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Teach us to mourn our nature, not to mend,
Yes, nature's road must ever be preferr’d;
Th’ eternal art educing good from ill, Grafts on this passion our best principle : 'Tis thus the mercury of man is fix'd, Strong grows the virtue with his nature mix’d, The dross cements what else were too refind, And in one interest body acts with mind.
As fruits ungrateful to the planter's care, On savage stocks inserted, learn to bear,
The surest virtues thus from passions shoot,
Thus nature gives us (let it check our pride)
4. This light and darkness in our chaos join'd, What shall divide ?-the God within the mind.
Extremes in nature equal ends produce ;
Fools! who from hence into the notion fall
If white and black blend, soften, and unite
your own heart, and nothing is so plain ; 'Tis to mistake them costs the time and pain.
5. Vice is a monster of so frightful mien, As to be hated needs but to be seen; Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face, We first endure, then pity, then embrace. But where th' extreme of vice was ne'er agreed : Ask where's the north ?-at York 'tis on the Tweed; in Scotland at the Orcades; and there At Greenland, Zembla, or the Lord knows where. No creature owns it in the first degree, But thinks his neighbour further gone than he; E’en those who dwell beneath its very zone, Or never feel the rage or never own; What happier natures shrink at with affright, The hard inhabitant contends is right.
Virtuous and vicious every man must be, Few in th' extreme, but all in the degree: The
rogue and fool by fits is fair and wise, And e'en the best by fits what they despise. 'Tis but by parts we follow good or ill ; For vice or virtue, self directs it still ; Each individual seeks a several goal ; But Heaven's great view is one, and that the whole. That counterworks each folly and caprice; That disappoints th' effect of every vice; That happy frailties to all ranks applied, Shame to the virgin, to the matron pride,
Fear to the statesman, rashness to the chief,
Heaven forming each on other to depend,
grows the strength of all
Whate'er the passion, knowledge, fame, or pelf, Not one will change his neighbour with himself. The learn'd is happy nature to explore, The fool is happy that he knows no more ; The rich is happy in the plenty given, The poor contents him with the care of Heaven. See the blind beggar dance, the cripple sing, The sot a hero, lunatic a king, The starving chymist in his golden views Supremely bless'd, the poet in his muse.
See some strange comfort every state attend, And pride bestow'd on all, a common friend;
See some fit passion every age supply;
Behold the child, by Nature's kindly law,
Meanwhile opinion gilds with varying rays Those painted clouds that beautify our days, Each want of happiness by hope supplied, And each vacuity of sense by pride. These build as fast as knowledge can destroy; In folly's cup still laughs the bubble joy; One prospect lost, another still we gain, And not a vanity is given in vain : E’en mean self-love becomes, by force divine, The scale to measure others' wants by thine. See! and confess one comfort still must rise ; 'Tis this,—Though man's a fool, yet God is wise.