The poem Ode on Solitude isn’t just any other poem (or ode). This poem written by Alexander Pope is considered to be his oldest surviving poem. And yes, this is about… solitude…
About the poem
When you think about the life of Pope, this poem seems to make more sense. As Pope was Catholic, he was a social outcast. It was forbidden for Catholics to confess their faith in openness. During his life, laws became stricter and this was one of the reasons that Pope led a life of solitude during some of his years. This wasn’t the only reason. Pope suffered health issues and was forced to stay indoors due to his physical condition.
The poem contains a wish, to get more out of life. This wasn’t possible to the full extent as it comes to his life. Yes, this poet has the ability to profit from the life of solitude; the land produces enough to live from.
It is very hard to understand, that Pope wrote this poem in 1700. At that time, he was twelve years old. That is something impressive. It is believed, that this is his oldest surviving poem.
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 herds 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 unconcernedly 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 mixed; sweet recreation;
And innocence, which most does please,
Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;
Thus unlamented let me die;
Steal from the world, and not a stone
Tell where I lie.