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Alexander Pope (1688–1744). Complete Poetical Works. 1903.

Later Poems

Epigram (“Yes! ’t is the time”)

  • Explained by Carruthers to refer to the large sums of money given in charity on account of the severity of the weather about the year 1740.

  • YES! ’t is the time (I cried), impose the chain,

    Destin’d and due to wretches self-enslaved;

    But when I saw such charity remain,

    I half could wish this people should be saved.

    Faith lost, and Hope, our Charity begins;

    And ’t is a wise design in pitying Heav’n,

    If this can cover multitude of sins,

    To take the only way to be forgiv’n.