I'm taking a class at USF called "British Literature from 1700 to the Present" and am really learning a lot. We're reading through the ages and its been very interesting to see how novelists and poets in Britain reacted to the times the were living in.
One of the first things we read was Alexander Pope's Essay on Man, and while it was very dense and structured, it may be my favorite thing we've read so far. Here are some of my favorite stanzas:
Each beast, each insect, happy in its own:
Is Heaven unkind to man, and man alone?
Shall he alone, whom rational we call,
Be pleased with nothing, if not blest with all?
More rich, more wise: but who infers from hence
That such are happier, shocks all common sense.
Condition, circumstance, is not the thing;
Bliss is the same in subject or in king,
Weak, foolish man! will Heaven reward us there
With the same trash mad mortals wish for here?