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No powers of body or of soul 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 given,
T' inspect a mite, not comprehend the heaven?
Or touch, if tremblingly alive all o'er,
To smart and agonize at every pore?
Or quick effluvia darting through the brain,
Die of a rose in aromatic pain ?
If nature thunder'd in his opening ears,
And stunn'd him with the music of the spheres,
How would he wish that Heaven had left him still
The whispering zephyr and the purling rill?
Who finds not Providence all good and wise,
Alike in what it gives and what denies ?

7. Far as creation’s ample range extends, The scale of sensual, mental powers

ascends. 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 And hound sagacious 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; In the nice bee what sense so subtly true, From poisonous herbs extracts the healing dew!

How instinct varies in the grovelling swine,
Compar'd, half-reasoning elephant, with thine!
'Twixt that and reason what a nice barrier!
For ever separate, yet for ever near!
Remembrance and reflection how allied !
What thin partitions sense from thought divide !
And middle natures how they long to join,
Yet never pass th' insuperable line!
Without this just gradation could they be
Subjected these to those, or all to thee?
The powers of all subdued by thee alone,
Is not thy reason all these powers in one? [earth,

8. See through this air, this ocean, and this
All matter quick, and bursting into birth!
Above, how high progressive life may go!
Around, how wide! how deep extend below!
Vast chain of being! which from God began;
Natures ethereal, human, angel, man,
Beast, bird, fish, insect, what'no eye can see,
No glass can reach; from infinite to thee;
From thee to nothing.-On superior powers
Were we to press, inferior might on ours ;
Or in the full creation leave a void,
Where, one step broken, the great scale's destroy’d:
From Nature's chain whatever link you strike,
Tenth, or ten thousandth, breaks the chain alike.

And if each system in gradation roll,
Alike essential to th' amazing whole,
The least confusion but in one, not all
That system only, but the whole must fall.

Let earth unbalanc'd from her orbit ily,
Planets and stars run lawless through the sky,
Let ruling angels from their spheres be hurld,
Being on being wreck’d, and world on world-
Heaven's whole foundations to their centre nod,
And nature tremble to the throne of God
All this dread order break-for whom ? for thee?
Vile worm!—0 madness! pride! impiety!

9. What if the foot, ordain'd the dust to tread,
Or hand to toil, aspired 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 general frame;
Just as absurd to mourn the tasks or pains
The great directing Mind of All ordains.

All are but parts of one stupendous whole, Whose body Nature is, and God the soul ; That chang'd through all, and yet in all the same, Great in the earth as in th' ethereal frame, Warms in the sun, refreshes in the breeze, Glows in the stars, and blossoms in the trees; Lives through all life, extends through all extent, Spreads undivided, operates unspent ; Breathes in our soul, informs our mortal part, As full, as perfect, in a hair as heart ; As full, as perfect, in vile man that mourns, As the rapt seraph that adores and burns: To him no high, no low, no great, no small; He fills, He bounds, connects, and equals all!

10. Cease, then, nor order imperfection name ; Our proper bliss depends on what we blame. Know thy own point: this kind, this due degree Of blindness, weakness, Heaven bestows on thee. Submit-In this or any other sphere, Secure to be as bless'd as thou canst bear; Safe in the hand of one disposing Power, Or in the natal or the mortal hour. All nature is but art unknown to thee; All chance direction, which thou canst not see; All discord, harmony not understood ; All partial evil, universal good : And spite of pride, in erring reason's spite, One truth is clear, Whatever is is right.

AN ESSAY ON MAN.

EPISTLE II.

OF THE NATURE AND STATE OF MAN WITH RESPECT

TO HIMSELF AS AN INDIVIDUAL.

ARGUMENT.

use.

1. THE business of man not to pry into God, but to study

himself. His middle nature; his powers and frailties. The limits of his capacity. 2. The two principles of man, self-love and reason, both necessary. Self-love the stronger, and why. Their end the same. 3. The passions, and their

The predominant passion, and its force. Its necessity, in directing men to different purposes. Its providential use, in fixing our principle, and ascertaining our virtue. Virtue and vice joined in our mixed nature; the limits near, yet the things separate and evident: what is the office of reason. 5. How odious vice in itself, and how we deceive ourselves into it. 6. That, however, the ends of Providence, and general good, are answered in our passions and imperfections. How usefully these are distributed to all orders of men: how useful they are to society; and to the individuals, in every state, and every age of life.

1. Know then thyself, presume not God to scan;
The proper study of mankind is man.
Plac'd on this isthmus of a middle-state,
A being darkly wise and rudely great;

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