« EelmineJätka »
Ah! if she lend not arms, as well as rules, What can the more than tell us we are fools? Teach us to mourn our nature, not to mend, A sharp accufer, but a helpless friend ! Or from a judge turn pleader, to persuade The choice we make, or justify it made ; Proud of an easy conquest all along, She but removes weak passions for the strong: So, when small humours gather to a gout, The doctor fancies he has driven them out.
Yes, nature's road must ever be prefer'd; Reason is here no guide, but ftill a guard ; 'Tis hers to rectify, not overthrow, And treat this passion more as friend than foe 3 A mightier power the strong direction fends, And several men impels to several ends : Like varying winds, by other passions tost, This drives them constant to a certain coast. Let power or knowledge, gold or glory, please, Or (oft more strong than all) the love of ease; Thro' life 'tis follow'd, even at life's expence : The merchant's toil, the fage's indolence, The monk's humility, the hero's pride, All, all alike, find reason on their fide.
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 drofs eements 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
Wild nature's vigor working at the root.
What crops of wit and honesty appear
From spleen, from obstinacy, hate, or fear !
See anger, zeal and fortitude supply;
Even avarice, prudence ; Noth, philofophy;
Lust, thro' some certain strainers well refin’d,
Is gentle love, and charms all womankind;
Envy, to which th' ignoble mind's a llave,
Is emulation in the learn'd or brave;
Nor virtue, male or female, can we name,
But what will grow on pride, or grow on shame,
Thus nature gives us (let it check onr pride)
The virtue nearest to our vice ally'd :
Reason the bias turns to good from ill,
And Nero reigns a Titus, if he will,
The fiery soul abhorr'd in Catiline,
In Decius charms, in Curtius is divine:
The same ambition can destroy or save,
And makes a patriot as it makes a knave.
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; Tho' 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.
If white and black blend, foften, and unite
A thousand ways, is there no black or white ?
Ask your own heart, and nothing is so plain;
'Tis to mistake them, costs the time and pain.
Vice is a moniter of fo frightful mien,
As, to be hated, needs but to be seen ;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.
But where th’ Extreme of vice, was ne'er agreed :
Ak where's the North ? at York, 'tis on the Tweed;
In Scotland, at the Orcades; and there,
At Greenland, Zembla, or the Lord knows where.
No creature owns it in the first degree,
But thinks his neighbour further gone than he :
Even those who dwell beneath its very zone,
Or never feel the rage, or never own;
What happier natures shrink at with affright,
The harď inhabitant contends is right.
Virtuous and vicious every man must be, Few in th' extreme, but all in the degree ; The rogue and fool by fits is fair and wise ; And even the best, by fits, what they despise. "Tis but by parts we follow good or ill; For, vice or virtue, felf directs it still, Each individual seeks a several goal; But Heaven's great view is One, and that the Whole : That counter-works each folly and caprice ; That disappoints th' effect of every vice;
That, happy frailties to all ranks apply'd ;
Shame to the virgin, to the matron pride
Fear to the statesman, rashness to the chief,
To kings presumption, and to crowds belief :
That, virtue's ends from vanity can raise,
Which seeks no interesi, no reward but praise ;
And build on wants,' and on defects of mind,
The joy, the peace, the glory of mankind.
Heaven forming each on other to depend,
A master, or a servant, or a friend,
Bids each on other for assistance call,
Till one man's weakness grows the strength of all.
Wants, frailties, passions, closer till ally
The common interest, or endear the tie.
To these we owe true friendship, love sincere,
Each home-felt joy that life inherits here ;
Yet from the same we learn, in its decline,
Those joys, those loves, those interests to resign;
Taught half by reason, half by mere decay,
To welcome death, and calmly pass away.
Whate'er the passion, knowledge, fame, or pelf,
Not one will change his neighbour with himself.
The learn'd is happy nature to explore,
The fool is happy that he knows no more ;
The rich is happy in the plenty given,
The poor contents him with the care of heaven.
See the blind beggar dance, the cripple sing,
The sot a hero, lunatic a king;
The starving chemist in his golden views
Supremely blest, the poet in his muse.
See some strange comfort every state attend,
And pride bestow'd on all, a common friend :
See some fit passion every age supply,
Hope travels thro', nor quits us when we die.
Behold the child, by nature's kindly law,
Pleas'd with a rattle, tickled with a Itraw :
Some livelier play-thing gives his youth delight,
A little louder, but as empty quite :
Scarfs, garters, gold, amuse his riper stage,
And beads and prayer-books are the toys of age :
Pleas'd with this bauble still, as that before ;
'Till tir'd he sleeps, and life's poor play is o’er.
Mean-while opinion gilds with varying rays
Those painted clouds that beaintify our days ;
Each want of happiness by hope supply'd,
And each vacuity of sense by pride :
These build as fast as knowledge can destroy ;
In folly's cup still laughs the bubble joy ;
One prospect loft, another still we gain ;
And not a vanity is given in vain ;
Even mean felf-love becomes, by force divineg
The scale to measure others wants by thine.
See! and confess, one comfort still must rise ;
'Tis this, Tho'man's a fool, yet GOD IS WISE.