Abbildungen der Seite
PDF

Whate'er the passion, knowledge, fame, or pelf,
Not one will change his neighbour with himself.
The learn’d is happy, nature to explore,
The fool is happy that he knows no more;
The rich is happy in the plenty giv'n,
The poor contents him with the care of heav'n.
See the blind beggar dance, the cripple sing,
The sot a hero, lunatic a king;
The starving chymist in his golden views
Supremely blest, the poet in his muse.
See some strange comfort, ev’ry state attend,
And pride bestow'd on all, a common friend;
See some fit passion ev'ry age supply,
Hope travels through, nor quits us when we die.

Behold the child, by nature's kindly law,
Pleas'd with a rattle, tickled with a straw :
Some livelier play thing gives his youth delight,
A little louder, but as empty quite;
Scarfs, garters, gold, amuse his riper stage;
And beads and pray’r-books are the toys of age;
Pleas'd with this bauble still, as that before ;
'Till tir’d he sleep's, and life’s poor play iso'er."

Meanwhile opinion gilds with varying rays
Those painted clouds that beautify our days;
Each want of happiness by hope supply'd,
And each vacuity of sense by pride:
These build as fast as knowledge can destroy;
In folly's cup still laughs the bubble, joy;

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

One prospect lost, another still we gain;
And not a vanity is giv'n in vain : 290
Ev’n mean self-love becomes, by force divine,
The scale to measure other’s wants by thine.
See and confess, one comfort still must rise ;
'Tis this, Tho' man’s a fool, yet God is wise.

w

EPISTLE III.

or THE NATURE AND STATE of MAN WITH RESPECT TO society. The ARGUMENT.

The whole universe one system of society, ver. 7, &c. Nothing is made wholly for itself, nor yet wholly for another, 27. The happiness of ani. mals. mutual 53. Reason or instinct operate also to society in all animals, 109. How far society is carried by instinct, 119. How much farther by reason, 132. Of that which is called the state of nature, 148. Reason instructed by instinct in the invention of arts, 152, and in the forms of society, 180. Origin of political society, 199. Origin of monarchy, 211. Patriarchal Government, 216. Origin of true religion and government, from the same principle of love, 235, &c. Origin of superstition and tyranny, from the same principle of fear, 241, orc. The influence of self-love operating to the social and public good, 269. Restoration of true religion and government on their first principle 285. Mirt government, 289. Various forms of each, and the true end of all, 363, orc.

I. Hene then we rest: “ The Universal Cause “Acts to one end, but acts by various laws.” In all the madness of superfluous health, The trim of pride, the impudence of wealth; Let this great truth be present night and day; 5 But most be present, if we preach or pray.

Look round our world; behold the chain of love, Combining all below and all above: See plastic nature working to this end, The single atoms each to other tend; *=

Attract, attracted to, the nextin place
Form'd and impell’d its neighbour to embrace.
See matter next, with various life endu’d,
Press to one centre still, the general good.
See dying vegetables life sustain,
See life dissolving, vegetate again ;
All forms that perish, other forms supply,
(By turns we catch the vital breath, and die)
Like bubbles on the sea of matter borne,
They rise, they break, and to that sea return.
Nothing is foreign—parts relate to whole; .
One all-extending, all-preserving soul
Connects each being, greatest with the least;
Made beast in aid of man, and man of beast;
All serv’d, all serving : nothing stands alone;
The chain holds on, and, where it ends, unknown,

Has GOD, thou fool! work’d solely for thy good,
Thy joy, thy pastime, thy attire, thy food?
Who for thy table feeds the wanton fawn,
For him as kindly spreads the flowery lawn;
Is it for thee the lark ascends and sings 2
Joy tunes his voice, and elevates his wings.
Is it for thee the linnet pours his throat?
Loves of his own, and rapture swell the note.
The bounding steed you pompously bestride,
Shares with the lord the pleasure and the pride.
Is thine alone the seed that strews the plain
The birds of Heaven shall vindicate their grain.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

Thine the full harvest of the golden year
Part pays, and justly, the deserving steer:
The hog, that ploughs not, nor obeys thy call,
Lives on the labours of this lord of all

Know, nature’s children all divide her care;
The fur that warms a monarch, warm’d a bear,
While man exclaims, “See all things for my use !”
“See man for mine !” replies a pamper’d goose :
And just as short of reason he must fall,
Who thinks all made for one, not one for all.

Grant that the powerful still the weak control,
Be man the wit and tyrant of the whole :
Nature that tyrant checks—he only knows,
And helps another creature's wants and woes.
Say, will the falcon, stooping from above,
Smit with her varying plumage, spare the dove
Admires the jay the insects gilded wings
Or hears the hawk, when Philomela sigs
Man cares for all : To birds he gives his woods,
To beasts his pastures, and to fish his floods:—
For some his interest prompts him to provide,
For more his pleasure yet for more his pride:
All feed on one vain patron and enjoy,
Th’ extensive blessing of his luxury.
That very life his learned hunger craves,
He saves from famine, from the savage saves;
Nay, feasts the animal he dooms his feast,
And, till he ends the being, makes it blest;

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »