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Heav'n breathes thro' every member of the whole
One common blefling, as one common foul,
But Fortune's gifts if each alike poffeft,
And each were equal, must not all contest ?
If then to all men Happiness was meant,
God in externals could not place Content.

Fortune her gifts may varioufly difpofe,
And these be happy call'd, unhappy thofe ;
But Heav'n's juft balance equal will appear,
While thofe are plac'd in Hope, and thefe in Fear:
Not prefent good or ill, the joy or curfe,
But future views of better, or of worse,

› Oh fons of earth! attempt ye ftill to rife,

By mountains pil'd on mountains, to the fkies?
Heav'n ftill with laughter the vain toil surveys,
And buries madmen in the heaps they raise.

Know, all the good that individuals find,
Or God and Nature meant to mere mankind,
Reason's whole pleasure, all the joys of Senfe,
Lie in three words, Health, Peace, and Competence,

CHAP. XVI.

"Virtue alone is Happiness below."

The only point where human blifs ftands ftill,
And tastes the good without the fall to ill;
Where only Merit conftant pay receives,
Is bleft in what it takes, and what it gives;

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POPE.

ΟΝ

VIRTU E.

KNOW thou this truth (enough for man to know)

The

The joy unequall'd if its end it gain,
And if it lofe, attended with no pain :
Without fatiety, tho' e'er fo bless'd,

And but more relifh'd as the more diftrefs'd:
The broadeft mirth unfeeling Folly wears,
Lefs pleafing far than Virtue's very tears:
Good, from each object, from each place acquir'd.
For ever exercis'd, yet never tir'd;

Never elated, while one man's opprefs'd;
Never dejected, while another's blefs'd;
And where no wants, no wishes can remain,
Since but to wish more Virtue, is to gain.

See the fole blifs Heav'n could on all bestow!
Which who but feels can tafte, but thinks can know:
Yet poor with fortune, and with learning blind,
The bad muft mifs; the good, untaught, will find;
Slave to no fect, who takes no private road,
But looks thro' Nature, up to Nature's God:
Purfues that chain which links the immenfe defign,
Joins heav'n and earth, and mortal and divinè;
Sees, that no being any bliss can know,
But touches fome above, and some below;
Learns, from this union of the rifing Whole,
The firft, laft purpose of the human foul;
And knows where Faith, Law, Morals, all began,
All end, in LOVE OF GOD, and LOVE OF MAN.

For him alone, Hope leads from goal to goal, And opens ftill, and open on his foul; 'Till lengthen'd on to Faith, and unconfin'd, pours the bliss that fills up all the mind. He fees, why Nature plants in Man alone Hope of known blifs, and faith in bliss unknown:

It

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(Nature

(Nature, whofe dictates to no other kind
Are given in vain, but what they seek they find)
Wife is her prefent; fhe connects in this
His greatest Virtue with his greatest Bliss;
At once his own bright prospect to be blest,
And strongest motive to affift the reft.

Self-love thus push'd to social, to divine,
Gives thee to make thy neighbour's bleffing thine.
Is this too little for the boundless heart?
Extend it, let thy enemies have part;

Grafp the whole worlds of Reason, Life, and Senfe,
In one close system of Benevolence :
Happier as kinder, in whate'er degree,
And height of Blifs but height of Charity.

God loves from Whole to Parts: But human foul
Muft rife from Individual to the Whole.
Self-love but ferves the virtuous mind to wake,
As the small pebble ftirs the peaceful lake;
The centre mov'd, a circle straight succeeds,
Another still, and still another spreads;
Friend, parent, neighbour, first it will embrace;
His country next; and next all human race:
Wide and more wide, th' o'erflowings of the mind
Take ev'ry creature in of ev'ry kind;

Earth fmiles around, with boundless bounty blest,
And Heav'n beholds its image in his breast.

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CHAP. XVII.

ON VERSIFICATION.

MANY by Numbers judge a Poet's song;

And fmooth or rough, with them is right or wrong;
In the bright Mufe tho' thousand charms conspire,
Her voice is all these tuneful fools admire;
Who haunt Parnaffus but to please their ear,
Not mend their minds; as fome to Church repair
Not for the do&rine, but the music there.
Thefe equal fyllables alone require,

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Tho' oft the ear the open vowels tire;
While expletives their feeble aid do join,
And ten low words oft creep in one dull line:
While they ring round the fame unvary'd chines,
With fure returns of ftill expected rhimes;
Where'er you find " the cooling western breeze.’
In the next line, it" whispers thro' the trees:"
If crystal streams" with pleasing murmurs creep,"
The reader's threaten'd (not in vain) with " fleep :"
Then at the last and only couplet fraught

With fome unmeaning thing they call a thought,
A needlefs Alexandrian ends the fong,

That, like a wounded fnake, drags it flow length along..
Leave fuch to tune their own dull rhimes, and know
What's roundly smooth, or languishingly flow;
And praise the easy vigour of a line,

Where Denham's ftrength, and Waller's fweetness join.
True ease in writing comes from art, not chance,

As thofe move easiest who have learned to dance.

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'Tis not enough, no harfhnefs gives offence,
The found must seem an echo to the ferfe;
Soft is the ftrain when Zephyr gently blows,
And the fmooth ftream in fmoother numbers flows;
But when loud furges lafh the founding fhore,
The hoarfe, rough verse should like the torrent roar:
When Ajax ftrives fome rock's vast height to throw,
The line too labours, and the words move flow;
Not fo, when swift Camilla scours the plain,

Flies o'er th' unbending corn, and skims along the main.
Hear how Timotheus' vary'd lays surprife,

And bid alternate paffions fall and rife!

While at each change, the fon of Libyan Jove
Now burns with glory, and then melts with love;
Now his fierce eyes with sparkling fury glow,
Now fighs fteal out, and tears begin to flow:
Perfians and Greeks like turns of nature found,
And the World's victor stood fubdu'd by Sound!

CHAP. XVIII.

LESSONS OF WISDOM.

How to live happieft: how avoid the pains,

The disappointments and difgufts of those

Who would in pleasure all their hours employ;
The precepts here of a divine old man
I could recite. Tho' old, he still retain'd
His manly fenfe, and energy of mind.
Virtuous and wife he was, but not severe ;
He ftill remember'd that he once was young;
His easy presence check'd no decent joy.

G 2

POPE.

Him

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