Alexander Pope, Robin Sowerby's Alexander Pope: Selected Poetry and Prose (Routledge English PDF

By Alexander Pope, Robin Sowerby

ISBN-10: 0415006651

ISBN-13: 9780415006651

Alexander Pope's technical polish and highbrow poise entice the subtlest viewers. this option comprises The Rape of the Lock, Eloisa to Abelard, and extracts from The Dunciad and the interpretation of Homer.

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Extra info for Alexander Pope: Selected Poetry and Prose (Routledge English Texts)

Sample text

Tis best sometimes your censure to restrain, And charitably let the dull be vain: Your silence there is better than your spite, For who can rail so long as they can write? Still humming on, their drowsy course they keep, And lashed so long, like tops, are lashed asleep. 570 580 590 600 51 [255–9] False steps but help them to renew the race, As, after stumbling, jades will mend their pace. What crowds of these, impenitently bold, In sounds and jingling syllables grown old, Still run on poets in a raging vein, Even to the dregs and squeezings of the brain, Strain out the last dull dropping of their sense, And rhyme with all the rage of impotence!

Other useful texts are given in the bibliography. NOTES TO THE INTRODUCTION 1 From Samuel Johnson, The Life of Pope. The standard scholarly edition is Lives of the English Poets by Samuel Johnson, edited by George Birkbeck Hill, 3 vols, London: 1905. For convenience references in these notes are to the Everyman edition in two volumes, London and New York: Dent, 1925, here to vol. 2, p. 211. Osborn, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1966. 3 Johnson, Life, p. 151. 4 Ibid. p. 172. The verses mentioned occur in the Horatian imitation ‘To Mr Fortescue’, line 130, included in this selection.

50 60 AN ESSAY ON CRITICISM ’Tis hard to say, if greater want of skill Appear in writing or in judging ill; But, of the two, less dangerous is the offence To tire our patience, than mislead our sense: Some few in that, but numbers err in this, Ten censure wrong for one who writes amiss; A fool might once himself alone expose, Now one in verse makes many more in prose. ’Tis with our judgements as our watches, none Go just alike, yet each believes his own. In poets as true genius is but rare, True taste as seldom is the critic’s share, Both must alike from Heaven derive their light, These born to judge, as well as those to write.

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Alexander Pope: Selected Poetry and Prose (Routledge English Texts) by Alexander Pope, Robin Sowerby


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