A section of Alexander Pope’s “Essay On Man”

(beautiful part of a great poem)

“In vain, in vain-the all-composing hour
Resistless falls: the Muse obeys the pow’r.
She comes! She comes! The sable throne behold
Of Night primeval and of Chaos old!
Before her, fancy’s gilded clouds decay,
And all its varying rainbows die away.
Wit shoots in vain its momentary fires,
The meteor drops, and in a flash expires.
As one by one, at dread Medea’s strsin,
The sick’ning stars fade off th’ ethereal plain;
As Argues’ eyes by Hermes’ wand opprest,
Closed one by one to everlasting rest;
Thus at her felt approach, and secret might,
Art after art goes out, and all is night,
See skulking Truth to her old cavern fled,
Mountains of casuistry heaped o’er her head!
Philosophy, that leaned on Heaven before,
Shrinks to her second cause, and is no more.
Physic of metaphysic begs defence,
And metaphysic calls for aid on sense!
See mystery to mathematics fly!
In vain! They gaze, turn giddy, rave, and die.
Religion blushing veils her sacred fires,
And unawares morality expires.
Nor public flame, nor private, dares to shine,
Nor human spark is left, nor glimpse divine!
Lo! Thy dread empire, chaos! Is restored;
Light does before thy uncreating word;
Thy hand, great Anarch! Lets the curtain call,
And universal darkness buries all.

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