Judges for Justice


Alexander Pope

An Essay on Man

Alexander Pope

What’s fame? a fancied life in others’ breath, A thing beyond us, even before our death. Just what you hear, you have, and what’s unknown The same (my Lord) if Tully’s, or your own. All that we feel of it begins and ends In the small circle of our foes or friends; To all beside as much an empty shade An Eugene living, as a Cæsar dead; Alike or when, or where, they shone, or shine, Or on the Rubicon, or on the Rhine. A wit’s a feather, and a chief a rod; An honest man’s the noblest work of God. Fame but from death a villain’s name can save, As justice tears his body from the grave; When what the oblivion better were resigned, Is hung on high, to poison half mankind. All fame is foreign, but of true desert; Plays round the head, but comes not to the heart: One self-approving hour whole years outweighs Of stupid starers, and of loud huzzas; And more true joy Marcellus exiled feels, Than Cæsar with a senate at his heels.


Full text of "An Essay on Man"

An Essay on Man

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