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So Man, who here seems principal alone,
Perhaps acts second to fome Sphere unknown,
Touches some Wheel, or verges to fome Gole ;
'Tis but a Part we see, and not a Whole.
When the proud Steed shall know, why Man restrains
His fiery Course, or drives him o'er the Plains ;
When the dull Ox why now he breaks the Clod,
Now wears a Garland, an Ægyptian God;
Then shall Man's Pride and Dullness comprehend 65
His Actions, Passions, Beings, Use and End;
Why doing, fuff'ring, check’d, impell’d, and why
This Hour a Slave, the next a Deity :
Then say not Man's imperfect, Heav’n in Fault ;
Say rather, Man's as perfect as he oughts
His Being measur'd to his State, and Place,
His Time a Moment, and a Point his Space.
Heav'n from all Creatures hides the Book of Fate,
All but the Page, prescrib'd their prefent State ;
From Brutes what Men, from Men what Spirits know, 75
Or who could suffer being here below:
The Lamb thy Riot dooms to bleed to day,
Had he thy Reason, would he skip and play?
Pleas'd to the last, he crops the flow'ry Food,
And licks the Hand juft rais'd to shed his Blood. 80
Oh Blindness to the Future ! kindly giv'n,
That each may fill the Circle mark'd by Heav'n,
Who sees with equal Eye, as God of All,
A Hero perish, or a Sparrow fall ;
Atoms, or Systems, into Ruin hurld,
And now a Bubble burst, and now a World.
Hope humbly then ; with trembling Pinions foar ; Wait the great Teacher - Death, and God adore ! What future Bliss he gives not thee to know, But gives that Hope to be thy Blessing now.
go Hope springs eternal in the human Breaft; Man never is, but always to be bleft. The Soul uneasy and confin'd at home, Rests, and expatiates, in a Life to come. Lo! the poor Indian, whose untutor's Mind
95 Sees God in Clouds, or bears him in the Wind ; His Soul, proud Science never taught to stray Far as the Solar Walk, or Milky-Way,
Yet fimple Nature to his Hope has giv'n
Behind the cloud-top'd Hill an humbler Heaven,
Some safer World in Depth of Woods embrac’d,
Some happier Island in the watry Waste ;
Where Slaves once more their native Land behold,
No Fiends torment, no Christians thirst for Gold.
To be, contents this natural Desire,
He asks no Angel's Wing, or Seraph's Fire, .
But thinks, admitted to that equal Sky,
His faithful Dog shall bear him Company.
G9, wiser Thou! and in thy Scale of Sense
Weigh thy Opinion against Providence :
IIO Call Imperfection what thou fancy'ft such, Say, here he gives too little, there too much ; Destroy all Creatures for thy Sport or Gult, Yet cry, if Man's unhappy, God's unjust; If Man, alone, engrofs not Heav'ns high Care,
015 Alone, made perfect here, immortal there : Snatch from his Hand the Balance and the Rod, Re-judge his Justice, be the God of God!
In Reas’ning, Pride (my Friend) our Error lies : All quit their Sphere, and rush into the Skies ;
I 20 Pride still is aiming at the blest Abodes ; Men would be Angels, Angels would be Gods ; Aspiring to be Gods if Angels fell, Aspiring to be Angels, Men rebel ; And who but wishes to invert the Laws
125 Of Order, fins against th’ eternal Cause.
Ask for what End the heavenly Bodies shine ? Earth for whose Use? Pride answers, “ 'Tis for mine ; “For me kind Nature wakes her genial Pow'r, “ Suckles each Herb, and swells out ev'ry Flow'r; 130 “ Annual for me, the Grape, the Rofe renew “ The Juice nectareous, and the balmy Dew; “ For me the Mine a thousand Treasures brings, “ For me Health gushes from a thousand Springs ; “ Seas roll to waft me, Suns to light me rise ;
My Foot-ftool Earth, my Canopy the Skies."
But errs not Nature from this gracious End, From burning Suns when livid Deaths descend, When Earthquakes swallow, or when Tempefts sweep Towns to one Grave, and Nations to the Deep? 140
« No ('tis reply'd, the first Almighty Cause
« Acts not by partial, but by gen'ral Laws;
“ Th’ Exceptions few ; fome Change since all began,
« And what created, perfect?"---Why then Man?
If the great End be human Happiness,
And Nature deviates, how can Man do less ?
As much that End a constant Course requires
Of Show'rs and Sun-fhine, as of Man's Defires ;
As much eternal Springs and cloudless Skies,
As Men for ever temp?rate, calm and wise. 150
If Plagues or Earthquakes break not Heaven's Design,
Why then a Borgia, or a Cataline ?
From Pride, from Pride, our very Reas’ning springs ;
Account for moral, as for nat'ral Things;
Why charge we Heav'n in those, in these acquit? 155
In both to reason right, is to submit.
Better for Us, perhaps, it might appear,
Were there all Harmony, all Virtue here ;
That never Air or Ocean felt the Wind;
That never Passion discompos'd the Mind. 160
But all fubfifts by Elemental Strife
And Passions are the Elements of Life.
The gen'ral Order, since the whole began,
Is kept in Nature, and is kept in Man.
What would this Man? now upward will he foar, 165
And little less than Angel, would be more ;
Now looking downward, jnft as griev'd, appears
To want the Strength of Bulls, the Fur of Bears.
Made for his Use all Creatures if he call,
Say what their Ufe, had he the Pow'rs of all ? 170
Nature to these, without Profusion kind,
The proper Organs, proper Pow'rs affign'd;
Each seeming Want compensated of course,
Here, with Degrees of Swiftness, there, of Force ;
All in exact Proportion to the State ;
Nothing to add, and nothing to abate.
Each Beast, each Insect, happy in its own,
Is Heaven unkind to Man, and Man alone?
Shall he alone, whom rational we call,
Be pleas'd with nothing, if not blefs’d with all ? 18@
The Bliss of Man (could Pride that Bleffing find)
Is not to think, or act, beyond Mankind;
No Powr's of Body or of Soul to share,
But what his Nature and his State can bear.
Why has not Man a microscopic Sight?
For this plain Realon, Man is not a Mite :
Say what th' Advantage of fo fine an Eye?
T' inspect a Mote, not comprehend the Sky:
Or Touch, so tremblingly alive all o'er ?
To smart, and agonize at every Pore:
igo Or quick Effluvia darting through the Brain ? To fink oppress’d with aromatic Pain. If Nature thunder'd in his opening Ears, And stunnid them with the Musick of the Spheres, How would he wish, that Heaven had left him still 195 The whisp'ring Zephir, and the purling Rill? Who finds not Providence all good and wise, Alike in what it gives, and what denies ?
For, as Creation's ample Range extends, The Scale of sensual, mental Pow'rs ascends : 200 Mark how it mounts, to Man's imperial Race From the green Myriads in the peopled Grass ! What Modes of Sight, betwixt each wide Extreme, The Mole's dim Curtain, and the Lynx's Beam : Of Smell the headlong Lioness between,
205 And Hound, fagacious on the tainted Green ; Of Hearing, from the Life that fills the Flood, To that which warbles through the vernal Wood : The Spider's Touch how exquisitely fine, Feels at each Thread, and lives along the Line: 210 In the nice Bee, what Sense fo subtly true, From pois’nous Herbs extracts the healing Dew? How Inftinct varies ! in the groveling Swine, Compar'd half-reas'ning Elephant with thine. "Twixt that, and Reason, what a nice Barrier, 215 For ever sep’rate, yet for ever near : Remembrance and Reflection, how ally'd ; What thin Partitions Sense from Thought divide : And middle Natures, how they long to join, Yet never pass th' insuperable Line :
220 Without the just Gradation could they be Subjected these to those, or all to thee? The Pow'rs of all subdu'd by thee alone, Is not thy Reason all those Pow'rs in one ?
See, thro’this Air, this Ocean, and this Earth, 225
All Matter quick, and bursting into birth.
Above, how high progreliive Life may go !
Around how wide ! How deep extend below!
Vast Chain of Being! which from God began,
Nature's Etherial, Human, Angel, Man,
Beaft, Bird, Fish, Infect, what no Eye can see !
No Glass can reach from Infinite to thee!
From thee to Nothing !----On superior Pow'rs
Were we to press, inferior might on ours ;
Or in the full Creation leave a Void,
235 Where, one Step broken, the great Scale's destroy'd : From Nature's Chain whatever Link
strike, Tenth, or ten Thousandth, breaks the Chain alike.
And if each System in Gradation roll,
Alike eflential to th' amazing Whole ;
The least Confusion, but in one, not all
Thy System only, but the Whole must fall.
Let Earth unbalanc'd from her Orbit fly,
Planets, and Suns, rush lawless thro' the Sky,
Let ruling Angels from their Spheres be hürld,
Being on Being wreck'd, and World on World,
Heav’ns whole Foundation to the Centre nod,
And Nature tremble to the Throne of God :
Ail this dread Order break---For whom? For thee!
Vile Worm !---O Madness! Pride! Impiety! 250
What if the Foot, ordain'd the Duft to tread,
Or Hand to toil, aspir'd to be the Head ?
What if the Head, the Eye, or Ear, repin'd
To serve mere Engines to the ruling Mind?
Just as absurd, for any part to claim
To be another, in this gen’ral Frame:
Just as absurd to mourn the Tasks or Pains,
That great directing Mind of All ordains.
All are but Parts
of one ftupendous Whole,
Whose Body Nature is, and God the Soul ; 260
That, chang'd thro' all, and yet in all the same,
Great in the Earth, 'as in th etherial Frame,
Warms in the Sun, refreshes in the Breeze,
Glows in the Stars, and blossoms in the Trees,
Lives thro' all Life, extends thro' all Extent, 265
Spreads undivided, operates unspent,