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Atoms or systems into ruin hurld,
And now a bubble burst, and now a world.
Hope humbly then; with trembling pinions soar;
Wait the great teacher, death; and God adore.
What future bliss, he gives not thee to know,
But gives that hope to be thy blessing now.
Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
Man never is, but always to be blest :
The soul, uneasy, and confin’d from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.
Lo, the poor Indian! whose untutor’d mind
Sees God in clouds, and hears him in the wind;
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;
Some safer wcrld, in depth of woods embrac’d,
Some happier island in the watry waste,
Where slaves once more their native land behold,
No fiends torment, no Christians thirst for gold.
To be, contents his natural desire,
He asks no angel's wing, no seraph's fire;
But thinks, admitted to that equal sky,
His faithful dog shall bear him company.
4. Go, wiser thou! and, in thy scale of sense,
Weigh thy opinion against Providence;
Call imperfection what thou fancy’st such,
Say, here he gives too little, there too much;
Destroy all creatures for thy sport or gust,
cry, if man's unhappy, God's unjust; If man alone ingross not heav'n's high care, Alone made perfect here, immortal there :
Snatch from his hand the balance and the rod,
Re-judge his justice, be the God of God.
In pride, in reas'ning pride, our error lies;
All quit their sphere, and rush into the skies.
Pride still is aiming at the blest abodes,
Men would be angels, angels would be Gods.
Aspiring to be Gods, if angels fell,
Aspiring to be angels, men rebel ;
And who but wishes to invert the laws
Of Order, sins against th' Eternal Cause.
5. Ask for what end the heav'nly bodies shine? Earth for whose use? Pride answers,“ Tis for mine. “ For me kind Nature wakes her genial pow'r, “ Suckles each herb, and spreads out ev'ry flow'r;
“ Annual for me, the grape, the rose renew
“ The juice nectareous and the balmy dew;
“For me, the mine a thousand treasures brings;
“ For me, health gushes from a thousand springs;
“ Seas roll to waft me, suns to light me rise;
My footstool earth, my canopy the skies.”
But errs not nature from this gracious end,
From burning suns when livid deaths descend ?
When earthquakes swallow, or when tempests
Towns to one grave, whole nations to the deep?
No ('tis reply'd) the first Almighty Cause
“ Acts not by partial, but by gen’ral laws;
Th’exceptions few; some change since all began,
" And what created perfect?”---Why then man?
If the great end be human happiness,
Then nature deviates; and can man do less?
As much that end a constant course requires
Of show’rs and sunshine, as of man's desires :
As much eternal springs and cloudless skies,
As men for evertemp'rate, calm, and wise.
If plagues or earthquakes break not heav'n's design,
Why then a Borgia, or a Catiline ?
Who knows but he, whose hand the lightning
Who heaves old Ocean, and who wings the storms,
Pours fierce ambition in a Cæsar's mind,
Orturns young Ammon loose to scourge mankind?
From pride, from pride our very reas'ning springs;
Account for moral, as for nat'ral things:
Why charge we heav’n in those, in these acquit?
In both, to reason right, is to submit,