And, here, my friends, is the end of all things, writ large at the end of Pope’s Dunciad:
See Mystery to Mathematics fly!
In vain! they gaze, turn giddy, rave, and die.
Religion, blushing, veils her sacred fires,
And unawares Morality expires.
Nor public flame, nor private, dares to shine;
Nor human spark is left, nor glimpse divine!
Lo! thy dread empire, Chaos! is restored;
Light dies before thy uncreating word:
Thy hand, great Anarch! lets the curtain fall;
And universal darkness buries all.
Considering that the goddess has already extinguished the world’s lights, it’s no wonder people are turning giddy. Instead of religion triumphing through burning bushes which speak truth from the very fire of God, Pope’s religion hides its sacred fires when faced with the darkness of dull-wittedness. In turn, this extinguishes the fire that once spurred men to act morally. Reasoning and philosophy are cold; their embers no longer glow with the light of humanity. God has fled from the likes of this dark goddess–the ugly witch of dullness. Human knowledge leads to nothingness. Once men deny the creator, then there is no creation.
The goddess of dullness destroys all of these: truth, art, and religion. Worse still, the goddess has transformed herself into the great Muse, thereby supplanting poetical inspiration with darkness and death. Who is this goddess, and why do flowers crumble at her footfall rather than bloom at her fertile steps?
I would like to ask Pope, but I can’t because he wrote this three-hundred years ago. We’ve been uncreated, though. This I understand. The end to everything touched humanity and then stealthily exited through a side door, leaving us none the wiser.