Слике страница

Where slaves once more their native land behold,
No siends torment, no Christians thirst for gold.
To Be, contents his natural desire,
He asks no Angel's wing, no Seraph's fire ; I10
But thinks, admitted to that equal sky,
His faithful dog shall bear him company.

IV. Go, wiser thou ! and, in thy scale of sense,
Weigh thy Opinion against Providence ;
Call imperfection what thou fancy'it such, 119
Say, here he gives too little, there too much :
Destroy all creatures for thy sport or gust,
Yet cry, If Man's unhappy, God's unjust;
If Man alone ingrofs not Heav'n's high care,
Alone made perfect here, immortal there :
Snatch from his hand the balance and the rod,
Re-judge his justice, be the God of God.
In Pride, in reas'ning Pride, our error lies ;
All quit their fphere, and run into the skies.
Pride still is aiming at the blest abodes,

125 Men would be Angels, Angels would be Gods. Aspiring to be Gods, if Angels fell, Aspiring to be Angels, Men rebel :

I 20


After ver. 108. in the first Edition;

But does he say the maker is not good,
Till he's exalted to what state he wou'd :
Himself alone high Heav’n’s peculiar care,
Alone made happy when he will, and where ?

And who but wishes to invert the laws
Of Order, fins against th'Eternal Cause. 130

V. Ask for what end the heav'nly bodies shine, Earth for whose use? Pride answers, “ 'Tis for mine: “ For me kind Nature wakes her genial pow'r, “ Suckles each herb, and spreads out ev'ry flow'r ; “ Annual for me, the grape, the rose renew

135 “ The juice nećtareous, and the balmy dew; “ For me, the mine a thousand treasures brings ; “ For me, health gushes from a thousand springs ; “ Seas roll to waft me, suns to light me rise ; “ My foot-stool earth, my canopy the skies.”

But errs not Nature from this gracious end, From burning suns when livid deaths descend, When earthquakes swallow, or when tempefts sweep Towns to one grave, whole nations to the deep ? si No ('tis reply'd) the first Almighty Cause 145 “ Aas not by partial, but by gen'ral laws ; “ Th'exceptions few; some change since all began: " And what created perfect?” – Why then Man? If the great end be human Happiness, Then Nature deviates ; and can Man do lefs ?



VER. 131. Ask for what end, etc.] If there be any fault in these lines, it is not in the general sentiment, but a want of exactness in expressing it. - It is the highest absurdity to think that Earth is man's foot-ftool, his canopy the Skies, and the beavenly bodies lighted up principally for his use; yet not so, to suppose fruits and minerals given for this end.

VER. 150. Then Nature deviates, etc.] " While comets "move in very eccentric orbs, in all manner of positions, blind

As much that end a constant course requires
Of show'rs and fun-fhine, as of Man's desires ;
As much eternal springs and cloudless skies,
As men for ever temp?rate, calm, and wise.
If plagues or earthquakes break not Heav'n's design,
Why then a Borgia, or a Catiline ?

Who knows but he, whose hand the lightning forms,
Who heaves old Ocean, and who wings the storms;
Pours fierce Ambition in a Cæsar's mind, 159
Or turns young Ammon loose to scourge mankind ?
From pride, from pride, our very reas’ning springs ;
Account for moral as for nat'ral things :
Why charge we Heav'n in those, in these acquit ?
In both, to reason right, is to submit.

Better for us, perhaps, it might appear, 165 Were there all harinony, ali virtue here; That never air or ocean felt the wind, That never paffion discompos'd the mind. But all subfifts by elemental strife ; And paflions are the elements of Life.

170 The gen'ral Order, fince the whole began, Is kept in Nature, and is kept in Man.

* Fate could never make all the planets move one and the same way in orbs concentric ; some inconsiderable irregularities excepted, which may have risen from the mutual actions of comets and planets upon one another, and which will be apt to increase, 'till this system wants a reforma“ tion.” Sir Isaac Newton's Optics, Queft, ult.

VER, 169. But all subsisis, etc.) See this subject extended in E. ij. from ver. go. to 112, 155, etc.

VI. What would this Man ? Now upward will he

foar, And little less than Angel, 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 allign’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 bleft with all ?

The bliss of Man (could Pride that blesling find) Is not to act or think beyond mankind; 190 No pow'rs of body, or of foul to share, But what his nature and his state can bear. Why has not Man a microscopic eye? For this plain reafon, man is not a Fly.

VER. 174. And little less than Angel, etc.] Thou hast made bim a little lower than the Angels, and haft crowned bim with glory and boncur. Psalm viii. 9.

VER. 182. Here with degrees of Grifiness, etc. ] It is a certain axiom in the anatomy of creatures, that, in proportion as they are formed for strength, their swiftness is leliened ; or as they are formed for Twiftness, their strength is abated.


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 eMuvia darting thro' the brain,
Die of a rose in aromatic pain ?
If nature thunder'd in his op'ning ears,
And stunn'd him with the mufic of the spheres,
How would he with that Heav'n had left him ftill
The whispåring 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 sensual, mental pow'rs ascends :
Mark how it mounts to Man's imperial race,
From the green myriads in the peopled grass :
What modes of fight 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:

[ocr errors]

VER, 202. Stunnid him witb the mufic of the spheres, ] This instance is poctical and even sublime, but misplaced. He is arguing philosophically in a case that required him to employ the real objects of sense only: and, what is worse, he speaks of this as a real object. If NATURE thunder'd, etc. The cafe is different where (in ver. 253.) he speaks of the morion of the heavenly bodies under the sublime Imagery of ruling Angels : For wheiher there be ruling Angels or no, there is real motion, which was all his argument wanted ; but if there be no mafic of the Jpberes, there was no real sound, which his argument was obliged to find.

VER, 213. The headlorg li ness] 'The manner of the lions

« ПретходнаНастави »