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Th'exceptions few; some change fince all began:
--- And what created perfect !"—Why then Man?
If the great end be human happiness,
Then Nature deviates; and can Man do less? 2.5.0
As much that end a constant course requires
Of show'rs and sunshine, as of Man's desires ;;
As much eternal springs and cloudless skies,
As men for ever temp'rate, calm, and wise.
If plagues or earthquakes break not Heav'n's design,
Why then a Borgia, or a Catiline?
Who knows but he whose hand the light'ning forms,
Who heaves old Ocean, and who wings the storms;
Pours fierce Ambition in a Cæsar's mind,
Qr turns young Ammon loose to scourge mankind? 1.60
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?
In both, to reason right is to submit.
Better for Us, perhaps, it might appears 165
Were there all harmony, all virtue here;
That never air or ocean felt the wind;
That never passion discompos'd the mind.
But All subfifts by elemental. ftrife;
And passions are the elements of life.
The gen’ral ORDER, since the Whole began,
Is kept in Nature, and is kept in Man.
VI. What would this Man ? Now upward will he foar,
And little less than Angel, would be more?
Now looking downwards, just as griev'd appears 175
To want the strength of bulls, the fur of bears.
Made for his use, all creatures if he call,
Say what their use, had he the pow'rs of all :
Nature to these, without profusion kind,
The proper organs, proper pow'rs aflign'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 beaft, each insect, happy in its own; 185
Is Heav'n unkind to Man, and Man alone?
ESSAY ON MAN.
Shall he alone, whom rational we call,
Be pleas'd with nothing, if not bless’d with all?
The bliss of Man (could Pride that blessing find)
Is not to act or think beyond mankind;
No pow'rs of body or of fouł to share,
But what his nature and his state can bear.
Why has not Man a microscopic eye !
For this plain reason, Man is not a Fly.
Say what the use, were finer optics givn,
T'inspect a mite, not comprehend the hear'n?
Or touch, if tremblingly alive all o'er,
To finart and agonize at ev'ry pore?
Or, quick effluvia darting thro' the brain,
Die of a rose in aromatic pain ?
If Nature thunderd in his op'ning ears;
And stunn'd him with the mufic of the fpheres,
How would he with that Heav'n had left him ftill
The whisp’ring Zephyr, and the purling rill?
Who finds not Providence all good and wife,
Alike in what it gives, and what denies ?
VII. Far as Creation's ample range extends,
The scale of Sensual, Mental pow'rs afcends :
Mark how it mounts, to Man's imperial race,
From the green myriads in the peopled grafs :
What modes of Sight betwixt each wide extreme,
The mole’s dim curtain, and the linx's beam ::
Of Smell, 'the headlong lioness between,
And hound sagacious on the tainted green:
Of Hearing, from the life that fills the flood,
To that which warbles thro' the vernal wood?
The spider's touch, how exquisitely fine !
Feels at each thread, and lives along the line
In the nice hce, what sense fo fubtly true
From pois’nous herbs extraéts the healing dew?
How İnstinct varies in the grov'ting fwine,
Compar’d, half reas'ning elephant, with thine !
'Twixt that, and Reason, what a 'nice barrier ?
For ever sep’rate, yet for ever near !
Remembrance and Reflection how allyd;
That thin partitions Sense from Thought divide ?
And Middle naturés, how they long to join,
Yet never pass th' insuperable liné !
Without this just gradation could they be
Subjected, these to those, or all to thee!
The pow'rs of all fubdu'd by thee alone,
Is not thy Reason all thefe pow'rs in one ?
VIII. See, throʻ this air, this ocean, and this earth,
All matter quick, and bursting into birth.
Above, how highi, progreflive life may go ! 235
Around, how wide ! how deep extend below!
Vaft chain of Being ! which from God began,
Natures æthereal, human, angel, man,
Beast, bird, fish, insect, what no eye can see,
No glass can reach; from infinite to thee, 240
From thee to Nothing.-On superior pow'rs:
Were we to press, inferior might on ours :
Or in the full creation leave a void,
Where, one ftep broken, the great scale's destroy'd':
From Nature's chain whatever link you strike, 245
Tenth, or ten thousandth, breaks the chain alike.
And, if each system in gradation roll
Alike essential to th' amazing Whole,
The least confufion but in one, not allo
"That lystein only, but the Whole must fall.. 250
Let Earth unbalanc'd from her orbit fly.
Planets and suns run lawless thro' the sky;
Let ruling Angels from their spheres be hurl'a,
Being on being wreckld, and world on world;
Heav'n's whole foundations to their center nod; 255
And Nature trembles to the throne of God.
All this dread: ORDER break-for whom for thee?
Vile worm !--oh Madness ! Pride ! Impiety!
IX. What if the foot, ordain'd the dust 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 be another, in this gen’ral" frame:
Just as absurd, to mourn the talks or pains,
The great directing MIND of all ordains.
All are but parts of one ftupendous whole,
Whose body Nature is, and God the soul;
That chang'd thro' all, and yet in all the same;
Great in the earth, as in th’æthereal frame; 270
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,
Spreads undivided, operates unspent;
Breaths in our soul, informs our mortal part, 275
As full, as perfect, in a hair as heart;
As full, as perfe&, in vile Man that mourns,
As the wrapt Seraph that adores and burns:
To him no high, no low, no great, no small;
He fills, he bounds, connects, and equals all. 280
X. Cease then, nor Order Imperfection name :
Our proper bliss depends on what we blame.
Know thy own point: This kind, this true degree
Of blindness, weakness, Heav'n bestows, on thee..
Submit. In this, or any other sphere,
Secure to bę as blest as thou canst hear :
Safe in the hand of one disposing Pow'r,
Or in the natal, or the mortal Hour...
All Nature is but Art unknown to thee;
All Chance, Direction, which thou canst not fee; 290
All Discord, Harmony, not understood;
All partial Evil, universal Good:
And, fpite of Pride, in erring Reason's spite,
One Truth is clear, “ Whatever is, is, RIGHT.,"
E P I S T L E II. Hon Comp NOW then thyself, presume not God to scan, Twixt 1. The proper study of Mankind is Man. For ever ithis ifthmus of a middle ftate, Remembrarkly wise, and rudely great: What thin
With too much knowledge for the Sceptic fide,
With too much weakness for the Stoic's prides,
He hangs between; in doubt to act, or rest;
In doubt to deem himself a God, or Beast
In doubt biş Mind or Body to prefer;
Born but to die, and reas'ning but to err;
Alike in ignorance, his reason such,
Whether he thinks too little, or too much;
Chaos of Thought and Passion, all eonfus?d;
Still by himfelt abus'd, or disabus'd;
Created half to rife, and half to fall;
Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all;
Sole judge of Truth, in endless Error hurl'd:
The glory, jest, and riddle of the world!
Go, wond'rous creature ! mount where Seience guides,
Go, measure earth, weigh air, and state the tides ; 20
Instruct the planets in what orbs to run,
Correct old Times and regulate the Sun;
Go, soar with Plato, to the empyreal fphere,
To the first good, first perfect, and first fair;
Or tread the mazy round his follow'rs trod;
And quitting sense call imitating God;
As Eastern priests in giddy circles runk,
And turn their heads to imitate the Sun..
Go, teach Eternal Wisdom how to rule-
Then drop into thyself, and be a fool!
Superior beings, when of late they saw
A mortal Man unfold all Nature's law,
Admir'd fuch wisdom in an earthly shape,
And shew'd a NEWTON as we fhéw an Ape.
Could he, whose rules the rapid Comet bind, 35
Describe or fix one movement of his mind?
Who saw its fires here rise, and there defcend,
· Explain. his own beginning, or his end?
Alas what wonder Man's fuperior part
Uncheck'd may rife, and climb from art to art;
But when his own great work is but begun,
What Reason weaves, by Paffion is undone.
Trace Science then, with Modesty thy guide
First strip off all her equipage of pride;