The Odyssey of Homer (Alexander Pope)

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The Odyssey of Homer was a poetic interpretation of the original Homeric poem undertaken by Alexander Pope, published in 1725. It followed Pope's successful publication of The Iliad of Homer, which was published serially from 1715 to 1720.

The Odyssey of Homer (poetic interpretation, 1725)

  • Tell me, Muse, of the man of many wiles.
    • Book I, line 1.
  • So perish all who do the like again.
    • Book I, line 37.
  • Fly, dotard, fly!
    With thy wise dreams and fables of the sky.
    • Book II, line 207.
  • And what he greatly thought, he nobly dar'd.
    • Book II, line 312.
  • Few sons attain the praise
    Of their great sires, and most their sires disgrace.
    • Book II, line 315.
  • For never, never, wicked man was wise.
    • Book II, line 320.
  • Urge him with truth to frame his fair replies;
    And sure he will: for Wisdom never lies.
    • Book III, line 25.
  • The lot of man,—to suffer and to die.
    • Book III, line 117.
  • A faultless body and a blameless mind.
    • Book III, line 138.
  • The long historian of my country's woes.
    • Book III, line 142.
  • Forgetful youth! but know, the Power above
    With ease can save each object of his love;
    Wide as his will extends his boundless grace.
    • Book III, line 285.
  • When now Aurora, daughter of the dawn,
    With rosy lustre purpled o'er the lawn.
    • Book III, line 516.
  • These riches are possess'd, but not enjoy'd!
    • Book IV, line 118.
  • Mirror of constant faith, rever'd and mourn'd!
    • Book IV, line 229.
  • There with commutual zeal we both had strove
    In acts of dear benevolence and love:
    Brothers in peace, not rivals in command.
    • Book IV, line 241.
  • The glory of a firm, capacious mind.
    • Book IV, line 262.
  • Wise to resolve, and patient to perform.
    • Book IV, line 372.
  • The leader, mingling with the vulgar host,
    Is in the common mass of matter lost.
    • Book IV, line 397.
  • O thou, whose certain eye foresees
    The fix'd events of fate's remote decrees.
    • Book IV, line 627.
  • Forget the brother, and resume the man.
    • Book IV, line 732.
  • Gentle of speech, beneficent of mind.
    • Book IV, line 917
  • The people's parent, he protected all.
    • Book IV, line 921.
  • The big round tear stands trembling in her eye.
    • Book IV, line 936.
  • The windy satisfaction of the tongue.
    • Book IV, line 1092.
  • Heaven hears and pities hapless men like me,
    For sacred ev'n to gods is misery.
    • Book V, line 572.
  • The bank he press'd, and gently kiss'd the ground.
    • Book V, line 596.
  • A heaven of charms divine Nausicaa lay.
    • Book VI, line 22.
  • Jove weighs affairs of earth in dubious scales,
    And the good suffers while the bad prevails.
    • Book VI, line 229.
  • By Jove the stranger and the poor are sent,
    And what to those we give, to Jove is lent.
    • Book VI, line 247.
  • A decent boldness ever meets with friends.
    • Book VII, line 67.
  • To heal divisions, to relieve th' opprest;
    In virtue rich; in blessing others, blest.
    • Book VII, line 95.
  • Oh, pity human woe!
    'T is what the happy to the unhappy owe.
    • Book VII, line 198.
  • Whose well-taught mind the present age surpast.
    • Book VII, line 210.
  • For fate has wove the thread of life with pain,
    And twins ev'n from the birth are misery and man!
    • Book VII, line 263.
  • In youth and beauty wisdom is but rare!
    • Book VII, line 379
  • And every eye
    Gaz'd, as before some brother of the sky.
    • Book VIII, line 17.
  • Nor can one word be chang'd but for a worse.
    • Book VIII, line 192.
  • And unextinguish'd laughter shakes the sky.
    • Book VIII, line 366. Compare: "And unextinguish’d laughter shakes the skies", Alexander Pope, The Iliad of Homer, Book I, line 771.
  • Behold on wrong
    Swift vengeance waits; and art subdues the strong!
    • Book VIII, line 367.
  • A generous heart repairs a slanderous tongue.
    • Book VIII, line 432.
  • Just are the ways of Heaven: from Heaven proceed
    The woes of man; Heaven doom'd the Greeks to bleed,—
    A theme of future song!
    • Book VIII, line 631.
  • Earth sounds my wisdom and high heaven my fame.
    • Book IX, line 20.
  • Strong are her sons, though rocky are her shores.
    • Book IX, line 28.
  • Lotus, the name; divine, nectareous juice!
    • Book IX, line 106.
  • Respect us human, and relieve us poor.
    • Book IX, line 318.
  • Rare gift! but oh what gift to fools avails!
    • Book X, line 29.
  • Our fruitless labours mourn,
    And only rich in barren fame return.
    • Book X, line 46.
  • No more was seen the human form divine.
    • Book X, line 278. Compare: Human face divine", John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book III, line 44.
  • And not a man appears to tell their fate.
    • Book X, line 308.
  • Let him, oraculous, the end, the way,
    The turns of all thy future fate display.
    • Book X, line 642.
  • Born but to banquet, and to drain the bowl.
    • Book X, line 662.
  • Thin airy shoals of visionary ghosts.
    • Book XI, line 48.
  • Who ne'er knew salt, or heard the billows roar.
    • Book XI, line 153.
  • Heav'd on Olympus tott'ring Ossa stood;
    On Ossa, Pelion nods with all his wood.
    • Book XI, line 387. Compare: "Then the Omnipotent Father with his thunder made Olympus tremble, and from Ossa hurled Pelion", Ovid, Metamorphoses i.
  • The first in glory, as the first in place.
    • Book XI, line 441.
  • Soft as some song divine thy story flows.
    • Book XI, line 458.

The Odyssey of Homer

  • Oh woman, woman! when to ill thy mind
    Is bent, all hell contains no fouler fiend.
    • Book XI, line 531. Compare: "What mighty ills have not been done by woman! Who was ’t betrayed the Capitol?—A woman! Who lost Mark Antony the world?—A woman! Who was the cause of a long ten years’ war, And laid at last old Troy in ashes?—Woman! Destructive, damnable, deceitful woman!", Thomas Otway, The Orphan, Act iii, Scene 1.
  • What mighty woes
    To thy imperial race from woman rose!
    • Book XI, line 541.
  • But sure the eye of time beholds no name
    So blest as thine in all the rolls of fame.
    • Book XI, line 591.
  • And pines with thirst amidst a sea of waves.
    • Book XI, line 722.
  • Up the high hill he heaves a huge round stone.
    • Book XI, line 736.
  • There in the bright assemblies of the skies.
    • Book XI, line 745.
  • Gloomy as night he stands.
    • Book XI, line 749.
  • All, soon or late, are doom'd that path to tread.
    • Book XII, line 31.
  • And what so tedious as a twice-told tale.
    • Book XII, line 538. Compare: "Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale, Vexing the dull ear of a drowsy man", William Shakespeare, King John, Act iii, Scene 4.
  • He ceas'd; but left so pleasing on their ear
    His voice, that list'ning still they seem'd to hear.
    • Book XIII, line 1.
  • His native home deep imag'd in his soul.
    • Book XIII, line 38.
  • And bear unmov'd the wrongs of base mankind,
    The last and hardest conquest of the mind.
    • Book XIII, line 353.
  • How prone to doubt, how cautious are the wise!
    • Book XIII, line 375.
  • It never was our guise
    To slight the poor, or aught humane despise.
    • Book XIV, line 65.
  • The sex is ever to a soldier kind.
    • Book XIV, line 246.
  • Far from gay cities and the ways of men.
    • Book XIV, line 410.
  • And wine can of their wits the wise beguile,
    Make the sage frolic, and the serious smile.
    • Book XIV, line 520.
  • Who love too much, hate in the like extreme,
    And both the golden mean alike condemn.
    • Book XV, line 79.
  • True friendship's laws are by this rule expressed,
    Welcome the coming, speed the parting guest.
    • Book XV, line 83. Compare: "For I, who hold sage Homer’s rule the best, Welcome the coming, speed the going guest", Pope, Imitation of Horace, Satire II, Book II, line 159.
  • For too much rest itself becomes a pain.
    • Book XV, line 429
  • Discourse, the sweeter banquet of the mind.
    • Book XV, line 433.
  • And taste
    The melancholy joy of evils past:
    For he who much has suffer'd, much will know.
    • Book XV, line 434.
  • For love deceives the best of womankind.
    • Book XV, line 463
  • And would'st thou evil for his good repay?
    • Book XVI, line 448.
  • Whatever day
    Makes man a slave, takes half his worth away.
    • Book XVII, line 392.
  • In ev'ry sorrowing soul I pour'd delight,
    And poverty stood smiling in my sight.
    • Book XVII, line 505.
  • Unbless'd thy hand, if in this low disguise
    Wander, perhaps, some inmate of the skies.
    • Book XVII, line 576. Compare: "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares", Hebrews 13:2.
  • Know from the bounteous heaven all riches flow;
    And what man gives, the gods by man bestow,
    • Book XVIII, line 26.
  • Yet taught by time, my heart has learn'd to glow
    For others' good, and melt at others' woe.
    • Book XVIII, line 269.
  • A winy vapour melting in a tear.
    • Book XIX, line 143.
  • But he whose inborn worth his acts commend,
    Of gentle soul, to human race a friend.
    • Book XIX, line 383.
  • The fool of fate,—thy manufacture, man.
    • Book XX, line 254.
  • Impatient straight to flesh his virgin sword.
    • Book XX, line 461.
  • Dogs, ye have had your day!
    • Book XXII, line 41.
  • For dear to gods and men is sacred song.
    Self-taught I sing; by Heaven, and Heaven alone,
    The genuine seeds of poesy are sown.
    • Book XXII, line 382.
  • So ends the bloody business of the day.
    • Book XXII, line 516.
  • And rest at last where souls unbodied dwell,
    In ever-flowing meads of Asphodel.
    • Book XXIV, line 19.
  • The ruins of himself! now worn away
    With age, yet still majestic in decay.
    • Book XXIV, line 271.
  • And o'er the past Oblivion stretch her wing.
    • Book XXIV, line 557.

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