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Is the great chain, that draws all to agree, And drawn supports, upheld by God, or thee?
II. Presumptuous Man! the reason wouldst thou find, Why form’d so weak, so little, and so blind ? 36 First, if thou canst, the harder reason guess, Why form’d no weaker, blinder, and no less ? Alk of thy mother earth, why oaks are made Taller or stronger than the weeds they shade? 40 Or ask of yonder argent fields above, Why Jove's Satellites are less than Jove?
Of Systems possible, if ’tis confest That Wisdom infinite must form the best, Where all must full or not coherent be, 45 And all that rises, rise in due degree; Then, in the scale of reas'ning life, 'tis plain, There must be, somewhere, such a rank as Man: And all the question (wrangle e'er so long) Is only this, if God has plac'd him wrong? 50
NOTES. greater good in the natural | good in the moral, as appears world, he supposes they may from these sublime images in tend likewise to some greater the following lines,
If plagues or earthquakes break not Heav'n's defign,
Respecting Man, whatever wrong we call, May, must be right, as relative to all. In human works, tho' labour'd on with pain, A thousand movements scarce one purpose gain; In God's, one fingle can it's end produce; 55 Yet serves to second too some other use. So Man, who here seems principal alone, Perhaps acts second to some sphere unknown, Touches fome wheel, or verges to some goal ; 'Tis but a part we see, and not a whole. 60
When the proud fteed shall know whyMan 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 Ægypt's God: Then shall Man's pride and dulness comprehend 65 His actions', passions', being's, use and end ; Why doing, fuff'ring, check’d, impelld; and why This hour a slave, the next a deity.
Now wears a garland an Ægyptian God.
If to be perfect in a certain sphere,
Then say not Man's imperfect, Heav'n in fault; Say rather, Man's as perfect as he ought: 70 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 bleft to-day is as completely so,
75 As who began a thousand years ago.
III. Heav'n from all creatures hides the book of Fatę, All but the page prescrib’d, their present state : From brutes whať men, from men what fpirits know: Or who could suffer Being here below?
No great, no little ; 'tis as much decreed
Atoms or fyftems into ruin hurld,
Lo, the poor Indian! whose untutor'd mind Sees God in clouds, or hears him in the wind; 100 His soul, proud Science never taught to stray Far as the solar walk, or milky way; Yet simple Nature to his hope has giv'n, Behind the cloud-topt hill, an humbler heav'n;
In the first Fol. and Quarto, ý 93.
What bliss above he gives not thee to know,
NOTES, Ver. 97. -- from home,] of probation for another, By these words, it was the more suitable to the essence poet's purpose to teach, that of the soul, and to the free the present life is only a state exercise of it's qualities.
Some safer world in depth of woods embrac'd, 105
IV. Go, wiser thou! and, in thy scale of sense,
After x 108. in the first Ed.
But does he say the maker is not good,