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How inconsistent greater goods with these;
How sometimes life is risk'd, and always ease:
Think, and if still the things thy envy call,
Say; wouldst thou be the man to whom they fall?
To sigh for ribbands if thou art so silly,
Mark how they grace Lord Umbra, or Sir Billy.
Is yellow dirt the passion of thy life?
Look but on Gripus, or on Gripus' wife.
If parts allure thee, think how Bacon shin'd,
The wisest, brightest, meanest of mankind:
Or ravish'd with the whistling of a name,
See Cromwell, damn’d to everlasting fame!
If all, united, thy ambition call,
From ancient story learn to scorn them all.
There, in the rich, the honour'd, fam'd, and great,
See the false scale of happiness complete!

In hearts of kings, or arms of queens who lay,
How happy those to ruin, these betray!
Mark by what wretched steps their glory grows,
From dirt and sea-weed as proud Venice rose.
In each how guilt and greatness equal ran,

And all that rais'd the hero sunk the man:

Now Europe's laurels on their brows behold, But stain'd with blood, or ill-exchang’d for gold:

Then see them broke with toils, or sunk in ease,

Or infamous for plunder'd provinces.

Oh wealth ill-fated! which no act of fame

E’er taught to shine, or sanctisied from shame!
What greater bliss attends their close of life?
Some greedy minion, or imperious wife,
The trophy'd arches, story'd halls invade,
And haunt their slumbers in the pompous shade.

Alas! not dazzled with their noontide ray,

Compute the morn and ev’ning to the day;

The whole amount of that enormous fame,

A tale, that blends their glory with their shame!

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 merit constant pay receives, Is blest in what it takes, and what it gives; The joy unequalid, if its end it gain, And if it lose, attended with no pain: Without satiety, tho' e'er so blest, And but more happy 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 blest;

And where no wants, no wishes can remain,

Since but to wish more virtue, is to gain.

See the sole bliss heav'n could on all bestow!

Which who but feels can taste, but thinks can



poor with fortune, and with learning blind, The bad must miss, the good untaught will find; Slave to no sect, who takes no private road, But looks thro' nature up to nature's God; Pursues that chain which links th’immense design, Joins heav'n and earth, and mortal and divine;

Sees, that no being any bliss can know,

But touches some above, and some below;

Learns, from this union of the rising whole,
The first, last purpose of the human soul;
And knows where faith, law, morals, all began,
All end, in love of God, and love of man.
For him alone, Hope leads from goal to goal,
And opens still, and opens on his soul;
Till lengthen’d on to Faith, and unconfin'd,

the bliss that fills


all the mind!

He sees why nature plants in man alone
Hope of known bliss, and faith in bliss unknown:
(Nature, whose dictates to no other kind
Are giv’n in vain, but what they seek they find)
Wise is her present; she connects in this
His greatest virtue with his greatest bliss ;

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