Графични страници
PDF файл

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 phrafe absurd to call a Villain Great:

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 Aurelius let him reign, or bleed 235
Like Socrates, that Man is great indeed.

What's Fame? a fancy'd life in others' breath, A thing beyond us, ev’n 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 Cæsar dead; Alike or when, or where they shone, or shine,

245 Or on the Rubicon, or on the Rhine. A Wit's a feather, and a Chief a rod; An honest Man's the nobleft work of God. Fame but from death a' villain's name can save, As Justice tears his body from the grave;

250 When what t'oblivion better were refign'd, Is hung on high, to poison half mankind. All fame is foreign, but of true desert; Plays round the head, but comes not to the heart: One felf-approving hour whole years out-weighs 255 Of stupid starers, and of loud huzzas;


And more true joy Marcellus exil'd feels,
Than Cæfar with a fenate at his heels.

In Parts superior what advantage lies ?
Tell (for you can) what is it to be wife?

260 'Tis but to know how little can be known; To see all others faults, and feel our own : Condemn'd in business or in arts to drudge, Without a second, or without a judge : Truths would you teach, or save a sinking land ? 265 All fear, none aid you, and few understand. Painful preheminence! yourself to view Above life's weakness, and its comforts too.

Bring then these blessings to a strict account; Make fair deductions ; fee to what they mount: 270 How much of other each is sure to cost ; How each for other of is wholly loft ; How inconsistent greater goods with these ; How sometimes life is risqu’d, and always ease : Think, and if still the things thy envy call, 275 Say, would'st thou be the Man to whom they fall ? To figh for ribbands if thou art fo filly, Mark how they grace Lord Umbra, or Sir Billy. Is yellow dirt the passion of thy life; Look but on Gripus, or on Gripus' wife. If Parts allure thee, think how Bacon shin'd, The wisest, brightest, meanest of mankind : Or ravish'd with the whistling of a Name, See Cromwell, damn'd to everlasting fame!




If all, united, thy ambition call,
From ancient story, learn to scorn them all.
There, in the rich, the honour'd, fam'd, and great,
See the falfe scale of Happiness complete !
In hearts of Kings, or arms of Queens who lay,
How happy! those to ruin, these betray.

Mark by what wretched steps their glory grows,
From dirt and sea-weed as proud Venice rose;
In each how guilt and greatness equal ran,
And all that rais'd the Hero, funk the Man :
Now Europe's laurels on their brows behold,

But stain'd with blood, or ill exchang'd for gold:
Then see them broke with toils, or funk in ease,
Or infamous for plunder'd provinces.
O! wealth ill-fated ! which no act of fame
E’er taught to shine, or sanctify'd from fame!
What greater bliss attends their close of life?
Some greedy minion, or imperious wife,
The trophy'd arches, story'd halls invade,
And haunt their slumbers in the pompous shade.
Alas! not dazzled with their noon-tide ray, 305
Compute the morn and evening to the day;
The whole amount of that enormous fame,
A Tale, that blends their glory with their fame!

Know then this truth (enough for Man to know)
“ Virtue alone is happiness below.”
The only point where human bliss stands still,
And tastes the good without the fall to ill;




Where only Merit constant pay receives,
Is bleft in what it takes, and what it gives ;
The joy unequal'd, if its end it gain,

And if it lose, attended with no pain :
Without fatiety, though e’er so bless’d,
And but more relish'd as the more distress'd :
The broadest mirth unfeeling Folly wears,
Less pleasing far than Virtue's very tears :

320 Good, from each object, from each place acquir'd, For ever exercis'd, yet never tir’d; Never elated, while one man 's oppress’d; Never dejected, while another 's bleft; And where no wants, no wishes can remain,

325 Since but to wish more Virtue, is to gain.

See the fole bliss Heaven could on all bestow ! Which who but feels can talte, but thinks can know : Yet poor

with fortune, and with learning blind, The bad must miss, the good, untaught, will find : 330 Slave to no feet, who takes no private road, But looks through Nature, up to Nature's God : Pursues that Chain which links th' immense design, Joins heaven and earth, and mortal and divine;


After ver. 316. in the MS.

Ev'n while it seems unequal to dispose,
And chequers all the good Man's joys with woes,
'Tis but to teach him to support each itate.
With patience this, with moderation that;
And raise his base on that one folid joy,
Which conscience gives, and nothing can destroy:

Sees, that no Being any bliss can know,

335 But touches some above, and some below; Learns, from this union of the rising Whole, The first, last purpose of the human soul; And knows where Faith, Law, Morals, all began, All end, in Love of God, and Love of MAN. 340 For him alone, Hope leads from goal to goal, And opens still, and opens on his soul ; Till lengthen'd on to Faith, and unconfin’d, It pours the bliss that fills up all the mind. He sees, why Nature plants in Man alone

Hope of known bliss, and Faith in bliss unknown :
(Nature, whose dictates to no other kind
Are given in vain, but what they seek they find)
Wife is her present; fhe connects in this
His greatest Virtue with his greatest Bliss;
At once his own bright prospect to be blest,
And strongest motive to aflift the rest.

Şelf-love thus puth'd to social, to divine,
Gives thee to make thy neighbour's blessing thine.
Is this too little for the boundless heart?

Extend it, let thy enemies have part:
Grasp the whole worlds of Reason, Life, and Sense,
In one close system of Benevolence :
Happier as kinder, in whate’er degree,
And height of Bliss but height of Charity.

God loves from Whole to Parts : but human soul
Must rise from Individual to the Whole.
Self-love but serves the virtuous mind to wake,
As the small pebble stirs the peaceful lake;




« ПредишнаНапред »