept in Man.
2, by Abraham Mills Alexander Pope: Selected Letters by Alexander Pope, Howard Erskine-Hill The Imaginative World of Alexander Pope (1987) by Leopold Damrosch Pope Essay On Man Epistles I.-Iv.
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and in thy scale of sense Weigh thy opinion against Providence; Snatch from his hand the balance and the rod, Rejudge his justice, be the God of God.
Pride still is aiming at the bless'd abodes, Men would be Angels, Angels would be gods.
Let earth unbalanced from her orbit fly, Planets and stars run lawless through the sky; Epistle I, Verse IX All are but parts of one stupendous whole, Whose body Nature is, and God the soul; As full, as perfect, in vile man that mourns, As the rapt Seraph that adores and burns: Epistle I, Verse X Cease, then, nor Order imperfection name; Our proper bliss depends on what we blame.
Know thy own point: this kind, this due degree Of blindness, weakness, Heaven bestows on thee.
Pope lived from 1688 to 1744 and was considered one of the most definitive and influential voices of the first half of the 18th century.
His work was part of the Neoclassical movement that reflected the ideals of the Enlightenment era.