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Two poems by the bright light of the Augustan Age of English poetry

Alexander Pope
Alexander Pope

The Quiet Life

  • Happy the man whose wish and care
  • A few paternal acres bound
  • Content to breathe his native air
  • In his own ground.
  • Whose herd with milk, whose fields with bread,
  • Whose flocks supply him with attire;
  • Whose trees in summer yield him shade,
  • In winter, fire.
  • Blest, who can unconcern’dly find
  • Hours, days, and years, slide soft away
  • In health of body; peace of mind;
  • Quiet by day;
  • Sound sleep by night; study and ease
  • Together mix’d; sweet recreation,
  • And innocence, which most does please
  • With meditation.
  • Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;
  • Thus unlamented let me die;
  • Steal from the world, and not a stone
  • Tell where I lie.

Belinda (from The Rape of the Lock)

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  • On her white Breast a sparkling Cross she wore,
  • Which Jews might kiss, and Infidels adore.
  • Her lively Looks a sprightly Mind disclose,
  • Quick as her Eyes, and as unfix’d as those:
  • Favours to none, to all she Smiles extends,
  • Oft she rejects, but never once offends.
  • Bright as the Sun, her Eyes the Gazers strike,
  • And, like the Sun, they shine on all alike.
  • Yet graceful Ease, and Sweetness void of Pride,
  • Might hide her Faults, if Belles had Faults to hide:
  • If to her share some Female Errors fall,
  • Look on her Face, and you’ll forget ’em all.

Alexander Pope (1688–1744) was an 18th-century English poet and bright light of the Augustan Age of English poetry, best known for his satirical verse and his translation of Homer into heroic couplets.

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Alexander Pope
Alexander Pope

The Quiet Life

  • Happy the man whose wish and care
  • A few paternal acres bound
  • Content to breathe his native air
  • In his own ground.
  • Whose herd with milk, whose fields with bread,
  • Whose flocks supply him with attire;
  • Whose trees in summer yield him shade,
  • In winter, fire.
  • Blest, who can unconcern’dly find
  • Hours, days, and years, slide soft away
  • In health of body; peace of mind;
  • Quiet by day;
  • Sound sleep by night; study and ease
  • Together mix’d; sweet recreation,
  • And innocence, which most does please
  • With meditation.
  • Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;
  • Thus unlamented let me die;
  • Steal from the world, and not a stone
  • Tell where I lie.

Belinda (from The Rape of the Lock)

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  • On her white Breast a sparkling Cross she wore,
  • Which Jews might kiss, and Infidels adore.
  • Her lively Looks a sprightly Mind disclose,
  • Quick as her Eyes, and as unfix’d as those:
  • Favours to none, to all she Smiles extends,
  • Oft she rejects, but never once offends.
  • Bright as the Sun, her Eyes the Gazers strike,
  • And, like the Sun, they shine on all alike.
  • Yet graceful Ease, and Sweetness void of Pride,
  • Might hide her Faults, if Belles had Faults to hide:
  • If to her share some Female Errors fall,
  • Look on her Face, and you’ll forget ’em all.

Alexander Pope (1688–1744) was an 18th-century English poet and bright light of the Augustan Age of English poetry, best known for his satirical verse and his translation of Homer into heroic couplets.

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