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с н А Р. XV.
H HAPPINESS ! our being's end and aim !
Good, Pleasure, Ease, Content! whate'er thy name;
That something still which prompts the eternal figh,
For which we bear to live, or dare to die;
Which still so near us, yet beyond us lies,
O'erlook'd, seen double, by the fool, and wise.
Plant of celestial feed ! if dropt below,
Say, in what mortal soil thou deign'st to grow ?
Fair op'ning to some Court's propitious shine,
Or deep with diamonds in the flaming mine?
Twin'd with the wreaths Parnassian laurels yield,
Or reap'd in iron harvests of the field ?
Where grows ?—where grows it not ? If vain our toil,
We ought to blame the culture, not the foil :
Fix'd to no spot.is Happiness sincere,
*Tis no where to be 'found, or ev'ry where ;;
'Tis never to be bought, but always free,
And, Aed from monarchs, ST. JOHN ! dwells with thee.
Ask of the Learn'd the way? The Learn’d are blind;;
This bids to serve, and that to shun mankind:
Some place the bliss in action, some in ease,
“Those call it. Pleasure, and Contentment these ;
Some, sunk to beasts, find pleasure end in pain ;
Some, swellid to Gods, confess ev'n Virtue vain ;
Or indolent, to each extreme they fall,
"To trust in every thing, or doubt of all.
Who thus define it, say they more or less
Than this, that Happiness is Happiness.?
Take Nature's path, and mad Opinions leave :
All states can reach it, and all heads conceive ;
Obvious her goods, in no extreme they dwell ;
There needs but thinking right, and meaning well;
And mourn our various portions as we please,
Equal is Common Sense, and Common Eafe.
Remember, Man, “the Universal Cause
66 Acts not by partial, but by gen’ral laws ;"
And makes what Happinefs we justly call
Subfift not in the good of one, but all.
There's not a blessing Individuals find.
leans and hearkens to the kind;
No Bandit fierce, no Tyrant mad with pride,
No cavern'd Hermit, rests self-fatisfied :
Who most to thun or hate Mankind pretend,
Seek an admirer, or would fix a friend :
Abstract what others feel; what others think,
All pleasures ficken, and all glories fink :
Each has his share ; and who would more obtain
Shall find, the pleasure pays not half the pain.
Order is Heav'n's first law; and this confest,
Some are, and must be, greater than the rest,
More rich; more wise ; but who infers from hence
"That such are happier, shocks all common sense.
Heav'n to mankind impartial we confess,
If all are equal in their Happiness :
But mutual wants this Happinefs increase ;
All Nature's difference keeps all Nature's peace,
Condition, circumftance, is not the thing ;
Bliss is the same in subject or in king;
In who obtain defence, or who defend,
In him who is, or him who finds a friend.:
Heav'n breathes thro' every member of the whole
One common bleffing, as one common soul.
But Fortune's gifts if each alike poffeft,
And each were equal, must not all contest ?
If then to all men Happinefs was meant,
Gud in Externals could not place Content.
Fortune her gifts may variously dispose,
And these be happy call'd, unhappy those ;
But Heav'n's just balance equal will appear,
While those are plac'd in Hope, and these in Fear :
Not present good or ill, the joy or curse,
But future views of better, or of worfe.
Oh sons of earth ! attempt ye still to rise,
By mountains pil'd on mountains, to the skies!
Heav'n still with laughter the vain toil surveys,
And buries madmen in the heaps they raise.
Know, all the good that individuals find,
Or God and Nature meant to mere mankind,
Reason's whole pleasure, all the joys of Sense,
Lie in three words, Health, Peace, and Competence.
NOW thou this truth (enough for man to know)
“ Virtue alone is happiness below.”
The only point where human blifs stands ftill,
And tastes the good without the fall to ill;
Where only Merit conftant pay receives,
Is blest in what it takes, and what it gives ;
The joy unequall'd if its end it gain,
And if it lofe, attended with no pain,
Without satiety, tho'e'er so bless'd,
And but more relish'd as the more diftress'd :
The broadest mirth unfeeling Folly wears,
Less pleasing far than Virtue's very tears :
Good, from each object, from each place acquit'a,
For ever exercis’d, yet never tir'd ;
Never elated, while one man's oppress'd ;
Never dejected, while another's bless'd;
And where no wants, no wishes can remain,
Since but to wish more Virtue, is to gain.
See the fole bliss Heav'n could on all bestow !
Which who but feels can taste, but thinks can know :
Yet poor with fortune, and with learning blind,
The bad muft miss; the good, untaught, will find ;
Slave to no fect, who takes no private road,
But looks thro' Nature, up to Nature, God ;
Pursues that Chain which links th' immense design,
Joins heav'n and earth, and mortal and divine ;
Sees, that no Being any bliss can know
But touches some above, and some below;
Learns, from this union of the rising Whole,
The first, laft purpose of the human soul;
And knows where Faith, Law, Morals, all began,
All end, in Love of God, and, LOVE OF MAN.
For him alone, Hope leads from goal to goal,
And opens still, and
opens on his soul ; "Till lengthen'd on to Faith, and unconfin'd, It
pours the bliss that fills up all the mind. He sees why Nature plants in man alone Hope of known bliss, and Faith in bliss unknown :
(Nature, whose dictates to no other kind
Are given in vain, but what they seek they find)
Wise is her present ; lhe connects in this
His greatest Virtue with his greatest Bliss ;
At once his own bright prospect to be blest,
And strongest motive to assist the rest.
Self-love thus pufh'd to social, to divine,
Gives thee to make thy neighbour's blessing thine,
Is this too little for thy boundless heart?
Extend it, let thy enemies have part :
Grasp the whole worlds of Reason, Life, and Sense,
In one close system of Benevolence :
Happier as kinder, in whate'er degree,
And height of Bliss but height of Charity
God loves from Whole to Parts : But human soul
Muft rise from Individual to the Whole.
Self-love but serves the virtuous mind to wake,
As the small pebble ftirs the peaceful lake ;
The centre mov'd, a circle strait fucceeds,
Another ftill, and still another spreads ;
Friend, parent, neighbour, first it will embrace ;
His country next ; and next all human race ;
Wide and more wide, th' o'erflowings of the mind
Take ev'ry creature in of ev'ry kind;
Earth smiles around, with boundless bounty bleft,
And Hear'n beholds its image in his breaft.