صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

EPISTLE IV. :

O

5

[ocr errors]

HAPPINESS! our Being's End and Aim!

Good, Pleasure, Ease, Content! whate'er thy Name: That Something still, which prompts th' eternal Sigh, For which we bear to live, nor fear to die ; Which still so near us, yet beyond us lies, O'erlook'd, seen double, by the Fool, ----and Wife, Plant of Celestial Seed ! if dropt below, Say, in what mortal Soil thou deign'st to grow? Fair-opening to some Courts propitious shine, Or deep with Diamonds in the flaming Mine, Twin'd with the Wreaths Parnaffian Laurels yeild, Or reap'd in Iron Harvests of the Field ? Where grows---where grows it not?---If vain our Toil, We ought to blame the Culture, not the Soil : Fix'd to no Spot is Happiness fincere ;

15 'Tis no where to be found, or ev'ry where; 'Tis never to be bought, but always free, And fled from Monarchs, Lelius dwells with thee. Ak from the Learn'd the Way, the Learn'd are blind, This bids to serve, and that to shun Mankind :

20 Some place the Bliss in Action, fome in Ease, Those call it Pleasure, and Contentment these : Who thus define it, say they more or less Than this, that Happiness is Happiness? One grants his Pleasure is but Reft from Pain; 25 One doubts of All, one owns ev'n Virtue vain.

Take Nature's Path, and mad Opinions leave, All States can reach it, and all Heads conceive ; Obvious her Goods, in no Extreme they dwell, There needs but thinking right, and meaning well! 30 And mourn our various Portions as we please, Equal is common Sense, and common Ease.

Remember Man! “ the universal Cause " Aēts not by partial, but by gen'ral Laws;". And makes what Happiness we justly call,

35 Subfift, not in the good of one, but all.

There's

D 2

There's not a Blessing Individuals find,
But some way leans, and hearkens to the Kind.
No Bandit fierce, no Tyrant mad with Pride,
No cavern'd Hermit refts Self-fatisfy'd;

40
Who most to fhun, or hate Mankind pretend,
Seek an Admirer, or would fix a Friend.
Abstract what others feel, what others think,
All Pleasureș ficken, and all Glories fink;
Each has his Share, and who would more obtain

45 Shall find the pleasure pays not half the Pain.

Order is Heav'ns first Law; and this confessid,
Some are, and must be, greater than the reft ;
More rich, more wife ; but who infers from hence,
That such are happier, shocks all common Sense.

50
Heav'n to Mankind impartial we confefs,
If all are equal in their Happiness :
But mutual Wants this Happiness increase;
All Nature's Difference keeps all Nature's Peace.
Condition, Circumstance, is not the Thing:
Bliss is the fame, in Subject, or in King;
In who obtain Defence, or who defend ;
In him who is, or him who finds a Friend.
Heav'n breathes thro' every Member of the Whole,
One common Blessing, as one common Soul:
But Fortune's Gifts, if each alike poffessid,
And each were equal, must not all conteft?
If then to all Men Happiness was meant,
God in Externals could not place Content.

Fortune her Gifts may variously dispose,
And these be call'd unhappy, happy those ;
But Heaven's just Balance equal will appear,
While those are plac'd in Hope, and these in Fear :
Not present Good or Ill, the Joy or Curse,
But future Views, of Better, or of Worse. 70

Oh, Sons of Earth! attempt ye ftill to rise
By Mountains pil'd on Mountains, to the Skies?
Heav'n still with Laughter the vain Toil furveys,
And buries Madmen in the Heaps they raise.
Know, all the Good that Individuals find,

75
Or God and Nature meant to meer Mankind,
Reason's whole Pleafures, all the Joys of Sense,
Lie in three Words, Health, Peace, and Competence.

But

[ocr errors]

65

[ocr errors]

But Health consists with Temperance alone,
And Peace, fair Virtue ! Peace is all thy own; 80
The Gifts of Fortune Good or bad may gain ;
But these less taste them, as they worse obtain.
Say, in Pursuit of Profit or Delight,
Who risque the moft, that take wrong Means, or right?
Of Vice or Virtue, whether bleft or curst,

85
Which meets Contempt, or which Compassion first?
Count all th' Abvantage prosperous Vice attains,
Tis but what Virtue Aies from, and disdains
And

grant the Bad What Happiness they would, One they must want, which is, to pass for Good. 90

Oh, blind to Truth, and God's whole Scheme below! Who fancy Bliss to Vice, to Virtue Woe: Who sees, and follows that great Scheme the best, Best knows his Blessing, and will most be bleft. But Fools the Good alone unhappy call,

95 For Ills are Accidents that chance to All. See Falkland falls, the Virtuous and the Just! See God-like Turenne prostrate on the Dust ! See Sidney bleeds amid the martial Strife! Was this their Virtue, or Contempt of Life?

100 Say, was it Virtue, more tho' Heav'n ne'er gave, Lamented DIGBY! funk thee to the Grave?

Tell me, if Virtue made the Son expire,
Why, full of Days and Honour, lives the Sire ?
Why drew Marseilles good Bishop purer Breath, 105
When Nature ficken'd, and each Gale was Death?
Or why so long (in Life if long can be).
Lent Heav'n à Parent to the Poor and Me?

What makes aH physical or moral Ill ?
There deviates Nature, and here wanders Will. 110
God sends not Ill, 'tis Nature lets it fall,
Or Chance elcape, and Man improves it all.
We just as wisely might of Heav'n complain,
That righteous Abel was destroy'd by Cain,
As that the virtuous Son is ill at Ease,

119 When his lewd Father gave the dire Disease. Think we, like some weak Prince, th' eternal Cause, Prone for his Fav'rites to reverse his Laws ?

Shall burning Ætna, if a Sage requires, Forget to thunder, and recal her Fires ?

120 D3

Од

[ocr errors]

On Air or Sea new Motions be impress’d,
O blameless Bethel! to relieve thy Breaft?
When

the loose Mountain trembles from on high,
Shall Gravitation cease, if you go by?
Or some old Temple nodding to it's Fall,

#25 For Chartres Head reserve the hanging Wall?

But ftill this World (so fitted for the Knave)
Contents us not. A better shall we have?
A Kingdom of the Just then let it be;
Bat firit confider how those Just agree.

130
The Good muft merit God's peculiar Care;
But who, but God, can tell us who they are ?
One thinks on Calvin God's own Spirit fell,
Another deems him Inftrument of Hell;
If Calvin feel Heav'ns Blessing, or it's Rod, 135
This cries there is, and that, there is no God.
What shocks one Part, will edify the rest,
Nor with one System can they all be bleft.
Give each a Syftem, all must be at Strife ;
What different Systems for a Man and Wife! 140
The very best will variously incline,
And what rewards your Virtue punish mine.
" Whatever is, is RIGHT.

."-.--This World 'tis true,
Was made for Calar ;---bur for Titus too:
And whịch more blejt? who chain'd his Country, say,
Or he, whofe Virtne figh'd to lose a Day? 146

“ But sometimes Virtue starves, while Vice is fed.”
What then? is the Reward of Virtue, Bread ?
That, Vice may merit ? 'tis the Price of Toil:
The Knave deserves it, when he tills the Soil ;

150
The Knave deserves it, when he tempts the Main,
Where Madness fights, for Tyrants, or for Gain.
The good Man may be weak, be indolent,
Nor is his Claim to Plenty, but Content.
But grant him Riches, your Demand is o'er ;
* No----Shall the Good want Health, the Good want

Pow'r ???
And Health and Pow'r, and ev'ry earthly Thing:
“ Why bounded Pow'r? why private? why no King"*
Nay, why external for internal

giv'n,
Why is not Man a God, and Earth a Heav'n? 160

Whe

165

[ocr errors]

170

175

Who ask and reason thus, will scarce conceive
God gives enough, while he has more to give :
Immense the Pow'r, immense were the Demand;
Say, at what Part of Nature will they stand ?

What nothing early gives, or can destroy,
The Soul's

calm Sun-shine, and the Heart-felt Joy,
Is Virtues Prize: A better would you fix,
And give Humility a Coach and Six į
Justice a Conq'rors Sword, or Truth a Gown,
Or publick Spirit, its great Cure, a Crown;
Rewards that either would to Virtue bring
No Joy, or be destructive of the Thing.
How oft by these at Sixty are undone,
The Virtues of a Saint at Twenty-one!

For Riches, can they give but to the Juft,
His own Contentment, or another's Truft?
Judges and Senates have been bought for Gold,
Efteem and Love were never to be fold.
O Fool! to think God hates the worthy Mind,
The Lover, and the Love of Human-kind, 180
Whose Life is healthful, and whose Conscience clear;
Because he wants a thousand Pounds a Year!

Honour and Shame from no Condition rise;
At well your Part, there all the Honour lies.
Fortune in Meny has some small Diff'rence made, 185
One flaunts in Rags, one futters in Brocade :
The Cobler apron'd, and the Parson gown'd,
The Friar hooded, and the Monarch crown'd.
" What differ more (you cry) than Crown and Cowl?"
I'll tell you, Friend ; a wise. Man and a Fool. 190
You'll find, if once the Monarch acts the Monk,
Or Courtier like, the Person will be drunk :
Worth makes the Man, and Want of it the Fellow;
The reft, is all but Leather, or Prunella.

Stuck o'er with Titles, and hung round with Strings,
That thou may'ft be, by Kings, or Whores of Kings. 196
Thy boasted Blood, a thousand Years or so,
May from Lucretia to Lucretia flow :
But by your Father's Worth, if yours you rate,
Count

me those only who are good and great.
Go! if your ancient, but ignoble Blood,
Has crept thro' Scoundrels ever since the Flood;

GO

200

« السابقةمتابعة »