Essay on Man

Here are some favourite lines from Alexander Pope's Essay on Man.

Know, then, thyself, presume not God to scan;
The proper study of mankind is man.
Placed on this isthmus of a middle state,
A being darkly wise, and rudely great:
With too much knowledge for the sceptic side,
With too much weakness for the stoic’s pride,
He hangs between; in doubt to act, or rest;
In doubt to deem himself a god, or beast;
In doubt his mind or body to prefer;
Born but to die, and reasoning but to err;

Learn each small people’s genius, policies,
The ant’s republic, and the realm of bees;
How those in common all their wealth bestow,
And anarchy without confusion know;

Slave to no sect, who takes no private road,
But looks through Nature up to Nature’s God;

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