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Of man, what see we but his station here,
Is the great chain that draws all to agree,
II. Presumptuous man! the reason wouldst thou Why form'd so weak, so little and so blind ? (find, First, if thou canst, the harder reason guess, Why form'd no weaker, blinder, and no less ? Ask 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 confess'd, That wisdom infinite must form the best, Where all must fail or not coherent be, And all that rises, rise in due degree ; Then, in the scale of reasoning life, 'tis plain, There must be somewhere, such a rank as marı: And all the question (wrangle e'er so long) Is only this, if God has placed him wrong? 50
Respecting man, whatever wrong we call, May, must be right, as relative to all. In human works, though labour'd on with pain, A thousand movements scarce one purpose gain : In God's one single can its end produce ; Yet serve to second too some other use :
So man who here seems principal alone,
Then say not man's imperfect, Heaven in fault: Say rather, man's as perfect as he ought : His knowledge measured to his state and place, His time a moment, and a point his space. If to be perfect in a certain sphere, What matter, soon or late, or here or there? The bless'd to-day is as completely so, As who began a thousand years ago.
III. Heaven from all creatures hides the book of fate, All but the page prescribed, 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? Pleased to the last, he crops the flowery food, And licks the hand just raised to shed his blood. Oh blindness to the future! kindly given, That each may fill the circle mark'd by Heaven; Who sees with equal eye, as God of all, A hero perish, or a sparrow fall, Atoms or systems into ruin hurl'd, And now a bubble burst, and now a world. 90
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 brcast.
Lo, the poor Indian ! whose untutor'd mind
IV. Go wiser thou! and in thy scale of sense, Weigh thy opinion against Providence; Call imperfection what thou fanciest such Say, here he gives too little, there too much Destroy all creatures for thy sport or gust, Yet say, if man's unhappy, God's unjust. If man alone engross not Heaven's high care, Alone made perfect here, immortal there: 120 Snatch from his hand the balance and the rod, Re-judge 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 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 ;
But errs not nature from this gracious end,
Better for us, perhaps, it might appear,
The general order since the whole began,
VI. What would this man? Now upward will he soar
The bliss (f man (could pride that blessing find) Is not to act or think beyond mankind;
19C No 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, To 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?
200 If Nature thunder'd in his opening ears, 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, Alike in what it gives, and what denies ?
VII. Far as creation's ample range extends, The scale of sensual, mental, powers ascends :