« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
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 flowery food,
And licks the hand just rais'd to shed his blood.
Oh! blindness to the future! kindly givin,
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,
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, or 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 world in depth of woods enbrac'd,
Some happier island in the watery waste,
Where slaves once more their native land behold,
No fiend torment, no Christians thirst for gold.
To be content's 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,
Yet cry, if man's uuhappy, God's unjust;
I man alone engross not Heav'n's high care,
Alone made perfect here, immortal there;
Spatch from his hand the balance and the rod,
Rejudge his justice, be the god of God.
In pride, in reasoning pride, our error lies;
All quit their sphere, and rush into the skies.
Pride still is aiming at the bless'd 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 the Eternal cause.
3. Ask for what end the heavenly bodies shine, Earth for whose use?-Pride answers, “ 'Tis for mine: " For me kind Nature wakes her genial power,
Suckles each herb, and spreads out every flower; " 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 suas when livid deaths descend, When earthquakes swallow, or when tempests sweep Towns to one grave, whole nations to the deep ? “ No," 'tis replied; “ the first Almighty Cause " Acts not by partial but by general laws; " The'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 showers and sunshine, as of man's desires ; As much eternal springs and cloudless skies, As men for ever temperate, 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 forms,
Who heaves old ocean, and who wings the storms,
Pours fierce ambition in a Cæsar's mind,
Or turns young Ammon loose to scourge mankind?
From pride, from pride, our very reasoning springs;
Account for moral as for natural things :
Why charge we Heav'n in those, in these acquit?
In both to reason right is to submit.
Better for us, perhaps, it might appear,
Were there all harmony, all virtue here ;
That never air or ocean felt the wind,
That never passion discompos'd the mind;
But all subsists by elemental strife ;
And passions are the elements of life.
The general order since the whole began,
Is kept in nature, and is kept in man.
6. What would this man? Now upward will he soar,
And little less than angel, would be more ;
Now looking downwards, just as griev'd appears
To want the strength of hulls, the fur of bears.
Made for his use all creatures if he call,
Say what their use had he the pow'rs of all?
Nature to these without profusion kind,
The proper organs, proper pow'rs assign'd;
Each seeming want compensated of course,
Here with degrees of swiftness, there of force;
All in exact proportion to the state ;
Nothing to add, and nothing to abate.
Each beast, each insect, happy in its own :
Is Heav'n unkind to man, avd man alone?
Shall he alone, whom rational we call,
Be pleas'd with nothing if not bless'd with all ?
The bliss of man (could pride that blessing find) Is not to act or think beyond mankind; No powers of body or of soul to share, But what his nature and his state can bear. Why has pot man a microscopic eye? For this plain reason, man is not a fly.
Say what the use were finer optics giv'n,
To' inspect a mite, not comprehend the heav'n?
Or touch, if tremblingly alive all o'er,
To smart and agonize at every pore?
Or, quick effluvia darting through the brain,
Die of a rose in aromatic pain ?
If nature thunder'd in his opening ears,
And stunn'd him with the music of the spheres,
How would he wish that Heav'n had left him still
The whispering zephyr and the purling rill?
Who finds not Providevce all good and wise,
Alike in what it gives and what denies ?
7. Far as creation's ample range extends
The scale of sensual, mental, pow’rs ascends:
Mark how it mounts to man's imperial race,
From the green myriads in the peopled grass :
What modes of sight betwixt each wide extreme,
The mole's dim curtain and the lynx's beam?
Of smell, the headlong lioness between
And hound sagacious on the tainted green!
Of bearing, from the life that fills the flood
To that which warbles through the vernal wood!
The spider's touch, how exquisitely fine !
Feels at each thread, and lives along the line :
In the nice bee what sense so subtly true,
From poisonous herbs extracts the healing dew!
How instinct varies in the groveling swine,
Compard, half-reas'ning elephant, with thine !
'Twixt that and reason what a nice barrier !
For ever separate, yet for ever near !
Remembrance and reflection how allied ;
What thin partitions sense from thought divide !
And middle natures, how they long to join,
Yet never pass the insuperable line!
Without this just gradation could they be
Subjected, these to those, or all to thee?
The pow'rs of all subdued by thee alone,
Is not thy reason all these pow'rs in one ?
8. See through this air, this ocean, and this earth, All matter quick, and bursting into birth! Above, how high progressive life may go! Around, how wide! how deep extend below! Vast chain of being ! which from God began, Natures etherial, human, angel, man, Beast, bird, fish, insect, what no eye can see, No glass can reach ; from infinite to thee; From thee to nothing-On superior pow'rs Were we to press, inferior might on ours; Or in the full creation leave a void, Where, one step broken, the great scale's destroy'd: From Nature's chain whatever link you strike, Tenth, or ten-thousandth, breaks the chain alike.
And if each system in gradation roll, Alike essential to the amazing whole, The least confusion but in one, not all That system only, but the whole, must fall. Let earth unbalanc'd from her orbit fly, Planets and suns run lawless through the sky; Let ruling angels from their spheres be hurl'd, Being ou being wreck'd, and world on world ; Heav'n's whole foundations to their centre nod, And nature tremble to the throne of God. All this dread order break--for whom? for thee? Vile worm !-O madness! pride ! impiety!
9. What if the foot, ordain'd the dust to tread, Or hand to toil, aspir'd to be the head ? What if the head, the eye, or ear, repin'd To serve mere engines to the ruling mind ? Just as absurd for any part to claim To be another in this general frame; Just as absurd to mourn the tasks or pains The great directing Mind of All ordains.
All are but parts of one stupendous whole, Whose body Nature is, and God the soul ; That chang'd through all, and yet in all the same, Great in the earth as in the etherial frame,