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1. Say first, of God above, or man below, What can we reason, but from what we know?

Of man, what see we but his station here,

From which to reason, or to which refer?

Thro' worlds unnumber'd tho' the God be known,

'Tis ours to trace him only in our own.
He, who through vast immensity can pierce,
See worlds on worlds compose one universe,
Observe how system into system runs,
What other planets circle other suns,
What varied being peoples every star,
May tell why heav'n has made us as we are.
But of this frame, the bearings, and the ties,
The strong connexions, nice dependencies,
Gradations just, has thy pervading soul
Look'd through? or can a part contain the whole?

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Is the great chain, that draws all to agree, And drawn supports, upheld by God or thee?

2. Presumptuous man! the reason wouldst thou

find,

Why form’d so weak, so little, and so blind?

First, if thou canst, the harder reason guess,

Why form’d no weaker, blinder, and no less.
Ask of thy mother earth, why oaks are made
Taller or stronger than the weeds they shade?
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,

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?

Respecting man, whatever wrong we call,
May, must be right, as relative to all.
In human works, though labour'd on with pain,
A thousand movements scarce one.purpose gain;
In God's, one single can its end produce;

Yet serves to second too some other use,

So man, who here seems principal alone, Perhaps acts second to some sphere unknown,

Touches some wheel, or verges to some goal;

"Tis but a part we see, and not a whole.

When the proud steed shall know why man

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 Egypt's god :
Then shall man's pride and dulness comprehend
His action’s, passion's, being's use and end;
Why doing, sufføring, check’d, impell’d; and why
This hour a slave, the next a deity.

Then say not man's imperfect, heav'n in fault;
Say rather, man's as perfect as he ought:
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 blest to-day, is as completely so
As who began a thousand years ago.

3. Heav'n from all creatures hides the book of

fate,

All but the page prescribed, their present state: From brutes what men, from men what spirits

know:

Or who could suffer being here below?

The lamb thy riot dooms to bleed to-day,
Had he thy reason, would he skip and play?
Pleas’d to the last, he crops the flow’ry food,
And licks the hand just rais'd to shed his blood.
Oh blindness to the future! kindly giv'n,
That each may fill the circle mark'd by heav'n:
Who sees with equal eye, as God of all,
A hero perish, or a sparrow fall,

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