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Hope springs eternal in the human breast:
Lo, the poor Indian! whose untutor'd mind
Yet simple nature to his hope has given,
He asks no angel's wing, no seraph's fire;
IV. Go wiser thou! and in thy scale of sense,
Aspiring to be angels, men rebel :
Of order, sins against the Eternal Cause
V. Ask for what end the heavenly bodies shine, Earth for whose use? Pride answers, ''Tis for mine:
For me kind nature wakes her genial power;
But errs not nature from this gracious end,
The exceptions few; some change since all began;
Then nature deviates; and can man do less?
Who knows, but he whose hand the lightning forms,
Or turns youngAmmon loose to scourge mankind? 160 From pride, from pride, our very reasoning springs; Account for moral as for natural things:
Why charge we Heaven in those, in these acquit ?
Better for us, perhaps, it might appear,
The general order since the whole began,
VI. What would this man? Now upward will he soar, And, little less than angel, would be more; Now looking downwards, just as grieved appears To want the strength of bulls, the fur of bears. Made for his use all creatures if he call, Say what their use, had he the powers of all? Nature to these, without profusion, kind, The proper organs, proper powers assign'd; Each seeming want compensated; of course, Here with degrees of swiftness, there of force; All in exact proportion to the state; Nothing to add, and nothing to abate. Each beast, each insect, happy in its own: Is Heaven unkind to man, and man alone? Shall he alone, whom rational we call,
Be pleased with nothing, if not bless'd with all?
The bliss of man (could pride that blessing find) Is not to act or think beyond mankind;
No powers of body or of soul to share,
But what his nature and his state can bear.
Say what the use, were finer optics given,
To inspect a mite, not comprehend the heaven?
To smart and agonize at every pore?
Or quick effluvia darting through the brain,
If Nature thunder'd in his opening ears,
VII. Far as creation's ample range extends,
Mark how it mounts to man's imperial race, From the green myriads in the peopled grass: What modes of sight betwixt each wide extreme, The mole's dim curtain, and the lynx's beam; Of smell, the headlong lioness between, And hound sagacious on the tainted green; Of hearing, from the life that fills the flood, To that which warbles through the vernal wood! The spider's touch how exquisitely fine! Feels at each thread, and lives along the line; In the nice bee, what sense so subtly true, From poisonous herbs extracts the healing dew? 220 How instinct varies in the grovelling swine, Compared, half-reasoning elephant, with thine? Twixt that and reason what a nice barrier; For ever separate, yet for ever near! Remembrance and reflection how allied; What thin partitions sense from thought divide! And middle natures, how they long to join, Yet never pass the insuperable line! Without this just gradation, could they be Subjected, these to those, or all to thee? The powers of all subdued by thee alone, Is not thy reason all these powers in one? VIII. See, through this air, this ocean, and this earth, All matter quick, and bursting into birth. Above, how high progressive life may go ! Afound, how wide! how deep extend below! Vast chain of being! which from God began, Natures ethereal, human, angel, man, Beast, bird, fish, insect, which no eye can see, No glass can reach; from infinite to thee; From thee to nothing.-On superior powers Were we to press, 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 strike, Tenth, or ten thousandth, breaks the chain alike.
And, if each system in gradation roll
IX. What if the foot, ordain'd the dust to tread, Or hand, to toil, aspired to be the head? What if the head, the eye, or ear, repined To serve mere engines to the ruling mind? Just as absurd for any part to claim To be another in this general frame; Just as absurd, to mourn the task or pains The great directing Mind of all ordains.
All are but parts of one stupendous whole,
Breathes in our soul, informs our mortal part,
As full, as perfect, in vile man that mourns,
X. Cease then, nor order imperfection name: Our proper bliss depends on what we blame. Know thy own point: this kind, this due degree Of blindness, weakness, Heaven bestows on thee.