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40

What vary'd Being peoples every star,
May tell why Heaven has made us as we are.
But of this frame the bearings and the ties,
The strong connections, nice dependencies,

30 Gradations juft, has thy pervading soul Look'd through ? or can a part contain the whole ?

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 fo blind ? First, if thou canst, the harder reason guess, Why form’d no weaker, blinder, and no less ? Ak of thy mother earth, why oaks.

are

made
Taller or stronger than the weeds they shade;
Or ask of yonder argent fields above,
Why Jove's Satellites are less than Jové ?

Of Systems possible, if 'tis confeft,
That Wisdom infinite must for the best,
Where all must full or not coherent be,

45
And all that rifes, rise in due degree;
Then, in the scale of reasoning 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 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 serves to second too some other use.

55

So

,65

So Man, who here seems principal alone,
Perhaps acts second to some sphere unknown,
Touches some 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
His actions, passions', being's, use and end;
Why doing, fuffering, check'd, impellid; and why
This hour a llave, the next a deity.

Then say not Man's imperfect, Heaven 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.'Heaven from all creatures hides the book of Fate, All but the page prescrib'd, their present state :

From VARIATIONS. In the former Editions, ver. 64.

Now wears a garland an Ægyptian God.
After ver. 68. the following lines in the first Edition.

If to be perfect in a certain sphere,
What matter, soon or late, or here, or there?
The blest to-day is as completely fo,
As who began ten thousand years ago.

85

From brutes what men, from men what fpirits 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 flowery 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 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.

Hope humbly then ; with trembling pinions foar ;
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 :

95
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 untutorid mind Sees God in clouds, or hears him in the wind;

His

90

100

VARIATIONS.

After ver. 88. in the MS.

No great, no little ; 'tis as much decreed

That Virgil's Gnat should die as Cæsar bleed.
Ver. 93. in the first Folio and Quarto,

What bliss above he gives not thee to know,
But gives that Hope to be thy bliss below.

1

105

110

His soul proud Science never taught to stray
Far as the solar walk, or milky way;
Yet fimple Nature to his hope has given,
Behind the cloud-topt hill, an humbler heaven;
Some safer world in depth of woods embrac'd,
Some happier island in the watery waste,
Where slaves once more their native land behold,
No fiends torment, no Christians thirst for gold.
To Be, contents 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.

IV. Go, wiser thou ! and in thy scale of sense,
Weigh thy Opinion against Providence;
Call imperfection what thou fancy'st such,

IIS
Say, here he gives too little, ther too much;
Destroy all creatures for thy sport or guft,
Yet cry, If Man's unhappy, God's unjuft ;
If Man alone ingrofs not Heaven's high care,
Alone made perfect here, immortal there :
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

120

VARIATIONS.

After ver. 108. in the first Edition ;

But does he say the Maker is not good,
Till he's exalted to what ftate he wou'd ;
Himself alone high Heaven's peculiar care,
Alone made happy when he will, and where ?
VOL. II.

D

Pride still is aiming at the blest abodes,

125 Men would be Angels, Angels would be Gods. Aspiring to be Gods, if Angels fell, Afpiring to be Angels, Men rebel : .And who but wishes to invert the laws Of Order, fins against th’ Eternal Cause.

130 V. Alk 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 Mowers and fun-shine, as of Man's desires; As much eternal Springs and cloudless skies, As men for ever temperate, calm, and wise.

If

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