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See, dying Vegetables Life endu'd,
15 See, Life dissolving vegetate again.All Forms that perish other Forms supply, By jurns they catch thr, vital Breath, and die ; Like Bubbles on the Sea of Matter born, They rise, they break, and to the Sea return. Nothing is foreign ; Parts relate to Whole: One all-extending, all-preserving Soul Connects each Being, greatest with the least ; Made Beast in Aid of Man, and Man of Beast : Each serv'd and serving ; nothing stands alone ; 25 The Chain holds on, and where it ends unknown.
Has God, thou Fool! work'd solely for thy Good, Thy Joy, thy Pastime, thy Attire, thy Food? Who for thy Table feeds the wanton Fawn, For him as kindly spreads the flow'ry Lawn. It is for thee the Lark ascends and Sings ; Joy tunes his Voice, Joy elevates his Wings, It is for Thee the Linnet pours his Throat; Loves of his own, and Raptures swell the Note. The bounding Steed, you pompously beftride, 35 Shares with his Lord the Pleasure and the Pride. Is thine alone the Seed that strows the Plain? The Birds of Heav'n shall vindicate their Grain. Thine the full Harvest of the golden Year? Part pays, and juftly, the deserving Steer.
40 The Hog, that plows not, nor obeys thy Call, Lives on the Labours of this Lord of All.
Know, Nature's Children all divide her Care ;
As far as Goose could judge, he reason'd right,
50 And just as short of Reason, Man will fall, Who thinks All made for One, not One for All.
Grant, that the Pow'rful still the Weak controul, Be Man the Wit and Tyrant of the Whole. Nature that Tyrant checks; he only knows
55 And feels another Creature's Wants and Woes.
Say, will the Faulcon, stooping from above,
To each unthinking Being Heav'n, a Friend, 75
Whether with Reafon, or with Inftinet bleft,
Who taught the Nations of the Field and Wood, To Thun their Poison, and to chuse their Food ? 100 Prescient, the Tides or Tempests to withstand, Build on the Wave, or arch beneath the Sand ? Who made the Spider Parallels design, Sure as De Moivre, without Rule or Line ? Who bid the Stork, Columbus-like, explore 105 Heav'ns not his own, and Worlds unknown before ? Who calls the Council, states the certain Day, Who forms the Phalanx, and who points the Way?
GOD, in the Nature of each Being, founds Its proper Bliss, and sets its proper Bounds: 110 But as he fram'd a Whole, the Whole to bless, On mutual Ifants built mutual Happiness : So from the first, Eternal Order ran, And Creature link'd to Creature, Man to Man. Whate'er of Life all-quick’ning Æther keeps,
115 Or breathes through Air, or shoots beneath the Deeps, Or pours profuse on Earth ; one Nature feeds The vital Flame, and swells the genial Seeds. Not Man alone, but all that roam the Wood, Or wing the Sky, or roll along the Flood, Each loves Itself, but not itself alone, Each Sex desires alike, till two are one : Nor ends the Pleasure with the fierce Embrace ; All love themselves, a third Time in their Race. The Beast, the Bird, their common Charge attend, 125 The Mothers Nurse it, and the Sires defend ; The Young dismiss'd, to wander Earth or Air, There stops the Instinct, and there ends the Care ; The Link dissolves, each seek a fresh Embrace, Another Love succeeds, another Race.
130 A longer Care Man's helpless Kind demands; That longer Care contracts more lasting Bands : Reflection, Reafon, still the Ties improve, At once extend the Int'rest, and the Love : With Choice we fix, with Sympathy we burn, 145 Each Virtue in each Paffion takes its Turn; And still new Needs, new Helps, new Habits rise, That graft Benevolence on Charities, From private Sparkles raise the gen'ral Flame, And bid Self-Love, and Social be the same: 140
No Ill could fear in God; and understood
Who first taught Souls enslav'd, and Realms undone,
250 She taught the Weak to bend, the proud to pray To Pow'r unseen, and mightier far than they. She, from the rending Earth, and bursting Skies, Saw Gods descend, and Fiends infernal rise: Here fix'd the dreadful, there the blest Abodes ; 255 Fear made her Devils, and weak Hope her Gods : Gods partial, changeful, passionate, unjust, Whose Attributes were Rage, Revenge, or Luft : Such as the Souls of Cowards might conceive, And form'd like Tyrants, Tyrants would believe. 250 Zeal then, not Charity, became the Guide, And Hell was built on Spite, and Heasu’n on Pride; Then sacred seem'd th' Ætherial Vault no more ; Altars grew Marble then, and reek'd with Gore : Then first the Flamın tasted living Food ;
265 Next his grim Idol smeard with human Blood; With Heav'ns own Thunders shook the World below, And play'd the God an Engine on his Foe. So
drives Self-Love, thro' Juft, and thro' Unjuft, To One Man's Pow'r, Ambition, Lucre, Luft; 270 The fame Self-Love, in All, becomes the Cause Of what restrains him, Government and Laws. For what one likes, if others like as well, What serves one Will, when many Wills rebel? How shall we keep what, sleeping or awake, 275 A Weaker may surprize, a Stronger take? D
His Safety must his Liberty restrain ;
'Twas then, the studious Head, or gen'rous Mind,
285 The Faith and Moral, Nature gave before ; Re-lumn'd her ancient Light, nor kindled new ; If not God's Image, yet his Shadow drew; Taught Pow'rs due Use to People and to Kings, Taught, not to lack, nor strain its tender Strings; 290 The
Less, and Greater, fet fo justly true ; That touching one, muft ftrike the other too, And jarring Int’rests of themselves create Th'according Music of a well-mix'd State. Sach is the WORLD's great Harmony, that springs' 295 From Union, Order, full Consent of Things! Where Small and Great, where Weak and Mighty, made To serve, not suffer, strengthen, not invade, More pow'rful each, as needful to the rest, And in Proportion, as it blesses, bleft ;
300 Draw to one Point, and to one Centre bring Beaft, Man, or Angel, Servant, Lord, or King. For Forms of Government let Fools contest; Whate'er is best administer'd, is beft: For Modes of Faith let graceless Zealots fight ; 305 His can't be wrong whose Life is in the right. All must be false that thwart this One great End, And all of God, that bless Mankind, or mend.
Man, like the gen'rous Vine, supported lives; The Strength he gains is from th' Embrace he gives. 310 On their own Axis as the Planets run, Yet make at once their Circle round the Sun : So two confiftent Motions a& the Soul, And one regards Itself, and one the Whole. Thus God and Nature link'd the gen'ral Frame, 315 And bade Self-Love and Social be the same.