« ZurückWeiter »
Man, but for that, no action could attend,
And, but for this, were active to no end :
Fix'd like a plant on his peculiar spot,
To draw nutrition, propagate, and rot:
Or, meteor-like, flame lawless through the void,
Destroying others, by himself destroy'd.
Most strength the moving principle requires ;
Active its task, it prompts, impels, inspires.
Sedate and quiet the comparing lies,
Form'd but to check, deliberate, and advise.
Self-love, still stronger, as its objects nigh;
Reason 's at distance, and in prospect lie :
That sees immediate good by prefent sense
Reason, the future and the consequence.
Thicker than arguments, temptations throng, 75
At best more watchful this, but that more strong.
The Action of the stronger to fufpend
Reason ftill use, to Reafon still attend.
Attention, habit, and experience gains;
Each strengthens Reafon, and Self-love restrains. 80
Let subtle schoolmen teach these friends to fight,
More ftudious to divide than to unite;
And Grace and Virtue, Senfe and Reason fplit,
With all the rafh dexterity of wit.
Wits, just like Fools, at war about a name,
Have full as oft no meaning, or the fame.
After ver. 86. in the MS.
Of good and evil Gods what frighted Fools,
Of good and evil Reason puzzled Schools,
Deceiv'd, deceiving, taught-
Self-love and Reason to one end aspire,
Pain their aversion, pleasure their desire;
But greedy That, its object would devour,
This taste the honey, and not wound the flower : 90
Pleasure, or wrong or rightly understood,
Our greatest evil, or our greatest good.
III. Modes of Self-love the Passions we may call : 'Tis real good, or seeming, moves them all : But since not every good we can divide,
And Reason bids us for our own provide :
Paffions, though sellith, if their means be fair,
Lift under Reason, and deserve her care;
Those, that imparted, court a nobler aim,
Exalt their kind, and take some Virtue's name.
In lazy Apathy let Stoics boast
Their Virtue fix'd; 'tis fix'd as in a frost;
Contracted all, retiring to the breast;
But strength of mind is Exercise, not Reft:
The rising tempeft puts in act the soul,
Parts it may ravage, but preserves the whole.
On life's vast ocean diversely we fail,
Reason the card, but Passion is the gale ;
Nor God alone in the still calm we find,
He mounts the storm, and walks upon the wind.
After ver. 108. in the MS.
A tedious Voyage! where how useless lies
The compass, if no powerful gufts arise!
Passions, like elements, though born to fight,
Yet, mix'd and foften’d, in his work unite :
These 'tis enough to temper and employ;
But what composes Man, can Man destroy?
Suffice that Reason keep to Nature's road,
Subject, compound them, follow her and God.
Love, Hope, and Joy, fair Pleasure's smiling train ;
Hate, Fear, and Grief, the family of Pain,
These mixt with art, and to due bounds confin'd,
Make and maintain the balance of the mind :
The lights and shades, whose well-accorded strife
Gives all the strength and colour of our life.
Pleasures are ever in our hands or eyes ;
And, when in act they cease, in prospect rise :
Present to grasp, and future still to find,
The whole employ of body and of mind.
All spread their charms, but charm not all alike;
On different senses, different objects strike;
Hence different Passions more or less inflame,
As strong or weak, the organs of the frame;
And hence one master Passion in the breast,
Like Aaron's serpent, swallows up the rest.
As Man, perhaps, the moment of his breath,
Receives the lurking principle of death ;
The young disease, that must subdue at length,
135 Grows with his growth, and strengthens with his strength:
After ver. 112. in the MS.
The soft reward the virtuous, or invite;
The fierce, the vicious punish or affright.
So, cast and mingled with his very frame,
The Mind's disease, its ruling Passion came;
Each vital humour, which should feed the whole,
Soon flows to this, in body and in soul :
Whatever warms the heart, or fills the head,
As the mind opens, and its functions spread,
Imagination plies her dangerous art,
And pours it all upon the peccant part.
Nature its mother, Habit is its nurse;
Wit, Spirit, Faculties, but make it worse;
Reason itself but gives it edge and power;
As Heaven's blest beam turns vinegar more four.
We, wretched subjects though to lawful sway,
In this weak queen, some favourite still obey :
Ah! if she lend not arms, as well as rules,
What can the more than tell us we are fools ?
Teach us to mourn our Nature, not to mend;
A Marp accuser, but a helpless friend!
Or from a judge turn pleader, to persuade
The choice we make, or justify it made;
Proud of an easy conquest all along,
She but removes weak passions for the strong:
So, when small humours gather to a gout,
The doctor fancies he has driv’n them out.
Yes, Nature's road must ever be preferr'd;
Reason is here no guide, but still a guard;
'Tis hers to rectify, not overthrow,
And treat this passion more as friend than foe;
A mightier Power the strong direction sends,
And several Men impels to several ends :
Like varying winds, by other passions toft,
This drives them constant to a certain coast.
Let power or knowledge, gold or glory, please,
Or (oft more strong than all) the love of ease;
Through life 'tis follow'd, ev’n at life's expence;
The merchant's toil, the fage's indolence,
The monk's humility, the hero's pride,
All, all alike, find Reason on their side.
Th’ Eternal Art, educing good from ill,
175 Grafts on this passion our best principle : 'Tis thus the Mercury of Man is fix'd, Strong grows the Virtue with his nature mix'd; The dross cements what else were too refin’d, And in one interest body acts with mind,
1 80 As fruits, ungrateful to the planter's care, On savage stocks inserted learn to bear; The surest Virtues thus from Passions shoot, Wild Nature's vigour working at the root. What crops of wit and honesty appear From spleen, from obftinacy, hate, or fear! See anger, zeal and fortitude supply; Ev'n avarice, prudence; floth, philofophy; Lust, through some certain strainers well refin'd, Is gentle love, and charms all womankind; 190 Envy, to which th'ignoble mind's a llave, Is emulation in the learn'd or brave; Nor Virtue, male or female, can we name, But what will grow on Pride, or grow on Shame.
After ver. 194. in the MS.
How oft, with Passion, Virtue points her Charms! Then shines the Hero, then the Patriot warms.