Poem – The Riddle Of The World – Alexander Pope

Know then thyself, presume not God to scan 

The proper study of Mankind is Man. 

Placed on this isthmus of a middle state, 

A Being darkly wise, and rudely great: 

With too much knowledge for the Sceptic side, 

With too much weakness for the Stoic’s pride, 

He hangs between; in doubt to act, or rest; 

In doubt to deem himself a God, or Beast; 

In doubt his mind and body to prefer; 

Born but to die, and reas’ning but to err; 

Whether he thinks to little, or too much; 

Chaos of Thought and Passion, all confus’d; 

Still by himself, abus’d or disabus’d; 

Created half to rise and half to fall; 

Great Lord of all things, yet a prey to all, 

Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurl’d; 

The glory, jest and riddle of the world.