First Satire Of The Second Book Of Horace

by Alexander Pope
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"The Feast Of Reason And The Flow Of Soul"

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Last Updated on January 19, 2017, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 184

Context: This satire is cast in the form of a dialogue between the poet and Fortescu, his friend and legal counsel. Fortescu says Pope should cease to satirize and write no more, or else turn to writing poetry glorifying the royal family. Pope refuses, pointing out that he is "Unplac'd, unpension'd, no man's heir or slave." He says he will continue writing satire, so that no "rich or noble knave/ Shall walk the world in credit to his grave." He goes on to say how much he can, in his independence, continue to enjoy the quiet life at his estate at Twickenham, with such friends as Henry St. John, Lord Bolingbroke, and Charles Mordaunt, Earl of Peter-borough:

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Know, all the distant din that world can keep,
Rolls o'er my grotto and but soothes my sleep.
There my retreat the best companions grace,
Chiefs out of war, and statesmen out of place:
There St. John mingles with my friendly bowl
The feast of reason and the flow of soul:
And he, whose lightning pierced th' Iberian lines,
Now forms my quincunx, and now ranks my vines.

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