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Love, Hope, and Joy, fair Pleasure’s smiling train, Hate, Fear, and Grief, the family of Pain, These mix’d with art, and to due bounds confined, Make and maintain the balance of the mind: Pleasures are ever in our hands or eyes; And when, in act, they cease, in prospect, rise: Present to grasp, and future still to find, The whole employ of body and of mind.
Or from a judge turn pleader, to persuade The choice we make, or justify it made; Proud of an easy conquest all along, She but removes weak passions for the strong: So, when small humours gather to a gout, The doctor fancies he has driven them out.
Yes, Nature’s road must ever be preferr’d; Reason is here no guide, but still a guard: ’Tis hers to rectify, not overthrow, And treat this passion more as friend than foe: A mightier power the strong direction sends, And several men impels to several ends: Like varying winds, by other passions tost, This drives them constant to a certain coast.
An Essay on Man Summary Alexander Pope's poem "An Essay on Man" begins with an introduction related to how Pope wants his friend, Lord Bolingbroke to abandon all of his plans in order to assist him in a mission meant to "vindicate the ways of God to man".
Section 1: The first section emphasizes the fact that man "can judge only with regard to our own systems", as people do not have the ability to comprehend the greater scheme of things.
Pope wants his readers to understand that humanity is "ignorant of the relations of systems of things".
The poet apparently wants to relate to how the relationship between God and mankind is complex and to how it would be pointless for people to try to understand divinity by trying to associate it with values that they are familiar with.
The action of the stronger to suspend Reason still use, to reason still attend.
Its necessity, in directing men to different purposes, ver. Its providential use, in fixing our principle, and ascertaining our virtue, ver. Thicker than arguments, temptations throng, At best more watchful this, but that more strong.
Self-love and reason to one end aspire, Pain their aversion, pleasure their desire; But greedy that its object would devour, This taste the honey, and not wound the flower: III.
Wits, just like fools, at war about a name, Have full as oft no meaning, or the same.