Rape of the Lock and Other Poems

Rape of the Lock and Other Poems

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Rape of the Lock and Other Poems  by Alexander Pope

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1712

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Rape of the Lock and Other Poems

By

3
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Book Excerpt

hard and wearisome work. Pope was no Greek scholar; it is said, indeed, that he was just able to make out the sense of the original with a translation. And in addition to the fifteen thousand lines of the 'Iliad', he had engaged to furnish an introduction and notes. At first the magnitude of the undertaking frightened him. "What terrible moments," he said to Spence, "does one feel after one has engaged for a large work. In the beginning of my translating the 'Iliad', I wished anybody would hang me a hundred times. It sat so heavily on my mind at first that I often used to dream of it and do sometimes still." In spite of his discouragement, however, and of the ill health which so constantly beset him, Pope fell gallantly upon his task, and as time went on came almost to enjoy it. He used to translate thirty or forty verses in the morning before rising and, in his own characteristic phrase, "piddled over them for the rest of the day." He used every assistance possible, drew freely upon the scholarship of friend

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