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That never air or ocean felt the wind;
That never passion discompos'd the mind.
But All subsists by elemental strife ;
And passions are the elements of life.
The gen’ral ORDER, since the whole began,
Is kept in nature, and is kept in man.
VI. What would this man? Now upward will he
And little less than angels, would be more ;
Now looking downwards, just as griev'd appears 175
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 pow'rs of all;
Nature to these, without profusion, kind,
The proper organs, proper pow'rs assign’d; 180
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 : 185
Is heav'n unkind to man, and man alone ?
Shall he alone, whom rational we call,
Be pleas’d 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; 190
Ver. 174. And little less than angels, &c.] Thou hast made bim a little lower than the angels, and hast crown'd bim with glory and bonour. Psalm viii. 9.
No pow'rs of body or of soul to share,
But what his nature and his state can bear.
Why has not man a microscopic eye?
For this plain reason, man is not a fly.
Say what the use, were finer optics giv'n, 195
T'inspect a mite; not comprehend the Heav'n?
Or touch, if tremblingly alive all o'er,
To smart and agonize at ev'ry pore?
Or quick effluvia darting through the brain,
Die of a rose in aromatic pain :
If nature thunder'd in his op'ning ears,
And stunn'd him with the music of the spheres,
How would he wish that Heav'n had left him still
The whisp'ring zephyr, and the purling rill ?
Who finds not Providence all good and wise, 205
Alike in what it gives, and what denies ?
VII. Far as creation's ample range extends, The scale of sensual, mental pow'rs ascends : Marķ how it mounts, to man's imperial race, From the green myriads in the peopled grass : 210 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 to the tainted green :
Of Ver. 213. the beadlong lioness) The manner of the lions hunting their prey in the desarts of Africa is this : at their first going out in the night-time, they set up a loud roar, and then listen to the noise made by the beasts in their flight, pursuing them by the ear, and not by the nostril. It is probable the story of the jackall's hunting for the lion, was occasioned by the observation of this defect of scent in that terrible animal,
Of hearing, from the life that fills the flood, 215
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 pois’nous herbs extracts the healing dew? 220
How instinct varies in the grov’ling swine,
Compar'd, half-reas’ning elephant, with thine !.
"Twixt that, and reason, what a nice barrier ?
For ever sep’rate, yet for ever near !
Remembrance and reflection, how ally'd; 225
What thin partitions sense from thought divide ?
And middle uatures, how they long to join,
Yet never pass th' insuperable line!
Without this just gradation, could they be
Subjected, these to those, or all to thee ? 230
The pow'rs of all subdu'd by thee alone,
Is not thy reason all these pow'rs in one ?
VIII. See, thro' this air, this ocean, and this earth,
All matter quick, and bursting into birth.
Above, how high, progressive life may go ! 235
Around, how wide, how deep extend below!
Vast chain of being ! which from God began,
Natures ethereal, human, angel, man,
Beast, bird, fish, insect, what no eye can see,
No glass can reach ; from infinite to thee, 240
From thee to nothing. - On superior pow'rs
Were we to press, inferior might on ours :
VER. 238. Ed. Ist.
Ethereal essence, spirit, substance, man.
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, 245
Tenth, or ten thousandth, breaks the chain alike.
And, if each system in gradation roll
Alike essential to th’ amazing whole,
The least confusion but in one, not all
That system only, but the whole must fall. 250
Let earth unbalanc'd from her orbit fly,
Planets and stars run lawless through the sky;
Let ruling angels from their spheres be hurld,
Being on being wreck’d, and world on world ;
Heav'n's whole foundations to their centre nod, 255
And nature trembles to the throne of God.
All this dread Order break-for whom? for thee?
Vile worm!-oh madness! pride ! impiety!
IX. What if the foot, ordain'd the dust to tread, Or hand, to toil, aspir'd to be the head ? 260 What if the head, the eye, or ear repin'd To serve mere engines to the ruling mind? Just as absurd for any part to claim To be another, in this gen'ral frame : Just as absurd, to mourn the tasks or pains, 265 The great directing MIND OF ALL ordains.
All are but parts of one stupendous whole, Whose body nature is, and God the soul ;
That, chang'd through all, and yet in all the same : Great in the earth, as in th’ ethereal frame ; 270
Warms in the sun, refreshes in the breeze,
Glows in the stars, and blossoms in the trees,
Lives through all life, extends through all extent,
Spreads undivided, operates unspent ;
Breathes in our soul, informs our mortal part, 275
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 small ; :
He fills, He bounds, connects, and equals all. 280
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, Heav'n bestows on thee.
Submit. - In this, or any other sphere, - 285
Secure to be as blest as thou canst bear :
Safe in the hand of one disposing Pow'r,
Or in the natal, or the mortal hour.
All nature is but art, unknown to thee ;
All chance, direction, which thou canst not see ; 290
All discord, harmony not understood ;
All partial evil, universal good :
And, spite of pride, in erring reason's spite,
One truth is clear, WHATEVER IS, IS RIGHT.
After ver. 282. in the MS.
Reason, to think of God when she pretends,
Begins a censor, an adorer ends.