"As on the land while here the Ocean gains, / In other parts it leaves wide sandy plains; / Thus in the soul while memory prevails, / The solid pow'r of understanding fails; / Where beams of warm imagination play, / The memory's soft figures melt away."
— Pope, Alexander (1688-1744)
And justly bear a Critic's noble name,
Be sure yourself and your own reach to know,
How far your genius, taste, and learning go;
Launch not beyond your depth, but be discreet,
And mark that point where sense and dulness meet.
Nature to all things fix'd the limits fit,
And wisely curb'd proud man's pretending wit.
As on the land while here the Ocean gains,
In other parts it leaves wide sandy plains;
Thus in the soul while memory prevails,
The solid pow'r of understanding fails;
Where beams of warm imagination play,
The memory's soft figures melt away.
One science only will one genius fit;
So vast is art, so narrow human wit:
Not only bounded to peculiar arts,
But oft' in those confin'd to single parts.
Like Kings we lose the conquests gain'd before,
By vain ambition still to make them more;
Each might his sev'ral province well command,
Would all but stoop to what they understand.
(I, ll. 52-67)
An Essay on Criticism. (London: Printed for W. Lewis, 1711). <Link to ESTC><Link to Google Books><Link to 2nd edition in ECCO-TCP>
Originally searching through Stanford's HDIS installation of the Chadwyck-Healey database (which indexes a text from the 1736 Works. Some text drawn from ECCO-TCP edition.