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Ah ! if she lend not arms, as well as rules,
Th’ Eternal Art, educing good from ill,
Nor virtue, male or female, can we name,
Thus Nature gives us (let it check our pride)
200 The same ambition can destroy or save, And makes a patriot as it makes a knave.
IV. This light and darkness in our chaos join'd, What shall divide? The God within the mi
Extremes in nature equal ends produce, In man they join to some mysterious use; Though each by turns the other's bounds invade, As, in some well-wrought picture, light and shade, And oft so mix, the difference is too nice Where ends the virtue, or begins the vice.
210 Fools! who from hence into the notion fall, That vice or virtue there is none at all. If white and black blend, soften, and unite A thousand ways, is there no black or white ? Ask your own heart, and nothing is so plain; 'Tis to mistake them, costs the time and pain.
V. Vice is a monster of so frightful mien, As, to be ated, needs but to be seen : Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face, We first endure, then pity, then embrace. 220 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 farther 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.
230 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 despişe.
'Tis but by parts we follow good or ill :
Heaven forming each on other to depend, A master, or a servant, or a friend,
250 Bids each on other for assistance call, Till one man's weakness grows the strength of all. Wants, frailties, passions, closer still ally The common interest, or endear the tie. To these we owe true friendship, love sincere, Each home-felt joy that life inherits here; Yet from the same we learn, in its decline, Those joys, those loves, those int'rests to resign ; Taught half by reason, half by mere decay, To welcome death, and calmly pass away.
260 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 chemist in his golden views Supremely bless'd, the poet in his muse.
270 See some strange comfort every state attend, And pride bestow'd on all, a common friend, See some fit passion every age supply; Hope travels through, nor quits us when we die.
Behold the child, by nature's kindly law, Pleased with a rattle, tickled with a straw:
Some livelier play-thing gives his youth delight,
Meanwhile, opinion gilds with varying rays
290 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.
ARGUMENT OF EPISTLE III. of the Nature and State of Man with respect to Society. 1. The whole universe one system of society, ver. 7, &c. Nothing made wholly for itself, nor yet wholly for another, ver. 27. The happiness of animals mutual, ver. 49. II. Reason or instinct operate alike to the good of each individual, ver. 79. Reason or instinct operate also to society in all animals, ver. 109. III. How far society carried by instinct, ver. 115. How much farther by reason, ver. 128. IV. Of that which is called the state of nature, ver. 144. Reason instructed by instinct in the invention of arts, ver. 166, and in the forms of society, ver. 176. V. Origin of political societies, ver. 196. Origin of monarchy, ver. 207. Patriarchal government, ver. 212. VI. Origin of true religion and government, from the same principle of love, ver. 231, &c. Origin of superstition and tyranny, from the same principle of fear, ver. 237, &c. The influence of self-love operating to the social and public good, ver. 266. Restoration of true religion and government, on their first principle, ver. 285. Mixed government, ver. 288. Various forms of each, and the true end of all, ver. 300, &c. HERE then we rest; • The Universal cause Acts to one end, but acts by various laws.' In all the madness of superfluous health, The train of pride, the impudence of wealth, Let this great truth be present night and day; But most be present, if we preach or pray.
I. Look round our world; behold the chain of love Combining all below and all above.
See plastic Nature working to this end,
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 spread the flowery lawn: 30 Is it for thee the lark ascends and sings? Joy tunes his voice, joy elevates his wings. Is it for thee the linnet pours his throat ? Loves of his own and raptures swell the note. The bounding steed you pompously bestride, Shares with his lord the pleasure and the pride, Is thine alone the seed that strews the plain? The birds of heaven shall vindicate their grain. Thine the full harvest of the golden year? Part pays, and justly, the deserving steer :
40 The hog, that ploughs not, nor obeys thy call, Lives on the labours of this lord of all.
Know, Nature's children all divide her care;
Grant that the powerful still the weak control: