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Where all must full or not coherent be,
45 And all that rises, rise in due degree ; Then, in the scale of reas'ning 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, tho' labour'd on with pain, A thousand movements scarce one purpose gain ; In God's, one single can its end produce ; 55 Yet serves to second too some other use. 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.
бо 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 Egypt's god : Then shall man's pride and dulness comprehend 65 His actions', passions', being's, use and end; Why doing, suff'ring; check’d, impell’d.; and why This hour a slave, the next a deity.
Then Ver. 64.] In the former editions,
Now wears a garland an Egyptian God : altered as above for the reason given in the note.
VER. 64. Egypt's god:] Called so, because the god Apis was worshipped universally over the whole land of Egypt.
Then say not man's imperfect, Heav'n in fault;
75 As who began a thousand years ago. III. Heav'n from all creatures hides the book of
fate, All but the page prescrib'd, 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? Pleas'd to the last, he crops the flow'ry food, And licks the hand just rais'd to shed his blood. Oh blindness to the future! kindly giv'n, 85 That each may fill the circle mark’d by Heav'n: Who sees with equal eye, as God of all, A hero perish, or a sparrow fall,
After ver. 68. the following lines in the first edition :
If to be perfect in a certain sphere,
As who began ten thousand years ago.
No great, no little; 'tis as much decreed,
Atoms or systems into ruin hurl'd,
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 untutor'd mind Sees God in clouds, or hears him in the wind; 100 His soul, proud science never taught to stray Far as the solar walk, or milky way; Yet simple nature to his hope has giv'n, Behind the cloud-topt hill, an humbler hear'n; Some safer world in depth of woods embrac'd, 105 Some happier island in the wat'ry 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 ; IIO
But Ver. 93. 94. In the first fol. and quarto,
What bliss above he gives not thee to know,
But gives that hope to be thy bliss below.
But does he say the maker is not good,
Alone made happy when he will, and where?
But thinks, admitted to that equal sky,
IV. Go, wiser thou ! and, in thy scale of sense,
125 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 th’ Eternal Cause. 130
V. Ask for what end the heav'nly bodies shine, Earth for whose use ? Pride answers, “ 'Tis for mine : « For me kind nature wakes her genial pow'r, « Suckles each herb, and spreads out ev'ry flow'r; « 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 ;
6 Seas roll to waft me, suns to light me rise ; “ My foot-stool earth, my canopy the skies.”
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 gen'ral 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 show’rs and sunshine, as of man's desires ; As much eternal springs and cloudless skies, As men for ever temp’rate, calm, and wise. If plagues or earthquakes break not heav'n's design, Why then a Borgia, or a Catiline ?
156 Who knows but He, whose hand the light'ning 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? From pride, from pride, our very reas'ning springs ; Account for moral, as for nat’ral things : Why charge we Heav'n 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;