"The Vanity of Human Wishes: The Tenth Satire of Juvenal Imitated" is the most famous poem by the scholar and lexicographer Samuel Johnson. Many eminent critics, including Walter Scott and T. S. Eliot, consider it to be Johnson's crowning achievement as a poet.
The subject and argument of the poem are clear from the title. However, unlike Juvenal, Johnson espoused the view that Christian values are an essential aspect of a life well lived. While Johnson passes harsh judgement on the foolishness of greed and social pretensions, his scorn is much tempered by that natural compassion that has made him one of the most lovable figures in English literature.
Public Domain (P)2015 Denis Daly