Monday, February 18, 2019

Alexander Pope*

Alexander Pope (1688—1744) is a British poet known for his long and satirical poems — such as The Rape of the Lock (1714) and The Dunciad (1728). He was highly influenced by John Dryden, and is said to have perfected Dryden’s technique of rhymed couplets.

He is considered to be the first full-time self-supporting English writer, which came about through selling subscriptions to editions of his translations of Homer, and his editions of Shakespeare.

In his poem An Essay on Man (1733) Pope presents, as The Poetry Foundation puts it, “an aesthetic and philosophical argument for the existence of order in the world, contending that we know the world to be unified because God created it.”

Prayer of Saint Francis Xavier

Thou art my God, sole object of my love;
Not for the hope of endless joys above;
Nor for the fear of endless pains below,
Which they who love thee not must undergo.

For me, and such as me, thou deign'st to bear
An ignominious cross, the nails, the spear:
A thorny crown transpierc'd thy sacred brow,
While bloody sweats from ev'ry member flow.

For me in tortures thou resignd'st thy breath,
Embrac'd me on the cross, and sav'd me by thy death.
And can these sufferings fail my heart to move?
What but thyself can now deserve my love?

Such as then was, and is, thy love to me,
Such is, and shall be still, my love to thee —
To thee, Redeemer! mercy's sacred spring!
My God, my Father, Maker, and my King!

*This is the second Kingdom Poets post about Alexander Pope: first post.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. His latest poetry collection is Ampersand (2018, Cascade). His books are available through Amazon, and Wipf & Stock, including the anthologies The Turning Aside, and Adam, Eve, & the Riders of the Apocalypse.