Alexander Pope — the second-most frequently quoted writer in the Oxford Dictonary of Quotations after Shakespeare.
- He who beneath thy shelt’ring wing resides,
- Whom thy hand leads, and whom thy glory guides
- To Heav’n familiar his bold vows shall send,
- And fearless say to God — Thou art my friend!
- ’Tis Thou shalt save him from insidious wrongs,
- And the sharp arrows of censorious tongues.
- When gath’ring tempests swell the raging main,
- When thunder roars, and lightning blasts the plain,
- Amidst the wrack of nature undismay’d,
- Safe shall he lye, and hope beneath thy shade.
- By day no perils shall the just affright,
- No dismal dreams or groaning ghosts by night.
- His God shall guard him in the fighting field,
- And o’er his breast extend his saving shield:
- The whistling darts shall turn their points away,
- And fires around him innocently play.
- Thousands on ev’ry side shall yield their breath;
- And twice ten thousand bite the ground in death;
- While he, serene in thought, shall calm survey
- The sinners fall, and bless the vengeful day!
— from “Psalm 91: The Believer’s Hope”
Alexander Pope (1688–1744) was an English poet and one of the greatest exemplars of the 18th-century Augustan Poets. Known best for his satirical verse and his translation of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey into heroic couplets — the prosody most popular among the Augustans — Pope is reportedly the second-most frequently quoted writer in the Oxford Dictonary of Quotations after Shakespeare. Baptized and raised Catholic, Pope was nonetheless, like many Catholic writers, a heap of contradictions. His “Essay on Man” claimed that man, not God, was the chief concern of philosophy. Severely affected in his education by English laws forbidding Catholics from attending English universities, he nonetheless became one of the most famous and celebrated figures of his day.