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And all the question (wrangle e'er so long)
Respecting man, whatever wrong we call,
restrains His fiery course, or drives him o'er the plains ; When the dull ox, why now he breaks the clod, Is now a victim, and now Egypt's god; Then shall man's pride and dulness comprehend His actions', passions', being's, use and end; Why doing, suffering, check'd, impelld; and why This hour a slave, the next a deity. Then
say not man's imperfect, Heaven in fault; Say rather man's as perfect as he ought; His knowledge measur'd to his state and place, His time a moment, and a point his space. If to be perfect in a certain sphere, What matter soon or late, or here or there? The blest to-day is as completely so As who began a thousand years ago.
3. Heaven from all creatures hides the book
of fate, All but the page prescrib'd, their present state; From brutes what men, from men what spirits Or who could suffer being here below ? [know; 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 flowery food, And licks the hand just rais’d to shed his blood. O blindness to the future ! kindly given, That each may fill the circle mark’d by heaven ; 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 soar; 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. Hope springs eternal in the human breast: Man never is, but always to be, blest. The soul, uneasy and confind from home, Rests and expatiates in a life to come. Lo, the
Indian ! whose untutor'd mind Sees God in clouds, or hears him in the wind; His soul proud science never taught to stray Far as the solar walk or milky way ; Yet simple nature to his hope has given, Behind the cloud topp'd hill, an humbler heaven;
Some safer world in depth of woods embrac'd,
4. Go, wiser thou! and in thy scale of sense
5. Ask for what end the heavenly bodies shine, Earth for whose use, – Pride answers, “'Tis for
mine: For me kind Nature wakes her genial power,
Suckles each herb, and spreads out every flower;
But errs not Nature from this gracious end,
sweep Towns to one grave, whole nations to the deep? “No, ('tis replied) the first Almighty Cause Acts not by partial but by general laws; Th’exceptions few; some change since all began; And what created perfect?”- Why then man? If the great end be human happiness, Then Nature deviates; and can man do less ? As much that end a constant course requires Of showers and sunshine, as of man's desires; As much eternal springs and cloudless skies, As men for ever temperate, calm, and wise. If plagues or earthquakes break not Heaven's
design, Why then a Borgia or a Catiline? Who knows but He, whose hand the lightning
forms, Who heaves old ocean, and who wings the storms, Pours fierce ambition in a Cæsar's mind, Or turns young Ammon loose to scourge mankind ?
From pride, from pride, our very reasoning springs
Better for us, perhaps, it might appear,
6. What would this man? Now upward will he And little less than angel, would be more ; Now looking downwards, just 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 use, had he the powers of all ? Nature to these without profusion kind, The proper organs, proper powers assign'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 bless'd with all ?
The bliss of man could pride that blessing find) Is not to act or think beyond mankind;