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Or why so long (in life if long can be)
Lent heaven a parent to the poor and me ! 110
What makes all physical or moral ill P There deviates nature, and here wanders will. God sends not ill; if rightly understood, Or partial ill is universal good, Or change admits, or nature lets it fall ; 115 Short, and but rare, ’till man improv’d it all. We just as wisely might of heaven complain, That righteous Abel was destroy’d by Cain, As that the virtuous son is ill at ease, When his lewd father gave the dire disease. 120 Think we, like some weak prince, th’ eternal cause, Prone for his favorites to reverse his laws 2
Shall burning Ætna, if a sage requires, Forget to thunder, and recal her fires? On air or sea new motions be imprest, 125 Oh blameless Bethel ! to relieve thy breast ... When the loose mountain trembles from on high, Shall gravitation cease, if you go by? Or some old temple nodding to its fall, For Chartres’ head reserve the hanging wall 136
But still this world (so fitted for the knave)
Contents us not. A better shall we have 2
A kingdom of the just then let it be :
But first consider how those just agree.
The good must merit God’s peculiar care; 13
But who, but God, can tell us who they are 2
One thinks on Calvin, Heaven’s own spirit fell:
Another deems him instrument of hell:
If Calvin feels heaven's blessing or its rod,
This cries there is, and that, there is no God. 140
What shocks one part will edify the rest,
Nor with one system can they all be blest.
The very best will variously incline,
And what rewards your virtue, punish mine.
“Whatever is, is right.”—This world, 'tis true, 14.5
Was made for Cesar—but for Titus too;
And which more blest? who chain’d his country, say:
Or he whose virtue sigh’d to lose a day
“But sometimes virtue starves, while vice is fed,” What then 2 Is the reward of virtue bread 2 15th That, vice may merit, 'tis the price of toil; The knave deserves it, when he tills the soil: The knave deserves it, when he tempts the main, Where folly fights for kings, or dives for gain. The good man may be weak, be indolent; 155 Nor is his claim to plenty, but content. But grant him riches, your demand is o'er “No-shall the good want health, the good want pow'r?” Add health, and pow'r, and every earthly thing, “Why bounded pow'r? why private why no king “Nay, why external for internal given 16t “Why is not man a God, and earth a heaven?”
Who ask and reason thus, will scarce conceive
God gives enough, while he has more to give :
Immense the power, immense were the demand;
Say, at what part of nature will they stand?
What nothing earthly gives, orcan destroy,
The soul's calm sunshine, and the heartfelt joy,
Is virtue's prize: a better would you fix *
Then give humility a coach and six;
Justice, a conqueror's sword—or truth, a gown—
Or public spirit its great cure, a crown.
Weak, foolish man will heaven reward us there
With the same trash mad mortals wish for here *
The boy and man an individual makes,
Yetsigh'st thou now for apples and for cakes!
Go, like the Indian, in another life
Expect thy dog, thy bottle, and thy wife,
As well as dream such trifles are assign'd,
As toys and empires, for a god-like mind;
Rewards that either would to virtue bring
No joy, or be destructive of the thing;
How oft by these, at sixty, are undone
The virtues of a saint at twenty-one
To whom can riches give repute, or trust,
Content, or pleasure, but the good or just 2
Judges and senates have been bought for gold,
Esteem and love were never to be sold.
Oh fool! to think God hates the worthy mind,
The lover, and the love of human kind,
Whose life is healthful, and whose conscience clear, Because he wants a thousand pound a year.
Honour and shame from no condition rise :
Act well your part, there all the honour lies.
Fortune in men has some small difference made 195
One flaunts in rags one flutters in brocade:
The cobbler apron'd, and the parson gown'd,
The friar hooded, and the monarch crown'd. -
“What differ more (you cry) than crown and cowl?”
I’ll tell you, friend, a wise man and a fool, 200
You’ll find, if once the monarch acts the monk,
Or, cobbler like, the parson will be drunk,
Worth makes the man, and want of it the fellow ;
The rest is all but leather, or prunello. -
Stuck o'er with titles, and hung round with strings, 205
That thou may’st be by kings, or whores of kings:
Boast the pure blood of an illust’rous race,
In quiet flow from Lucrece to Lucrece:
But by your father’s worth, if your's you rate,
Count me those only who are good and great. , 21G
Go! if your ancient, but ignoble blood,
Has crept through scoundrels ever since the flood,
Go! and pretend your family is young,
Nor own your fathers have been fools so long.
What can ennoble sots, or slaves, or cowards ! 215
Alas! not all the blood of all the Howards.
Look next on greatness! say where greatness lies, “Where, but among the heroes and the wise ’’’
Heroes are much the same, the point's agreed,
From Macedonia’s madman to the Swede : 220
The whole strange purpose of their lives to find,
Or make an enemy of allmankind!
Not one looks backward, onward still he goes,
Yet ne'er looks forward farther than his nose!
No less alike the politic and wise; 225
All sly, slow things, with circumspective eyes;
Men in their loose unguarded hours they take,
Not that themselves are wise, but others weak.
But grant that those can conquer, these can cheat;
*Tis phrase absurd to call a villain great. 230
Who wickedly is wise, or madly brave,
Is but the more a fool the more a knave.
Who noble ends by noble means obtains,
Or, failing, smiles in exile or in chains:
Like good Aurelins let him reign or bleed 235
Like Socrates, that man is great indeed.
What's Fame 2—A fancied life in other's breath,
A thing beyond us, e'en before our death.
Just what you hear, you have ; and what’s unknown,
The same (my lord) if Tully's or your own. 240
All that we feel of it, begins and ends
In the small circle of our foes or friends;
To all beside, as much an empty shade,
An Eugene living, as a Caesar dead; -
Alike or when, or where, they shone, or shine, 245
Or on the Rubicon, or on the Rhine.