Nature and Art

…from the quills of the dead white poets

 Alexander Pope (1688 – 1744)

 First follow Nature, and your judgement frame

By her just standards, which is still the same:

Unerring Nature, still divinely bright,

One clear, unchang’d, and universal light,

Life, force, and beauty, must to all impart,

At once the source, and end, and test of Art.

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 Heaven in wit has been profuse,

Want as much more to turn to its use;

For wit and judgement often are at strife,

Tho’ meant each other’s aid, like man and wife.

‘Tis more to guide, than spur the Muse’s steed;

Restrain his fury, than provoke his speed;

The winged courser, like a gen’rous horse,

Shows most true mettle when you check his course.

Those Rules of old discover’d, not devis’d,

Are Nature still, but Nature methodiz’d;

Nature, like Liberty, is but restrain’d

By the same Laws which first herself ordain’d.

  {From The Essay on Criticism}

About Avadoro Worden

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