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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 Cæsar'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 foar, 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 profusion, kind, The proper organs, proper powers assign’d; 180 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,

Each

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Each beast, each insect, happy in its own :

185 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 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,

195
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 ar

pain?
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 ftill
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 :
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

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220

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 subtly true
From poisonous herbs extracts the healing dew :
How Inftinet aries 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 burfting into birth. Above, how high, progressive life may go! 235 Around, how wide ! how deep extend below! Vast chain of being ! which from God began; Natures æthereal, human, angel, man, Beast, bird, fish, infect, what no eye can see, No glass can reach ; from Infinite to thee, 240

From VÅRIATION. Ver. 238. Ed. ist.

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

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Itrike, 245 Tenth, or ten thousandth, breaks the chain alike.

And, if each fyftem in gradation roll
Alike essential to th' amazing Whole,
The least confusion but in one, not all
That system only, but the Whole must fall.

250
Let Earth unbalanc'd from her orbit fiy,
Planets and Suns run lawless through the sky;
Let ruling Angels from their spheres be hurl'd,
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, afpir’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' æthereal frame ; 270

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Warms in the sun, refreshes in the breeze,
Glows in the stars, and blossoms in the trees,
Lives through all life, extends through all extent;
Spreads undivided, operates unspent;
Breathes in our soul, informs our mortal part, 275
As full, as perfect, in a hair as heart;
As full, as perfect, in vile Man that mourns,
As the rapt Seraph that adores and burns :
To him no high, no low, no great, no small;
He fills, he bounds, connects, and equals all. 280

X. Cease then, nor Order Imperfection name':
Our

proper bliss depends on what we blame. Know thy own point: This kind, this due degree Of blindness, weakness, Heaven bestows on thee. Submit.-In this, or any other sphere, Secure to be as bleft as thou canst bear : Safe in the hand of one disposing Power, Or in the natal, or the mortal hour. All Nature is but Art, unknown to thee; All Chance, Direction, which thou canst not see; 290 All Discord, Harmony not understood : All partial Evil, universal Good. And, spite of Pride, in erring Reason's spite, One truth is clear, WHATEVER IS, IS RIGHT.

285

VARIATION.
After ver. 282. in the MS.

Reason, to think of God, when she pretends,
Begins a Censor, an Adorer ends.

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