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If plagues or earthquakes break not Heaven's design,
Better for us, perhaps, it might appear, 165
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 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,
VII. Far as Creation's ample range extends,
Of hearing, from the life that fills the flood, 215
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
Itrike, 245 Tenth, or ten thousandth, breaks the chain alike.
And, if each fyftem in gradation roll
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
Warms in the sun, refreshes in the breeze,
X. Cease then, nor Order Imperfection name':
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.
Reason, to think of God, when she pretends,