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Some safer world in depth of woods embrac'd,
4. Go, wiser thou ! and in thy scale of sense
5. Ask for what end the heavenly bodies shine, Earth for whose use ?-Pride answers, “ 'Tis for
mine: For me kind Nature wakes her genial power,
Suckles each herb, and spreads out every flower;
But errs not Nature from this gracious end,
sweep Towns to one grave, whole nations to the deep? “ No, ('tis replied) the first Almighty Cause Acts not by partial but by general 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 less ? As much that end a constant course requires Of showers and sunshine, as of man's desires ; As much eternal springs and cloudless skies, As men for ever temperate, calm, and wise. If plagues or earthquakes break not Heaven'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, Or turns young Ammon loose to scourge mankind ?
From pride, from pride, our very reasoning springs;
Better for us, perhaps, it might appear,
6. What would this man? Now upward will he And little less than angel, would be more; Now looking downwards, just as griev'd appears 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 powers of all ? Nature to these without profusion kind, The proper organs, proper powers assign'd; 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 : Is Heaven unkind to man, and man alone ? Shall he alone, whom rational we call, Be pleas'd with nothing if not bless'd with all ?
The bliss of man (could pride that blessing find) Is not to act or think beyond mankind;
powers of body or of soul to share, But what his nature and his state can bear. Why has not man a microscopic eye? For this plain reason, man is not a fly. Say what the use were finer optics given, T' inspect a mite, not comprehend the heaven? Or louch, if tremblingly alive all o'er, To smart and agonize at every pore? Or quick effluvia darting through the brain, Die of a rose in aromatic pain ? If nature thunder'd in his opening ears, And stunn'd him with the music of the spheres, How would he wish that Heaven had left him still The whispering zephyr and the purling rill? Who finds not Providence all good and wise, Alike in what it gives and whát denies ?
7. Far as creation's ample range extends The scale of sensual, mental powers ascends : Mark how it mounts to man's imperial race From the green myriads in the peopled grass : What modes of sight betwixt each wide extreme, The mole’s dim curtain and the lynx's beam! Of smell, the headlong lioness between And hound sågacious on the tainted green! Of hearing, from the life that fills the flood To that which warbles through the vernal wood ! The spider's touch, how exquisitely fine! Feels at each thread, and lives along the line : In the nice bee what sense so subtly true, From poisonous herbs extracts the healing dew!
How instinct varies in the groveling swine,
8. See through this air, this ocean, and this earth,
And if each system in gradation roll,