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Together let us beat this ample field,
Try what the open, what the covert yield;
The latent tracts, the giddy heights, explore
Of all who blindly creep, or fightless foar ;
Eye Nature's walks, shoot Folly as it flies,
And catch the Manners living as they rife ;
Laugh where we must, be candid where we can; 15
But vindicate the ways of God to Man.

I. Say first, of God above, or Man below,
What can we reason, but from what we know?
Of Man, what fee we but his station here,
From which to reason, or to which refer? 20

NOTES.
VER. 12.

Of all who that human follies are so blindly creep, &c.] i.e. strangely absurd and ridicuThose who only follow the lous, that it is not in the blind guidance of their Pas- power of the most compaffiofions; or those who leave nate, on some occasions, to behind them common sense restrain their mirth: And and sober reason, in their that human crimes are so flahigh flights through the re- gitious, that the most candid gions of Metaphyfics. Both have seldom an opportunity, which follies are exposed in on this subject, to exercise the fourth epistle, where the their virtue. popular and philosophical VER. 19, 20. errors concerning Happiness Of Man, what fee we but are spoken of. The figure bis flation here, here is taken from animal From which to reason, or to life.

which refer?] Ver. 15. Laugh where The sense is, we see nothing we must, &c.] Intimating of Man, but as he hands at

Thro' worlds unnumber'd tho' the God be known,
'Tis ours to trace him only in our own.
He, who thro' vast immensity can pierce,
See worlds on worlds compose one universe,
Observe how system into system runs,

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What other Planets circle other funs,
What vary'd Being peoples ev'ry star,
May tell why Heav'n has made us as we are.
But of this frame the bearings, and the ties,
The strong connections, nice dependencies, 30
Gradations just, has thy pervading soul
Look'd thro'? or can a part contain the whole ?

NOTES. present in his fation here : I nečtions, nice dependencies,] From which station, all our The thought is very noble, reasonings on his nature and and expressed with great end musi be drawn; and to philofophic beauty and exthis station they must be all actness. The system of the referred. The consequence Universe is a combination is, all our reasonings on his of natural and moral Fitnature and end must needs nesses, as the human system be very imperfect.

is of body and spirit. By the Ver. 21. Thro' worlds Arong connections, therefore, unnumber'd, &c.] Hunc cogo

the Poet alluded to the nanofcimus folummodo per Pro-tural part; and by the nice prietates fuas & Attributa, dependencies to the moral. & per fapientiffimas & opti. For the Esay on Man is not mas rerum fructuras & cau a system of Naturalism, but fas finales. Newtoni Princ. of natural Religion. Hence Schol.

gen.
sub fin.

it is, that, where he supposes VER. 30. The strong con- | disorders may tend to some

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Is the great chain, that draws all to agree, And drawn supports, upheld by God, or thee?

II. Presumptuous Man! the reason wouldst thou find, Why form’d so weak, so little, and so blind? First, if thou canst, the harder reason guess, Why form’d no weaker, blinder, and no less ? Alk of thy mother earth, why oaks are made Taller or stronger than the weeds they shade? 40 Or ask of yonder argent fields above, Why Jove's Satellites are less than Jove?

Of Systems possible, if ’tis confest That Wisdom infinite must form the best, Where all must full or not coherent be,

45 And all that rises, rise in due degree; Then, in the scale of reas'ning life, 'tis plain, There must be, somewhere, such a rank as Man: And all the question (wrangle e'er so long) Is only this, if God has plac'd him wrong? 50

NOTES. greater good in the natural good in the moral, as appears world, he supposes they may from these fublime images in tend likewise to some greater the following lines,

If plagues or earthquakes break not Heav'n's design, Why then a Borgia, or a Catiline ? Who knows, but be, whose hand the light'ning forms, Who heaves old Ocean, and who wings the forms ; Pours fierce Ambition in a Cæfar's mind, Or turns young Ammon loose to fcourge mankind :

Respecting Man, whatever wrong we call, May, must be right, as relative to all. In human works, tho' labour'd on with pain, A thousand movements scarce one purpose gain ; In God's, one single can it's end produce ; 55 Yet serves to second too some other use. So Man, who here seems principal alone, Perhaps acts second to some sphere unknown, Touches fome wheel, or verges to some goal ; 'Tis but a part we see, and not a whole. 60

When the proud steed shall know why Man restrains His fiery course, or drives him o'er the plains; When the dull Ox, why now he breaks the clod, Is now a victim, and now Ægypt's God : Then shall Man's pride and dulness comprehend 65 His actions', passions', being's, use and end ; Why doing, suff'ring, check'd, impelld; and why This hour a flave, the next a deity.

VARIATIONS.
In the former Editions x 64.

Now wears a garland an Ægyptian God.
After y 68. the following lines in first Ed.

If to be perfe& in a certain sphere,
What matters soon or late,,or here or there ?
The bleft to-day is as completely so
As who began ten thousand years ago.

Then fay not Man's imperfect, Heav'n in fault; Say rather, Man's as perfect as he ought : 70 His knowledge measur'd to his state and place; His time a moment, and a point his space. If to be perfect in a certain sphere, What matter, foon or late, or here or there? The blest to-day is as completely so,

75 As who began a thousand years ago.

III. Heav'n from all creatures hides the book of Fate, All but the page prescrib'd, their present state: From brutes what men, from men what spirits know: Or who could suffer Being here below?

80
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 flow'ry food,
And licks the hand just rais'd to shed his blood.
Oh blindness to the future ! kindly given,
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,

VARIATIONS.
After x 88in the MS.
No great, no little ; 'tis as much decreed
That Virgil's Gnat should die as Cæsar bleed.

NOTES.
VÆR. 87. Who fees with equal ty, &c.] Mat. x, 29.

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