« AnteriorContinuar »
Pride ftill is aiming at the blest abodes,
Men would be Angels, Angels would be Gods,
Aspiring to be Gods, if Angels fell,
Aspiring to be Angels, Men rebel ;
And who but wishes to invert the laws,
Of Order, fins against th' Eternal Cause.
EE, tho' this air, this ocean, and this earth,
All matter quick, and bursting into birth,
Above, how high progressive life may go !
Around, how. wide ! how deep extend below!
Vaft chain of Being ! which from God began,
Nature ethereal, human ; angel, man ;
Beaft, bird, fish, insect, what no eye can fee,
No gla's can reach ; from Infinite to thee,
From thee to Nothing.-On superior pow'rs
Were we to press, inferior might on ours :
Or in the full creation leave a void,
Where, one step broken, the great scale’s destroyed
From Nature's chain whatever link you strike,
Tenth or ten thousandth, breaks the chain alike,
And, if each system in gradation roll
Alike effential to th' amazing Whole,
The least confufion but in one, not all
That system only, but the whole must fall.
Let earth, unblanc'd from her orbit fly,
Planets and Suns run lawless thro' the sky ;
Let ruling Angels from their spheres be hurl'd,
Being on Being wreck'd, and world on world ;
Heav'n's whole foundations to their centre nod,
And Nature tremble to the throne of God.
All this dread Order break--for whom ? for thee?
Vile worm !Oh Mad fs,! Pride ! Impiety
While if the foot, ordain'd the dust to tread,
Or hand, to toil, aspir’d to be the head ?
What if the head, the eye, or ear repin'd
To ferve more engines to the ruling Mind?
Just as absurd for any part to claim
To be another, in this gen'ral frame:
Just as abfurd, 'to mourn the tasks or pains,
The great directing Mind of Al'l ordains.
All are but parts of one ftupendous whole,
Whofe body Nature is, and God the soul:
That, chang'd thro' all, and yet in all the fame,
Great in the earth, as in th' ethereal frame,
Warms in the fun, "refreshes in the breeze,
Glows in the stars, and blossoms in the trees,
Lives thro' all life, extends thro' all extent,
Spreads undivided, operates unfpent ;
Breathes in our soul, informs our mortal part,
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.
Cease then, nor Order Imperfection name :
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,
Secure to be as bleft 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 fee;
All Discord, Harmony not understood ;
All partial Evil, universal Good.:
And, spite of Pride, in erring Reason's spite,
One truth is clear, WHATEVER 1Sį IS RIGHT.
THE ORIGIN OF SUPERSTITION AND TYRANNY..
HO first taught souls enflav'd, and realms undone,
Th' enormous faith of many made for one ;
That proud.exception to all Nature's laws,
T'invert the world, and counter-work its Cause?
Force first made Conquest, and that conqueft, Law;
Till Superstition taught the tryant awe,
Then shar'd the Tyranny, then lent it aid,
And Gods of Conqu’rors, Slaves of Subjects made ::
She 'midst the lightning's blaze, and thunder's found, -When rock'd the mountains, and when groan'd the ground,
She taught the weak to bend, the proud to pray,
To Pow'r unseen, and mightier far than they :
She, from the rending earth and bursting skies,
Saw Gods descend, and fiends infernal rise:
Here fix'd the dreadful, there the blest abodes:;
Fear made her Devils, and weak Hope her Gods;
Gods partial, changeful, passionate, unjust,
Whose attributes were Rage, Revenge, or Luft;
Such as the fouls of cowards might conceive,
And, form'd like tyrants, tyrants would believe.
Zeal then, not charity, became the guide ;
And hell was built on fpite, and heav'n on pride.
Then sacred seem'd th' ethereal vault no more ;
marble then, and reek'd with gore ;
Then first the Flamen tasted living food ;
Next his grim idol smear'd with human blood ;
With Heav'n's own thunders shook the world below,
And play'd the God an engine on his foe.
So drives Self-love, thro' just and thro’ unjust,
To one Man's pow'r, ambition, lucre, luft :
The fame Self-love, in all, becomes the cause
Of what restrains him, Government and Laws,
For, what one likes if others like as well,
What serves one will, when many wills rebel?
How shall he keep, what; sleeping or awake,
A weaker may surprise, a stronger take?
His safety must his liberty restrain:
All join to guard what each desires to gain.
Forc'd into virtue thus by Self-defence,
Ev'n kings learn'd justice and benevolence :
Self-love forsook the path it first pursu'd,
And found the private in the public good.
'Twas then, the studious head or gen'rous mind,
Follow'r of God, or friend of human kind,
Poet or patriot, rose but to restore
The Faith and Moral, Nature gave before :
Re-lum'd her ancient light, not kindled new;
If not God's image, yet his Shadow drew :
Taught Pow'r's due use to People and to Kings,
Taught nor to slack, nor strain its tender strings,
The less, or greater, fet fo juft y true,
That touching one must strike the other too ;
"Till jarring int'rests of themselves create
Th' according music of a well-mix'd State.
Such is the world's great harmony, that springs
From Order, Union, full Consent of things
Where small and great, where weak and mighty, made,
To serve, not suffer, strengthen, not invade :
More pow'rful each as needful to the reft,
And, in proportion as it bleffes, blest ;
Draw to one point, and to one centre bring
Beaft, Man, or Angel, Servant, Lord, or King.
For Forms of Government let fools contest ;
Whate'er is best adminifter'd is best :
For Modes of Faith let graceless zealots fight ;
His can't be wrong whose life is in the right :
In Faith and Hope the world will disagree,
But all Mankind's concern is Charity :
All must be false that thwart this One
And all of God that bless Mankind or mend.
Man, like the gen'rous vine, suported lives ;
The strength he gains is from th' embrace he gives,
On their own axis as the Planets run,
Yet make at once their circle round the Sun ;
So two consistent'motions act the Soul ;
And one regards Itself, and one the Whole.
· Thus God and Nature link'd the gen'ral frame,
And bade Self-love and Social be the same.