Alexander Pope

(21 May 1688 – 30 May 1744 / London / England)

Ode on Solitude


Happy the man, whose wish and care
A few paternal acres bound,
Content to breathe his native air,
In his own ground.

Whose heards with milk, whose fields with bread,
Whose flocks supply him with attire,
Whose trees in summer yield him shade,
In winter fire.

Blest! who can unconcern'dly find
Hours, days, and years slide soft away,
In health of body, peace of mind,
Quiet by day,

Sound sleep by night; study and ease
Together mix'd; sweet recreation,
And innocence, which most does please,
With meditation.

Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;
Thus unlamented let me dye;
Steal from the world, and not a stone
Tell where I lye.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Form: Sapphic

# 269 poem on top 500 Poems


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Comments about this poem (Ode on Solitude by Alexander Pope )

  • Rookie - 337 Points Wenjun Liu (1/21/2015 7:26:00 PM)

    Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;
    Thus unlamented let me dye;
    Steal from the world, and not a stone
    Tell where I lye.
    What a peaceful way of life. (Report) Reply

  • Bronze Star - 2,463 Points John Richter (1/21/2015 1:40:00 PM)

    'heord' in old English.... but I rarely get distracted by apparent misspellings in classical poetry. By this poem's own admission the writer rarely if ever left the farm! 'Doesn't get out often' is our more contemporary colloquialism to explain away such common errors or typos... (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 11,729 Points Kim Barney (1/21/2015 10:14:00 AM)

    Surely PH has made a typo in entering the poem on this site. Line five should have HERDS instead of HEARDS. I don't think the word was spelled that way in Old English, was it? (Report) Reply

  • Bronze Star - 2,463 Points John Richter (1/21/2015 7:32:00 AM)

    Even wishes to remain anonymous in the grave.... This poem comes from a time when almost everyone subsisted on their land - for everything. As he mentions sheep for his clothing, trees for his shade in summer and fire in winter. And it was a time when a man's land was handed down from father to son(s) - hence the 'paternal' remark. This poem conjures up an image of a very earthen soul who never strayed far from his birth place, stayed there happily all of his years, and desiring solitude even beyond life. Pardon me but it seems more of anti-social behavior then it does virtuosity. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 24,387 Points Gangadharan Nair Pulingat (1/21/2015 3:53:00 AM)

    Best of ideas to lead a virtuous life (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 39,733 Points Aftab Alam Khursheed (1/21/2015 2:36:00 AM)

    wonderful lovely poem read many time school to college thanks for sharing (Report) Reply

  • Bronze Star - 2,475 Points Michael Morgan (1/20/2015 10:02:00 PM)

    This is pure Horace. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 13,873 Points * Sunprincess * (12/23/2014 4:41:00 PM)

    .............great write....this poem reminds me of my uncle....living on his land, he is happy and content.... (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 11,720 Points Rajnish Manga (12/14/2014 9:40:00 PM)

    Great poem in praise of one's native land irrespective of its humble atmosphere lack of any superficial frills. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points Enn Kay (9/1/2010 12:26:00 PM)

    Nice poem with nice rhymes! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Sunil Arora (9/29/2009 9:19:00 AM)

    Beautifully penned, the real taste of life. But is there a man such like? (Report) Reply

Read all 11 comments »

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