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The whole Universe one System of Society.
Look round our World; behold the chain of Love .
Combining all below and all above.
See plastic Nature working to this end,
The single atoms each to other tend,
Attract, attracted to, the next in place
Form'd and impell'd its neighbour to embrace.
See matter next, with various life endu'd,
Press to one centre still, the gen'ral Good.
See dying vegetables life sustain,
See life dissolving vegetate again;
All forms that perish other forms supply,
(By turns we catch the vital breath, and die)
Like bubbles on the sea of Matter borne,
They rise, they break, and to that 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;
All serv'd, all serving: nothing stands alone;
The chain holds on, and where it ends, unknown.
Has God, thou fool! work'd solely for thy good,
Know, Nature's children shall divide her care;
, The State of Nature.
Nor think, in Nature's State they blindly trod;
The state of Nature was the reign of God:
Self-love and Social at her birth began,
Union the bond of all things, and of man.
Pride then was not; nor Arts, that Pride to aid;
Man walk'd with beast, joint tenant of the shade;
The same his table, and the same his bed;
No murder cloath'd him, and no murder fed.
In the same temple, the resounding wood,
All vocal beings hymn'd their equal God:
The shrine with gore unstain'd, with gold undrest,
Unbrib'd, unbloody, stood the blameless priest:
Heaven's Attribute was Universal Care,
And man's prerogative, to rule, but spare.
Ah! how unlike the man of times to come!
Of half that live, the butcher and the tomb 5
Who, foe to Nature, hears the gen'ral groan,
Murders their species, and betrays his own.
But just disease to luxury succeeds,
And ev'ry death its own avenger breeds;
The fury-passions from that blood began,
And turn'd on Man a fiercer savage, Man.
Reason instructed by Instinct in the Invention of Arts, and in Forms C/society.
See him from Nature rising slow to Art!
To copy Instinct then was Reason's part;
Thus then to Man the voice of Nature spake—
"Go, from the Creatures thy instructions take:
"Learn from the birds what food the thickets yield;
"Learn from the beasts the physic of the held:
"Thy arts of building from the bee receive;
"Learn of '.he mole to plow, the worm to weave;
«• Learn of the little Nautilus to sail,
"Spread the thin oar, and catch the driving gale.
«' Here too all forms of social union find;
'' And hence let Reason, late, instruct Mankind '•
"Here subterranean works and cities see;
The Gifts of Fortune Unequally Distributed;
Happiness does not consist in the superabundance of these,
BUT IN HEALTH, PEACE, AND COMPETENCE.]
Order is Heaven's first law; and this confest,
Heaven to Mankind impartial we confess,
If all are equal in their Happiness: v
But mutual wants this Happiness increase;
All Nature's difference keeps all Nature's peace.
Condition, circumstance is not the thing;
Bliss is the same 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' ev'ry member of the whole
One common blessing, as one common soul.
But Fortune's gifts if each alike possest,
And each were equal, must not all contest?
If then to all men Happiness was meant, God in Externals could not place Content.
Fortune her gifts may variously dispose,
Oh sons of earth! attempt ye still to rise,
Know, all the good that individuals find,
Honour consists in Acting our Part well.
Honour and shame from no Condition rise:
Act well your part, there all the honour lies.
Fortune in Men has some small difference made,
One flaunts in rags, one flutters 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 teH you, friend! a wise man and a fool.
You'll find, if once the monarch acts the monk,
Or, cobler-like, the parson will be drank,
Worth makes the man, and want of it the fellow;
The rest is all but leather and prunella.
Virtue the sole Foundation of Happiness.,
Know then this truth (enough for Man to know).'
"Virtue alone is happiness below."
The only point where human bliss stands still,
And tastes the good without.the fall to ill;
Where only Met it constant pay receives,
Is blest in what it takes, and what it giv.es y
The joy unequall'd, if its end it gain,
And if it lose, attended with no pain:
Without satiety, tho' e'er so bless'd,
And but more relish'd as the more distress'd:
The broadest mirth, unfeeling Folly wears,
Less pleasing far than Virtue's very tears:
Good, from each object, from each place acquir'd,
For ever exercis'd, yet never tir'd;
Never elated, while one man's oppress'd;
Never dejected, while another's bless'd;
And where no wants, no wishes cau remain,"
Since but to wish more Virtue, is to gain.
See the sole bliss Heav'n could on all bestow!