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Pride still is aiming at the blest abodes,

125 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, fins against th’ Eternal Cause.

130 V. 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 135 " 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 foot-stool earth, my canopy the skies.” 140

But errs not Nature from this gracious end, From burning suns when livid deaths descend, When earthquakes swallow, or when tempests sweep Towns to one grave, whole nations to the deep ? “ No ('tis reply'd) the first Almighty Cause

145 “ Acts not by partial, but by general laws; “ Th'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 ?

150 As much that end a constant course requires Of showers and fun-fhine, 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 Heaven'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 Cæfar's mind,
Or turns young Ammon loose to scourge mankind ? 160
From pride, from pride, our very reasoning springs;
Account for moral as for natural things :
Why charge we Heaven in those, in these acquit?
In both, to reason right, is to submit.

Better for us, perhaps, it might appear, 165
Were there all harmony, all virtue here;
That never air or ocean felt the wind,
That never passion discompos’d the mind.
But all subfifts by elemental strife;
And passions are the elements of Life.

170 The general Order, since the whole began, Is kept in Nature, and is kept in Man.

VI. 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 175 To want the strength of bulls, the fur of bears, Made for his use all creatures if he call, Say what their use, had he the powers of all ? Nature to these, without profufion, kind, The proper organs, proper powers assign'd; 18 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.



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Each beast, each infect, happy in its own :
Is Heaven unkind to Man, and Man alone ?
Shall he alone, whom rational we call,
Be pleas'd with nothing, if not bleft with all ?

The bliss of Man (could Pride that blessing find)
Is not to act or think beyond mankind;

190 powers of body or of soul to share, But what his nature and his state can bear. Why has not Man a microscopic eye? For this plain reason, Man is not a Fly. Say what the use, were finer optics given,

T' inspect a mite, not comprehend the heaven?
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 cars,
And stunn’d him with the music of the spheres,
How would he wish that Heaven had left him still
The whispering Zephyr, and the purling rill!
Who finds not Providence all good and wise, 205
Alike in what it gives, and what denies ?

VII. Far as Creation's ample range extends,
The scale of sensual, mental powers ascends :
Mark how it mounts to Man's imperial race,
From the green myriads in the peopled grass;
What modes of fight 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 hearing, from the life that fills the flood,

215 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 fo fubtly true From poisonous herbs extracts the healing dew : *How Instinct varies in the groveling swine, Compar'd, half-reasoning elephant, with thine! "Twixt that, and Reason, what a nice barrier ! For ever separate, yet for ever near! Remembrance and Reflection how allied ;

225 What thin partitions Sense from Thought divide ! And Middle natures, how they long to join, Yet never pass th' insuperable line ! Without this just gradation, could they be Subjected, these to those, or all to thee ?

230 The powers of all fubdued by thee alone, Is not thy Reason all these powers in one? VIII. See, through this air, this ocean, and this

earth, All matter quick, and bursting into birth. Above, how high, progressive life may go ! 235 Around, how wide ! how deep extend below! Vaft chain of being ! which from God began, Natures æthereal, human, angel, man,

aft, bird, fith, infect, what no eye can see, No glass can reach; from Infinite to thee,


From VARIATION. Ver. 238. Ed. ift.

Ethereal essence, spirit, substance, man.


From thee to Nothing.-On superior powers
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 th' amazing Whole,
The least confusion but in one, not all
That system only, but the Whole mult fall.

Let Earth unbalanc'd from her orbit fiy,
Planets and Suns run lawless through the sky;
Let ruling Angels from their spheres be hurld,
Being on Being wreck’d, and world on world;
Heaven's whole foundations to their centre nod,

255 And Nature trembles to the throne of God. All this dread Order break--for whom? for thee? Vile worm !--oh Madness! Pride! Impiety!

IX. What if the foot, ordain'd the dust to tread, Or hand, to toil, aspir’d to be the head ?

260 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 265 The great directing Mind of all ordains.

All are but parts of one stupendous whole, Whofe body Nature is, and God the soul ; That, chang'd through all, and yet in all the fame; Great in the earth, as in th' athereal frame ;



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