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Reason itself but gives it edge and pow'r;
We, wretched subjects though to lawful sway, In this weak queen, some fav’rite still obey;
Ah! if she lend not arms, as well as rules,
What can she more than tell us we are fools?
Teach us to mourn our nature, not to mend,
A sharp accuser, but a helpless friend!
The doctor fancies he has driv’n them out.
Yes, nature's road must ever be preferr'd; Reason is here no guide, but still a guard;
'Tis hers to rectify, not overthrow,
All, all alike, find reason on their side.
Th’ Eternal Art, educing good from ill, Grafts on this passion our best principle: 'Tis thus the mercury of man is fix’d, Strong grows the virtue with his nature mix’d;
The dross cements what else were too refin'd,
And in one int'rest body acts with mind.
As fruits, ungrateful to the planter's care, On savage stocks inserted learn to bear; The surest virtues thus from passions shoot, Wild nature's vigour working at the root.
of wit and honesty appear
From spleen, from obstinacy, hate, or fear!
Is gentle love, and charms all womankind;
Is emulation in the learn'd or brave;
Nor virtue, male or female, can we name,
Thus nature gives us (let it check our pride) The virtue nearest to our vice ally'd:
Reason the bias turns to good from ill,
In Decius charms, in Curtius is divine:
The same ambition can destroy or save,
And makes a patriot as it makes a knave.
This light and darkness in our chaos join'd, What shall divider the god within the mind,
Extremes in nature equal ends produce, In man they join to some mysterious use: Tho' each by turns the other's bounds invade, As, in some well-wrought picture light and shade; And oft so mix, the diffạrence is too nice
Where ends the virtue, or begins the vice,
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.
Vice is a monster of so frightful mien,
As, to be hated, needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace:
In Scotland at the Orcades; and there,
At Greenland, Zembla, or the Lord knows where.
No creature owns it in the first degree,