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The centre mov'd, a circle strait succeeds,
370 Earth smiles around, with boundless bounty bleft, And Heaven beholds its image in his breast.
Come then, my Friend! my Genius! come along; Oh master of the poet, and the song! And while the Muse now stoops, or now ascends, 375 To Man's low passions, or their glorious ends, Teach me, like thee, in various Nature wife, To fall with dignity, with temper rise; Form'd by thy converse, happily to steer, From grave to gay, from lively to severe; Correct with spirit, eloquent with ease, Intent to reason, or polite to please. Oh! while along the stream of Time thy name Expanded flies, and gathers all its fame; Say, shall my little bark attendant fail,
385 Pursue the triumph, and partake the gale ?
Ver. 373. Come then, my Friend ! &c.] In the MS. thus,
And now transported o'er so vast a plain,
When statesmen, heroes, kings, in dust repose,
That just to find a God is all we can,
IT may be proper to observe, that some passages, in
the preceding Essay, having been unjustly suspected of a tendency towards Fate and Naturalism, the author composed this Prayer as the sum of all, to shew that his system was founded in free-will, and terminated in piety: That the first cause was as well the Lord and Governor of the Universe as the Creator of it; and that, by submission to his will (the great principle enforced throughout the Essay) was not meant the suffering ourselves to be carried along by a blind determination, but the resting in a religious acquiescence, and confidence full of Hope and Immortality. To give all this the greater weight, the poet chose for his model the Lord's Prayer, which, of all others, best deserves the title prefixed to this Paraphrase.
THE UNIVERSAL PRAYER.
DEO OPT. MAX.
In every Clime ador'd,
Jehovah, Jove, or Lord !
Who all my Sense confin'd
And that myself am blind;
gave me, in this dark Estate,
To see the Good from Ill; And, binding Nature faft in Fate,
Left free the Human Will.
What Conscience dictates to be done,
Or warns me not to do,
That, more than Heaven pursue.
Let me not cast away;
T' enjoy is to obey.
Thy Goodness let me bound,
When thousand Worlds are round: