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Heav'n breathes thro' every member of the whole
One common blessing, as one common foul..
But Fortune's gifts if each alike poffeft;
And each were equal, must not all contest?:
If then to all men Happiness was meant,
God in Externals could not place Content. -
Fortune her gifts may variously difpofe,
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 fons of earth! attempt ye still to rise,
By mountains pild 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 Senfe,
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 bliss stands still,
And tastes the good without the fall to ill;
Where only Merit constant pay receives,
Is bleft in what it takes, and what it gives ;
The joy unequall'd, if its end it gain,
And if it lose, attended with no pain :
Without fatiety, tho' e'er so bless’d,
And but more relish'd as the more distress'd:
The broadest mirth, un feeling Folly wears,
Less pleasing far than Virtue's very tears :
Good, from each object, from each place acquir’d,
For ever exercis’d, yet never tir'd;
Never elated, while one man's opprefs'd;
Never. dejected, while another's bless'd;
And where no wants, no wishes can remain,.
Since but to with 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 mifs; the good, untaught, will find is
Slave to no fect, who takes no private road,
But looks thro’ Nature, up to Nature's God;
Pursues that Chain which links th’immense design,
Joins heay'n and earth, and mortal and divine ;.,
Sees, that no Being any bliss can know,
But touches fome above, and some below:-
Learns, from this union of the rifing Whole,
The first, last 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 lengthend 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 di&tates to no other kind
Are given in vain, but what they seek they find)
Wise is her present; the connects in this
His greatef Virtue with his greatest Blifs ;
At once his own bright prospect to be blest,
And strongest motive to assist the rest.
Self-love thus push'd to social, to divine,
Gives thee to make thy neighbour's blessing thine.
Is this too little for the boundless heart?
Extend it, let thy enemies have part:
Grasp the whole worlds of Reason, Life, and Sense,
In one clofe fyftem.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;
Must rise from Individual to the Whole.
Self-love but serves the virtuous mind to wake,
As the small pebble stirs the peaceful lake;
"The centre mov'd, a circle strait succeeds,.
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' d'erflowings of the mind
Take ev'ry creature in, of ev'ry kind ;
Earth smiles around, with boundless bounty blest,
And Heav'n beholds its image in his breast.
ANY by Numbers judge a Poet's fong;
And smooth or rough, with them, is right or wrong; In the bright Mufe tho' thousand charms confpire, Her voice is all these tuneful fools admire; Who haant Parnassus but to please their ear, Not mend their minds; as some to Church repair Not for the doctrine, but the music there. These equal fyllables alone require, Tho' oft the ear the open vowels tire; While expletives their feeble aid do join ; And ten low words oft creep in one dull line : While they ring round the same unvary'd chimes, With sure returns of ftill expected rhimes ; Where'er you find the cooling western breeze," In the next line, it " whispers thro' the trees :" If crystal streams “ with pleasing murmurs creep,” The reader's threaten'd (not in vain) with" sleep :" Then, at the last and only couplet fraught With some unmeaning thing they call a thought, A needlefs Alexandrine ends the song, That, like a wounded snake, drags its slow length along. Leave such to tune their own dull rhimes, and know What's roundly smooth, or languishingly flow; And praise the easy vigour of a line, Where Denham's strength, and Waller's sweetness join. True ease in writing comes from art, not chance, As those move easiest who have learn'd.to dance
'Tis not enough no harshness gives offence,
The found must seem an echo to the sense :
Soft is the strain when Zephyr gently blows,
- And the smooth stream in smoother numbers flows;
But when loud surges lash the founding fore,
The hoarse, rough verse should like the torrent roar :
When Ajax strives fome rock's vast weight to throw,
The line too labours, and the words move flow;
Not so, when swift Camilla fcours the plain,
Flies o’er th' unbending corn, and skims along the main.
Hear how Timotheus vary'd lays surprise,
And bid alternate paffions fall and rise !
While, at each change, the fon of Libyan Jove
Now burns with glory, and then melts with love;
Now his fierce eyes with sparkling fury glow,
Now sighs steal out, and tears begin to flow :
Persians and Greeks like turns of nature found,
And the World's victor stood subdued by Sound !
OW to live happieft; how avoid the pains,
The disappointments, and disgusts of those
Who would in pleasure all their hours employ;
here of a divine old man
I could recite. Tho' old, he still retain'd
His manly sense, and energy of mind.
Virtuous and wife he was, but not severe;
He still remember'd that he once was young;
His easy presence check'd no decent joy.