An Essay on Criticism is one of the first major poems written by the English writer Alexander Pope (–). It is the source of the famous quotations "To err.
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- An Essay on Criticism | poem by Pope | capschantritanpo.cf
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Improved by art and rules, which are but methodized Nature, Rules derived from the practice of the ancient poets, That therefore the ancients are necessary to be studied by a critic, particularly Homer and Virgil, Of licences, and the use of them by the ancients, Reverence due to the ancients, and praise of them, ff. Causes hindering a true judgment.
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Pride, Imperfect learning, Judging by parts, and not by the whole, Critics in Wit, Language, Versification, only, , , ff. Being too hard to please, or too apt to admire, Partiality--too much love to a Sect,--to the Ancients or Modern, Prejudice, or Prevention, Singularity, Inconstancy, Party Spirit, ff. Envy, Against Envy, and in praise of Good Nature, ff. When Severity is chiefly to be used by critics, ff. Rules for the Conduct of Manners in a Critic, 1. Candour, Modesty, Good-breeding, There are no reviews for previous versions of this product. First Name. Last Name. Additional Comments.
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Month January February March April May June July August September October November December Day 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 Year Social Facebook Twitter. Welcome to Lulu! We notice you are using a browser version that we do not support. Art from that fund each just supply provides, Works without show, and without pomp presides: In some fair body thus th' informing soul With spirits feeds, with vigour fills the whole, Each motion guides, and ev'ry nerve sustains; Itself unseen, but in th' effects, remains.
Some, to whom Heav'n in wit has been profuse, Want as much more, to turn it to its use; For wit and judgment often are at strife, Though meant each other's aid, like man and wife. Hear how learn'd Greece her useful rules indites, When to repress, and when indulge our flights: High on Parnassus' top her sons she show'd, And pointed out those arduous paths they trod; Held from afar, aloft, th' immortal prize, And urg'd the rest by equal steps to rise.
Just precepts thus from great examples giv'n, She drew from them what they deriv'd from Heav'n. The gen'rous critic fann'd the poet's fire, And taught the world with reason to admire. Then criticism the Muse's handmaid prov'd, To dress her charms, and make her more belov'd; But following wits from that intention stray'd; Who could not win the mistress, woo'd the maid; Against the poets their own arms they turn'd, Sure to hate most the men from whom they learn'd.
So modern 'pothecaries, taught the art By doctor's bills to play the doctor's part, Bold in the practice of mistaken rules, Prescribe, apply, and call their masters fools. Some on the leaves of ancient authors prey, Nor time nor moths e'er spoil'd so much as they: Some drily plain, without invention's aid, Write dull receipts how poems may be made: These leave the sense, their learning to display, And those explain the meaning quite away.
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You then whose judgment the right course would steer, Know well each ANCIENT'S proper character; His fable, subject, scope in ev'ry page; Religion, country, genius of his age: Without all these at once before your eyes, Cavil you may, but never criticise. Be Homer's works your study and delight, Read them by day, and meditate by night; Thence form your judgment, thence your maxims bring, And trace the Muses upward to their spring; Still with itself compar'd, his text peruse; And let your comment be the Mantuan Muse.
When first young Maro in his boundless mind A work t' outlast immortal Rome design'd, Perhaps he seem'd above the critic's law, And but from Nature's fountains scorn'd to draw: But when t' examine ev'ry part he came, Nature and Homer were, he found, the same. Convinc'd, amaz'd, he checks the bold design, And rules as strict his labour'd work confine, As if the Stagirite o'erlook'd each line.
Learn hence for ancient rules a just esteem; To copy nature is to copy them. Some beauties yet, no precepts can declare, For there's a happiness as well as care. Music resembles poetry, in each Are nameless graces which no methods teach, And which a master-hand alone can reach.
An Essay on Criticism Quotes
Thus Pegasus, a nearer way to take, May boldly deviate from the common track. Great wits sometimes may gloriously offend, And rise to faults true critics dare not mend; From vulgar bounds with brave disorder part, And snatch a grace beyond the reach of art, Which, without passing through the judgment, gains The heart, and all its end at once attains. In prospects, thus, some objects please our eyes, Which out of nature's common order rise, The shapeless rock, or hanging precipice. But tho' the ancients thus their rules invade, As kings dispense with laws themselves have made Moderns, beware!
The critic else proceeds without remorse, Seizes your fame, and puts his laws in force. I know there are, to whose presumptuous thoughts Those freer beauties, ev'n in them, seem faults. Some figures monstrous and misshap'd appear, Consider'd singly, or beheld too near, Which, but proportion'd to their light, or place, Due distance reconciles to form and grace.
A prudent chief not always must display His pow'rs in equal ranks, and fair array, But with th' occasion and the place comply, Conceal his force, nay seem sometimes to fly. Those oft are stratagems which errors seem, Nor is it Homer nods, but we that dream.
Still green with bays each ancient altar stands, Above the reach of sacrilegious hands, Secure from flames, from envy's fiercer rage, Destructive war, and all-involving age. See, from each clime the learn'd their incense bring! In praise so just let ev'ry voice be join'd, And fill the gen'ral chorus of mankind!
An Essay on Criticism | poem by Pope | capschantritanpo.cf
Hail, bards triumphant! Whose honours with increase of ages grow, As streams roll down, enlarging as they flow! Nations unborn your mighty names shall sound, And worlds applaud that must not yet be found! Oh may some spark of your celestial fire The last, the meanest of your sons inspire, That on weak wings, from far, pursues your flights; Glows while he reads, but trembles as he writes To teach vain wits a science little known, T' admire superior sense, and doubt their own!
Of all the causes which conspire to blind Man's erring judgment, and misguide the mind, What the weak head with strongest bias rules, Is pride, the never-failing vice of fools. Whatever Nature has in worth denied, She gives in large recruits of needful pride; For as in bodies, thus in souls, we find What wants in blood and spirits, swell'd with wind; Pride, where wit fails, steps in to our defence, And fills up all the mighty void of sense! If once right reason drives that cloud away, Truth breaks upon us with resistless day; Trust not yourself; but your defects to know, Make use of ev'ry friend—and ev'ry foe.
A little learning is a dang'rous thing; Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, And drinking largely sobers us again. Fir'd at first sight with what the Muse imparts, In fearless youth we tempt the heights of arts, While from the bounded level of our mind, Short views we take, nor see the lengths behind, But more advanc'd, behold with strange surprise New, distant scenes of endless science rise!
So pleas'd at first, the tow'ring Alps we try, Mount o'er the vales, and seem to tread the sky; Th' eternal snows appear already past, And the first clouds and mountains seem the last; But those attain'd, we tremble to survey The growing labours of the lengthen'd way, Th' increasing prospect tires our wand'ring eyes, Hills peep o'er hills, and Alps on Alps arise!
A perfect judge will read each work of wit With the same spirit that its author writ, Survey the whole, nor seek slight faults to find, Where nature moves, and rapture warms the mind; Nor lose, for that malignant dull delight, The gen'rous pleasure to be charm'd with wit.
But in such lays as neither ebb, nor flow, Correctly cold, and regularly low, That shunning faults, one quiet tenour keep; We cannot blame indeed—but we may sleep. In wit, as nature, what affects our hearts Is not th' exactness of peculiar parts; 'Tis not a lip, or eye, we beauty call, But the joint force and full result of all. Thus when we view some well-proportion'd dome, The world's just wonder, and ev'n thine, O Rome!
Whoever thinks a faultless piece to see, Thinks what ne'er was, nor is, nor e'er shall be. In ev'ry work regard the writer's end, Since none can compass more than they intend; And if the means be just, the conduct true, Applause, in spite of trivial faults, is due. As men of breeding, sometimes men of wit, T' avoid great errors, must the less commit: Neglect the rules each verbal critic lays, For not to know such trifles, is a praise.
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Most critics, fond of some subservient art, Still make the whole depend upon a part: They talk of principles, but notions prize, And all to one lov'd folly sacrifice. Once on a time, La Mancha's knight, they say, A certain bard encount'ring on the way, Discours'd in terms as just, with looks as sage, As e'er could Dennis of the Grecian stage; Concluding all were desp'rate sots and fools, Who durst depart from Aristotle's rules. Our author, happy in a judge so nice, Produc'd his play, and begg'd the knight's advice, Made him observe the subject and the plot, The manners, passions, unities, what not?
All which, exact to rule, were brought about, Were but a combat in the lists left out. Some to conceit alone their taste confine, And glitt'ring thoughts struck out at ev'ry line; Pleas'd with a work where nothing's just or fit; One glaring chaos and wild heap of wit. Poets, like painters, thus, unskill'd to trace The naked nature and the living grace, With gold and jewels cover ev'ry part, And hide with ornaments their want of art.
True wit is nature to advantage dress'd, What oft was thought, but ne'er so well express'd, Something, whose truth convinc'd at sight we find, That gives us back the image of our mind. As shades more sweetly recommend the light, So modest plainness sets off sprightly wit. For works may have more wit than does 'em good, As bodies perish through excess of blood.
Others for language all their care express, And value books, as women men, for dress: Their praise is still—"the style is excellent": The sense, they humbly take upon content. Words are like leaves; and where they most abound, Much fruit of sense beneath is rarely found. False eloquence, like the prismatic glass, Its gaudy colours spreads on ev'ry place; The face of Nature we no more survey, All glares alike, without distinction gay: But true expression, like th' unchanging sun, Clears, and improves whate'er it shines upon, It gilds all objects, but it alters none.
Expression is the dress of thought, and still Appears more decent, as more suitable; A vile conceit in pompous words express'd, Is like a clown in regal purple dress'd: For diff'rent styles with diff'rent subjects sort, As several garbs with country, town, and court. Some by old words to fame have made pretence, Ancients in phrase, mere moderns in their sense; Such labour'd nothings, in so strange a style, Amaze th' unlearn'd, and make the learned smile.
Unlucky, as Fungoso in the play, These sparks with awkward vanity display What the fine gentleman wore yesterday! And but so mimic ancient wits at best, As apes our grandsires, in their doublets dress'd. In words, as fashions, the same rule will hold; Alike fantastic, if too new, or old; Be not the first by whom the new are tried, Not yet the last to lay the old aside. But most by numbers judge a poet's song; And smooth or rough, with them is right or wrong: In the bright Muse though thousand charms conspire, Her voice is all these tuneful fools admire, Who haunt Parnassus but to please their ear, Not mend their minds; as some to church repair, Not for the doctrine, but the music there.
These equal syllables alone require, Tho' oft the ear the open vowels tire, While expletives their feeble aid do join, And ten low words oft creep in one dull line, While they ring round the same unvaried chimes, With sure returns of still expected rhymes. Where'er you find "the cooling western breeze", In the next line, it "whispers through the trees": If "crystal streams with pleasing murmurs creep", The reader's threaten'd not in vain with "sleep".