POEMS: “Know Thyself” by Alexander Pope

Painting by John William Waterhouse

Painting by John William Waterhouse: “Echo and Narcissus” (1903)


“Know Thyself”

“Know then thyself, presume not God to scan,

The proper study of mankind is man.

Plac’d 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 reas’ning but to err;”

Alike in ignorance, his reason such

Whether he thinks too little or too much:

Chaos of thought and passion, all confused;

Still by himself abused, or disabused;

Created half to rise and half to fall;

Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all;

Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurled:

The glory, jest, and riddle of the world!

Alexander Pope


5 Comments Add yours

  1. The riddle of the world and all that he sees that is not real. Sole judge of truth is He alone. Awesome and lovely poem by Alexander Pope.


    1. Beautiful and profound comment dear Kamal! Thank you! 🙂 ❤


      1. Welcome dear Amira and this is the riddle that we have to ponder and come out of this circle of circles ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

        Liked by 1 person

        1. yes, I am starting to come to similar conclusions…in what seems like a spiral increasing awareness… and infinite learning…:) ❤


          1. 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼

            Liked by 1 person

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