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"Twas then the studious head or gen'rous mind,
Follow'r of God, or friend of humankind,
Poet or patriot, rose but to restore
The faith and moral Nature gave before ;
Relum'd her ancient light, not kindled new;
If not God's iniage, yet his shadow drew;
Taught pow'r's due use to people and to kings,
Taught nor to slack, nor strain it's tender strings,
The less or greater set so justly true,
That touching one must strike the other too;
Till jarrirg 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 rest,
And, in proportion as it blesses, blest:
Draw to one point, and to one centre bring
Beast, Man, or Angel, Servant, Lord, or King.
For Forms of Government let fools contest;
Whate'er is best administer'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 great End:
And all of God, that bless Mankind or mend.
Man, like the gen'rous vine, supported 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.
O HAPPINESS! our being's end and aim!
Good, Pleasure, Ease, Content ! whate'er thy name;
That something still, which prompts th' eternal sigh,
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 seed ! if dropp'd below,
Say, in what mortal soil thou deign'st to grow?
Fair op’ning to some court's propitious shine,
Or deep with diamonts 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 soil :
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, fled 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, swell’d to Gods, confess ev'n Virtue vain :
Or indolent, to each extreme they fall,
To trust in ev'ry 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 Opinion's 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 ease.
Remember, Man, " the Universal Cause “ Acts not by partial, but by gen’ral laws ;**
And makes what Happiness we justly call
Subsist vot in the good of one, but all,
There's not a blessing individuals find,
But some way leans and hearkens to the kind ;
No Bandit fierce, no Tyrant mad with pride,
No cavernd Hermit, rests self-satisfied:
Who most to shun or hate Mankind pretend,
Seek an admirer, or would fix a friend :
Abstract what others feel, what others think,
All pleasures sicken, and all glories sink :
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 confess’d,
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 Happiness increase ;
All Nature's diff'rence keeps all Nature's peace.
Condition, circumstance, 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 through ev'ry member of the whole
One common blessing, as one common soul.
But Fortune's gifts if each alike possessid,
And all 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 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 worse.
O, sons 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 Sense,
Lie in three words, Health, Peace, and Competence.
Know 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 blest in what it takes, and what it gives;
The joy unequall'd if it's end it gain,
And if it lose, attended with no pain :
Without satiety, though e'er so bless'd,
And but more relish'd as the more distress'd:
The broadest mirth unfeeling 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 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 sole 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 must miss; the good, untaught, will find :
Slave to no sect, who takes no private road,
But looks through Nature, up to Nature's 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, 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 lengthen'd on to Faith, and unconfin'd,
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 giv’n in vain, but what they seek they find).
Wise is her present; she 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 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 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
Must rise from Individual to the Whole..
Self-love but serves the virtuous mind to wake,
As the snall pebble stirs the peaceful lake ;
The centre mov’d, a cirele straight succeeds,
Another still, 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 blest,
And Heav'n beholds it's image in his breast.
Many by Nambers judge a Poet's song;
And smooth or rough, with them, is right or wrong: