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Each beaft, each infect, happy in its own:

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 blifs of Man (could Pride that blessing find)
Is not to act or think beyond mankind;

No powers of body or of foul to share,

But what his nature and his ftate can bear.
Why has not Man a microscopic eye?
For this plain reafon, Man is not a Fly.
Say what the ufe, were finer optics given,

T' infpect a mite, not comprehend the heaven?
Or touch, if tremblingly alive all o'er,
To smart and agonize at every pore?

Or quick effluvia darting through the brain,
Die of a rofe in aromatic pain?

If nature thunder'd in his opening ears,

And stunn'd him with the music of the spheres,
How would he wish that Heaven had left him still
The whispering Zephyr, and the purling rill!
Who finds not Providence all good and wife,
Alike in what it gives, and what denies?

VII. Far as Creation's ample range extends,
The scale of fenfual, mental powers afcends :
Mark how it mounts to Man's imperial race,
From the green myriads in the peopled grafs;
What modes of fight betwixt each wide extreme,
The mole's dim curtain, and the lynx's beam :
Of fmell, the headlong lionefs between,
And hound fagacious on the tainted green :

185

190

195

200

205

210

Of

Of hearing, from the life that fills the flood,
To that which warbles through the vernal wood?
The fpider's touch, how exquifitely fine!
Feels at each thread, and lives along the line:
In the nice bee, what fenfe fo fubtly true
From poisonous herbs extracts the healing dew:
How Inftinct varies in the groveling fwine,
Compar'd, half-reafoning elephant, with thine!
"Twixt that, and Reafon, what a nice barrier!
For ever feparate, yet for ever near!
Remembrance and Reflection how allied ;

What thin partitions Senfe from Thought divide!
And Middle natures, how they long to join,
Yet never pass th' infuperable line!

Without this juft gradation, could they be
Subjected, thefe to thofe, or all to thee?
The powers of all fubdued by thee alone,
Is not thy Reafon all these powers in one?

215

220

225

230

VIII. See, through this air, this ocean, and this

earth,

All matter quick, and bursting into birth.

Above, how high, progreffive life may go !
Around, how wide! how deep extend below!
Vaft chain of being! which from God began,
Natures æthereal, human, angel, man,
Beaft, bird, fish, infect, what no eye can see,
No glafs can reach; from Infinite to thee,

235

240

From

Ver. 238. Ed. ift.

VARIATION.

Ethereal effence, fpirit, fubftance, man.

From thee to Nothing.-On fuperior powers

Were we to prefs, inferior might on ours;

Or in the full Creation leave a void,

Where, one step broken, the great scale's destroy'd:

From Nature's chain whatever link you ftrike,
Tenth, or ten thoufandth, breaks the chain alike.

245

And, if each fyftem in gradation roll
Alike effential to th' amazing Whole,
The leaft confufion but in one, not all
That fyftem only, but the Whole must fall.
Let Earth unbalanc'd from her orbit fiy,
Planets and Suns run lawless through the sky;
Let ruling Angels from their spheres be hurl'd,
Being on Being wreck'd, and world on world;
Heaven's whole foundations to their centre nod,
And Nature trembles to the throne of God.

250

255

All this dread Order break--for whom? for thee?
Vile worm !-oh Madness! Pride! Impiety!

IX. What if the foot, ordain'd the duft to tread,

Or hand, to toil, afpir'd to be the head?
What if the head, the eye, or ear, repin'd
To ferve mere engines to the ruling Mind?
Just as abfurd for any part to claim
To be another, in this general frame:
Just as abfurd, to mourn the tasks or pains
The great directing Mind of all ordains.

260

All are but parts of one ftupendous whole, Whose body Nature is, and God the foul; That, chang'd through all, and yet in all the fame; Great in the earth, as in th' æthereal frame;

265

270 Warms

Warms in the fun, refreshes in the breeze,

Glows in the stars, and bloffoms in the trees,

Lives through all life, extends through all extent;
Spreads undivided, operates unfpent;
Breathes in our foul, informs our mortal part,
As full, as perfect, in a hair as heart;
As full, as perfect, in vile Man that mourns,
As the rapt Seraph that adores and burns:
To him no high, no low, no great, no fmall;
He fills, he bounds, connects, and equals all.

X. Ceafe then, nor Order Imperfection name :
Our proper blifs depends on what we blame.
Know thy own point: This kind, this due degree
Of blindness, weaknefs, Heaven beftows on thee.
Submit. In this, or any other sphere,

Secure to be as bleft as thou canst bear:
Safe in the hand of one difpofing Power,
Or in the natal, or the mortal hour.

All Nature is but Art, unknown to thee;

275

280

285

All Chance, Direction, which thou canst not see; 290 All Discord, Harmony not understood :

All partial Evil, univerfal Good.

And, spite of Pride, in erring Reason's spite,
One truth is clear, WHATEVER IS, IS RIGHT.

VARIATION.

After ver. 282. in the MS.

Reafon, to think of God, when she pretends,

Begins a Cenfor, an Adorer ends.

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ARGUMENT OF

EPISTLE II.

Of the Nature and State of Man with respect to Himfelf, as an Individual.

Its Neceffity, in directing

I. THE bufinefs of Man not to pry into God, but to study himfelf. His Middle Nature: his Powers and Frailties, ver. 1 to 19. The Limits of his Capacity, ver. 19, &c. II. The two Principles of Man, Self-love and Reason, both necessary, ver. 53, &c. Self-love the stronger, and why, ver. 67, &c. Their end the fame, ver. 81, &c. III. The Paffions, and their ufe, ver. 93 to 130. The Predominant Paffion, and its force, ver. 132 to 160. Men to different purpofes, ver. 165, &c. Its providential Use, in fixing our Principle, and ascertaining our Virtue, ver. 177. IV. Virtue and Vice joined in our mixed Nature; the limits near, yet the things feparate and evident: What is the Office of Reason, ver. 202 to 216. V. How odious Vice in itfelf, and how we deceive ourselves into it, ver. 217. VI. That, however, the Ends of Providence and general Good are answered in our Paffions and Imperfections, ver. 238, &c. How usefully these are diftributed to all Orders of Men, ver. 241. How useful they are to Society, ver. 251. And to Individuals, ver. 263. In every state, and every age of life, ver. 273, &c.

EPISTLE

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