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How inconsistent greater goods with these;
In hearts of kings, or arms of queens who lay,
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!
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,
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,
all the mind!
He sees why nature plants in man alone