Welcome to Poetry.com

Poetry.com is a huge collection of poems from famous and amateur poets from around the world — collaboratively published by a community of authors and contributing editors.

Navigate through our poetry database by subjects, alphabetically or simply search by keywords. You can submit a new poem, discuss and rate existing work, listen to poems using voice pronunciation and even translate pieces to many common and not-so-common languages.

Rate this poem:(0.00 / 0 votes)

In Imitation of E. of Rochester : On Silence

Alexander Pope 1688 (London) – 1744 (Twickenham)

I.
Silence! coeval with Eternity;
Thou wert, ere Nature's-self began to be,
'Twas one vast Nothing, all, and all slept fast in thee.

II.
Thine was the sway, ere heav'n was form'd, or earth,
Ere fruitful Thought conceiv'd creation's birth,
Or midwife Word gave aid, and spoke the infant forth.

III.
Then various elements, against thee join'd,
In one more various animal combin'd,
And fam'd the clam'rous race of busy Human-kind.

IV.
The tongue mov'd gently first, and speech was low,
'Till wrangling Science taught it noise and show,
And wicked Wit arose, thy most abusive foe.

V.
But rebel Wit deserts thee oft' in vain;
Lost in the maze of words he turns again,
And seeks a surer state, and courts thy gentle reign.

VI.
Afflicted Sense thou kindly dost set free,
Oppress'd with argumental tyranny,
And routed Reason finds a safe retreat in thee.

VII.
With thee in private modest Dulness lies,
And in thy bosom lurks in Thought's disguise;
Thou varnisher of Fools, and cheat of all the Wise!

VIII.
Yet thy indulgence is by both confest;
Folly by thee lies sleeping in the breast,
And 'tis in thee at last that Wisdom seeks for rest.

IX.
Silence the knave's repute, the whore's good name,
The only honour of the wishing dame;
Thy very want of tongue makes thee a kind of Fame.

X.
But could'st thou seize some tongues that now are free,
How Church and State should be oblig'd to thee!
At Senate, and at Bar, how welcome would'st thou be!

XI.
Yet speech ev'n there, submissively withdraws,
From rights of subjects, and the poor man's cause:
Then pompous Silence reigns, and stills the noisy Laws.

XII.
Past services of friends, good deeds of foes,
What Fav'rites gain, and what the Nation owes,
Fly the forgetful world, and in thy arms repose.

XIII.
The country wit, religion of the town,
The courtier's learning, policy o' th' gown,
Are best by thee express'd; and shine in thee alone.

XIV.
The parson's cant, the lawyer's sophistry,
Lord's quibble, critic's jest; all end in thee,
All rest in peace at last, and sleep eternally.

Font size:
Collection  Edit     
 

Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:55 min read
85 Views

Alexander Pope

Alexander Pope (1688-1744) is regarded as one of the greatest English poets, and the foremost poet of the early eighteenth century. He is best known for his satirical and discursive poetry, including The Rape of the Lock, The Dunciad, and An Essay on Criticism, as well as for his translation of Homer. more…

All Alexander Pope poems | Alexander Pope Books

FAVORITE (0 fans)

Discuss this Alexander Pope poem with the community:

0 Comments

    Translation

    Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)

    Citation

    Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:

    Style:MLAChicagoAPA

    "In Imitation of E. of Rochester : On Silence" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 24 Jul 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/473/in-imitation-of-e.-of-rochester-:-on-silence>.

    Become a member!

    Join our community of poets and poetry lovers to share your work and offer feedback and encouragement to writers all over the world!

    Browse Poetry.com

    Quiz

    Are you a poetry master?

    »
    "Twas brillig, and the slithy toves Did gyre and gimble in the wabe."
    • A. Lord Byron
    • B. Shel Silverstein
    • C. Lewis Carroll
    • D. Dr. Seuss

    Our favorite collection of

    Famous Poets

    »