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Which sees no more the stroke, nor feels the pain,
To each unthinking being, heav'n a friend,
II. Whether with reason, or with instinct blest;
Know, all enjoy that power which suits them best :"
To bliss alike by that direction tend,
' see then the acting and comparing powers, 95
Who taught the nations of the field and wood To shun their poison, and to choose their food 100 Prescient, the tides or tempests to withstand, Build on the wave, or arch beneath the sand Who made the spider parallels design, Sure as D’Moivre, without rule or line Who bid the stork, Columbus like, explore 105 Heav’ns not his own, and worlds unknown before ? Who calls the council, states the certain day, Who forms the phalanx, and who points the way
III. God, in the nature of each being, founds Its proper bliss, and sets its proper bounds: 110 But as he fram’d a whole, the whole to bless, On mutual wants built mutual happiness: So from the first, eternal or pen ran, And creature link’d to creature, man to man. Whate’er of life all quick’ning ather keeps, 115 Or breathes thro' air, or shoots beneath the deeps, Or pours profuse on earth, one nature feeds The vital flame, and swells the genial seeds. | Not man alone, but all that roam the wood, Or wing the sky, or roll along the flood, 120 Each loves itself, but not itself alone, Each sex desires alike, till two are one.
Nor ends the pleasure with the fierce embrace : They love themselves, a third time, in their race. Thus beast and bird their common charge attend, 125 The mothers nurse it, and the sires defend; The young dismiss'd to wander earth or air, There stops the instinct, and there ends the care; The link dissolves, each seeks a fresh embrace, Another love succeeds, another race. 130 A longer care man’s helpless kind demands: That longer care contracts more lasting bands; Reflection, reason, still the ties improve, At once extend the interest and the love : With choice we fix, with sympathy we burn: 135 Each virtue in each passion takes its turn; And still new needs, new helps, new habits rise, That graft benevolence on charities. Still as one brood, and as another rose These natural love maintain'd, habitual those; 140 The last, scarce ripen'd into perfect man, Saw helpless him from whom their life began: Memory and fore-cast, just returns engage, That pointed back to youth, this on to age: While pleasure, gratitude, and hope, combin’d 145 Still spread the interest, and preserv’d the kind.
IV. Northink, in nature's state they blindly trod; The state of nature was the reign of God; . Self-love and social at her birth began, l Union the bond of all things, and of man. 150
Pride then was not—nor arts, that pride to aid :
See him from nature rising slow to art! To copy instinct then was reason's part; 170 Thus then to man the voice of nature spake, “Go, from the creatures thy instructions take Learn from the birds, what food the thickets yield : Learn from the beasts, the physic of the field; Thy arts of building, from the bee receive; 175 | Learn of the mole to plow—the worm to weave; Learn of the little nautilus, to sail, ; Spread the thin oar, and catch the driving gale.
Here too, all forms of social union find.
V. Great Nature spoke—observant man obey'd; Cities were built—societies were made : 200 Here rose one little state; another near Grew by like means, and joined, thro' love or fear. Did here the trees with ruddier burdens bend, And there the streams in purer rills descend ?
hat war could ravish, commerce could bestow, 205 And he return’d a friend, who came a foe.