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Or, meteorlike, flame lawless through the void, Destroying others, by himself destroy'd.
Most strength the moving principle requires; Active its task, it prompts, impels, inspires. Sedate and quiet the comparing lies, Form'd but to check, deliberate, and advise. Self-love, still stronger, as its objects nigh; Reasons at distance, and in prospect lie: That sees immediate good by present sense ; Reason the future and the consequence. Thicker than arguments temptations throng; At best more watchful this, but that more strong. The action of the stronger to suspend, Reason still use, to reason still attend. Attention habit and experience gains; Each strengthens reason, and self-love restrains. Let subtle schoolmen teach these friends to fight, More studious to divide than to unite; And grace
and virtue, sense and reason split, With all the rash dexterity of wit. Wits, just like fools, at war about a name, Have full as oft no meaning, or the same. Self-love and reason to one end aspire, Pain their aversion, pleasure their desire; But greedy that, its object would devour ; This taste the honey, and not wound the flower : Pleasure, or wrong or rightly understood, Our greatest evil or our greatest good.
3. Modes of self-love the passions we may call; 'Tis real good or seeming moves them all :
But since not every good we can divide,
In lazy apathy let stoics boast
Passions, like elements, though born to fight, Yet, mix'd and soften'd, in his work unite : These 'tis enough to temper and employ; But what composes man can man destroy ? Suffice that reason keep to nature's road; Subject, compound them, follow her and God. Love, hope, and joy, fair pleasure's smiling train, Hate, fear, and grief, the family of pain, These mix'd with art, and to due bounds confin'd, Make and maintain the balance of the mind; The lights and shades, whose well accorded strife Gives all the strength and colour of our life.
Pleasures are ever in our hands or eyes, And when in act they cease, in prospect rise ;
Present to grasp, and future still to find,
the rest. As man, perhaps, the moment of his breath Receives the lurking principle of death, The young disease, that must subdue at length, Grows with his growth, and strengthens with his
strength : So, cast and mingled with his very frame, The mind's disease, its ruling passion, came; Each vital humour, which should feed the whole, Soon flows to this in body and in soul; Whatever warms the heart or fills the head, As the mind opens and its functions spread, Imagination plies her dangerous art, And pours
it all upon the peccant part. .
We, wretched subjects, though to lawful sway, In this weak queen some favourite still obey: Ah! if she lend not arms as well as rules, What can she more than tell us we are fools ?
Teach us to mourn our nature, not to mend,
Yes, nature's road must ever be preferr'd;
Th' eternal art educing good from ill, Grafts on this passion our best principle: 'Tis thus the mercury of man is fix'd, Strong grows the virtue with his nature mix'd ; The dross cements what else were too refin'd, And in one interest body acts with mind.
As fruits ungrateful to the planter's care, On savage stocks inserted, learn to bear;
The surest virtues thus from passions shoot,
Thus nature gives us (let it check our pride)
4. This light and darkness in our chaos join'd, What shall divide ?--the God within the mind.
Extremes in nature equal ends produce; In man they join to some mysterious use; Though each by turns the other's bounds invade, As in some well wrought picture light and shade, And oft so mix, the difference is too nice Where ends the virtue or begins the vice.
Fools! who from hence into the notion fall That vice or virtue there is none at all.