« EelmineJätka »
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 blest with all?
The bliss of man (could pride that blessing find)
Is not to act or think beyond mankind;
No 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 touch, 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 what denies?
VII. 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 sagacious 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 grovelling swine,
Compar'd, half-reasoning elephant, with thine!
"Twixt that, and Reason, what a nice barrier!
For ever separate, yet for ever near!
Remembrance and Reflection how allied!
What thin partitions Sense from Thought divide!
And middle natures, how they long to join,
Yet never pass th' insuperable line!
Without this just gradation, could they be
Subjected, these to those, or all to thee?
The powers of all subdued by thee alone,
Is not thy Reason all these powers in one?
VIII. See, through this air, this ocean, and this
All matter quick, and bursting into birth.
Above, how high! progressive life may go!
Around, how wide! how deep extend below!
Vast chain of being! which from God began,
Natures ethereal, human, angel, man,
Beast, bird, fish, insect, what no eye can see,
No glass can reach; from Infinite to thee,
From thee to Nothing.-On superior powers
Were we to press, inferior might on ours;
Or in the full creation leave a void,
Where, one step broken, the great scale's destroy'd: |
From Nature's chain whatever link you strike,
Tenth, or ten thousandth, breaks the chain alike.
And, if each system in gradation roll
Alike essential to th' amazing whole,
The least confusion but in one, not all
That system only, but the whole must fall.
Let Earth unbalanc'd from her orbit fly,
Planets and suns run lawless through the sky;
Let ruling angels from their spheres be hurl'd,
Being on being wreck'd, and world on world;
Heaven's whole foundations to their centre nod,
And Nature trembles to the throne of God.
All this dread order break-for whom? for thee?
Vile worm!-oh madness! pride! impiety!
IX. What if the foot, ordain'd the dust to tread,
Or hand, to toil, aspir'd to be the head?
What if the head, the eye, or ear, repin'd
To serve mere engines to the ruling mind?
Just as absurd for any part to claim
To be another in this general frame:
Just as absurd, to mourn the tasks or pains
The great directing mind of all ordains.
All are but parts of one stupendous whole, Whose body Nature is, and God the soul; That chang'd through all, and yet in all the same; Great in the Earth, as in th' ethereal frame; Warms in the Sun, refreshes in the breeze, Glows in the stars, and blossoms in the trees; Lives through all life, extends through all extent; Spreads undivided, operates unspent ; Breathes in our soul, informs our mortal part, As full, as perfect, in a hair as heart, As full, as perfect, in vile man that mourns, As the rapt seraph that adores and burns: To him no high, no low, no great, no small; He fills, he bounds, connects, and equals all.
X. Cease, then, nor order imperfection name:
Our proper bliss depends on what we blame.
Know thy own point: this kind, this due degree
Of blindness, weakness, Heaven bestows on thee.
Submit.-In this, or any other sphere,
Secure to be as blest as thou canst bear :
Safe in the hand of one disposing Power,
Or in the natal, or the mortal hour.
All Nature is but Art, unknown to thee;
All Chance, Direction, which thou canst not see;
All Discord, Harmony not understood;
All partial Evil, universal Good.
And, spite of Pride, in erring Reason's spite,
One truth is clear, WHATEVER is, is right.
OF THE NATURE AND STATE OF MAN WITH RESPECT TO HIMSELF, AS AN INDIVIDUAL.
I. The business of man not to pry into God, but to study himself. His middle nature: his powers and frailties. The limits of his capacity. II. The two principles of man, self-love and reason, both necessary. Self-love the stronger, and why. Their end the same. III. The passions, and their use. The predominant passion, and its force. Its necessity, in directing men to different purposes. Its providential use, in fixing our principle, and ascertaining our virtue. IV. Virtue and vice joined in our mixed nature; the limits near, yet the
things separate and evident: what is the office of Man, but for that, no action could attend, reason. V. How odious vice in itself, and how And but for this, were active to no end: we deceive ourselves into it. VI. That, however, Fix'd like a plant on his peculiar spot; the ends of Providence and general good are an- To draw nutrition, propagate, and rot, swered in our passions and imperfections. How Or, meteor-like, flame lawless through the void, usefully these are distributed to all orders of men. Destroying others, by himself destroy'd. How useful they are to society; and to individuals, in every state, and every age of life.
I. KNOW then thyself, presume not God to scan,
The proper study of mankind is man.
Plac'd on this isthmus of a middle state,
A being darkly wise, and rudely great:
With too much knowledge for the Sceptic side,
With too much weakness for the Stoic's pride,
He hangs between; in doubt to act, or rest;
In doubt to deem himself a god, or beast;
In doubt his mind or body to prefer;
Born but to die, and reasoning but to err;
Alike in ignorance, his reason such,
Whether he thinks too little, or too much:
Chaos of thought and passion, all confus'd;'
Still by himself abus'd, or disabus'd;
Created half to rise, and half to fall;
Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all;
Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurl'd:
The glory, jest, and riddle of the world!
Go, wondrous creature! mount where Science guides,
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;
Reason's 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, his object would devour,
Pleasure, or wrong or rightly understood, Our greatest evil, or our greatest good.
Go, measure Earth, weigh air, and state the tides; This taste the honey, and not wound the flower:
Instruct the planets in what orbs to run,
Correct old Time, and regulate the Sun;
Go, soar with Plato to th' empyreal sphere,
To the first good, first perfect, and first fair;
Or tread the mazy round his followers trod,
And quitting sense call imitating God;
As eastern priests in giddy circles run,
And turn their heads to imitate the Sun.
Go, teach Eternal Wisdom how to rule-
Then drop into thyself, and be a fool!
Superior beings, when of late they saw
A mortal man unfold all Nature's law,
Admir'd such wisdom in an earthly shape,
And show'd a Newton as we show an ape.
Could he, whose rules the rapid comet bind,
Describe or fix one movement of his mind!
Who saw its fires here rise and there descend,
Explain his own beginning or his end?
Alas, what wonder! Man's superior part
Uncheck'd may rise, and climb from art to art;
But when his own great work is but begun,
What Reason weaves, by Passion is undone.
Trace Science, then, with Modesty thy guide;
First strip off all her equipage of Pride;
Deduct what is but Vanity or dress,
Or Learning's luxury, or Idleness;
Or tricks to show the stretch of human brain,
Mere curious pleasure, or ingenious pain;
Expunge the whole, or lop th' excrescent parts
Of all our Vices have created Arts;
Then see how little the remaining sum,
Which serv'd the past, and must the times to come!
II. Two principles in human nature reign;
Self-love, to urge, and Reason, to restrain;
Nor this a good, nor that a bad we call,
Each works its end, to move or govern all :
And to their proper operation still,
Ascribe all good, to their improper, ill.
Self-love, the spring of motion, acts the soul;
Reason's comparing balance rules the whole.
III. 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,
And Reason bids us for our own provide;
Passions, though selfish, if their means be fair,
List under Reason, and deserve her care;
Those, that imparted, court a nobler aim,
Exalt their kind, and take some virtue's name.
In lazy apathy let Stoics boast
Their virtue fix'd; 'tis fix'd as in a frost;
Contracted all, retiring to the breast;
But strength of mind is exercise, not rest:
The rising tempest puts in act the soul;
Parts it may ravage, but preserves the whole.
On life's vast ocean diversely we sail,
Reason the card, but Passion is the gale;
Nor God alone in the still calm we find,
He mounts the storm, and walks upon the wind.
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, mixt 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 color of our life.
Pleasures are ever in our hands and eyes;
And when in act they cease, in prospect rise:
Present to grasp, and future still to find,
The whole employ of body and of mind.
All spread their charms, but charm not all alike
On different senses, different objects strike:
Hence different passions more or less inflame,
As strong or weak, the organs of the frame;
And hence one master passion in the breast,
Like Aaron's serpent, swallows up the rest.
As man, perhaps, the moment of his breath,
Receives the lurking principle of Death;
The young disease, which must subdue at length,
Grows with his growth, and strengthens with his
So, cast and mingled with his very frame,
The mind's disease, its Ruling Passion came;
Each vital humor 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.
Nature its mother, Habit is its nurse;
Wit, Spirit, Faculties, but make it worse;
Reason itself but gives it edge and power;
As Heaven's blest beam turns vinegar more sour.
We, wretched subjects though to lawful sway,
In this weak queen, some favorite 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 ;
A sharp accuser, 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 humors gather to a gout,
The doctor fancies he has driv'n them out.
Yes, Nature's road must ever be preferr'd;
Reason is here no guide, but still a guard:
"Tis hers to rectify, not overthrow,
And treat this passion more as friend than foe;
A mightier power the strong direction sends,
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;
Through life 'tis follow'd ev'n at life's expense;
The merchant's toil, the sage's indolence,
The monk's humility, the hero's pride,
All, all alike, find Reason on their side.
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, 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; Ev'n avarice, prudence; sloth, philosophy; Lust, through some certain strainers well refin'd, Is gentle love, and charms all woman-kind; Envy, to which th' ignoble mind's a slave, 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 our pride) The virtue nearest to our vice allied: 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.
IV. 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 bound 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, soften, 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.
V. Vice is a monster of so 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:
Ask 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 neighbor further gone than he :
Ev'n those who dwell beneath its very zone,
Or never feel the rage, or never own;
What happier natures shrink at with affright,
The hard 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 ev'n the best, by fits, what they despise.
'Tis but by parts we follow good or ill;
For, vice or virtue, Self directs it still;
Each individual seeks a several goal;
VI. 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 applied;
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 interest, 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 still 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 neighbor 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 chymist 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 through, nor quits us when we die.
Behold the child, by Nature's kindly law,
Pleas'd with a rattle, tickled with a straw:
Some livelier plaything 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.
Meanwhile Opinion gilds with varying rays
Those painted clouds that beautify our days:
Each want of happiness by Hope supplied,
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 lost, another still we gain;
And not a vanity is giv'n in vain :
Ev'n mean Self-love becomes, by force divine,
The scale to measure others' wants by thine.
See! and confess, one comfort still must rise;
"Tis this, Though man's a fool, yet GOD IS WISE.
Attract, attracted to, the next in place
Form'd and impell'd its neighbor to embrace.
See matter next, with various life endued,
Press to one centre still, the general good.
See dying vegetables life sustain,
See life dissolving, vegetate again :
All forms that perish other forms supply,
(By turns we catch the vital breath, and die,)
Like bubbles on the sea of matter borne,
They rise, they break, and to that sea return.
Nothing is foreign; parts relate to whole;
One all-extending, all-preserving soul
Connects each being, greatest with the least;
Made beast in aid of man, and man of beast;
All serv'd, all serving: nothing stands alone;
The chain holds on, and where it ends unknown.
Has God, thou fool! work'd solely for thy good.
Thy joy, thy pastime, thy attire, thy food?
Who for thy table feeds the wanton fawn,
For him as kindly spread the flowery lawn:
Is it for thee the lark ascends and sings?
Joy tunes his voice, joy elevates his wings.
Is it for thee the linnet pours his throat?
Loves of his own and raptures swell the note.
The bounding steed you pompously bestride,
Shares with his lord the pleasure and the pride
Is thine alone the seed that strews the plain?
The birds of Heaven shall vindicate their grain.
Thine the full harvest of the golden year?
Part pays, and justly, the deserving steer:
The hog, that plows not, nor obeys thy call,
Lives on the labors of this lord of all.
Know, Nature's children all divide her care,
OF THE NATURE AND STATE OF MAN WITH RE- The fur that warms a monarch, warm'd a bear.
While man exclaims, "See all things for my use 2
See man for mine!" replies a pamper'd goose:
And just as short of reason he must fall,
Who thinks all made for one, not one for all.
I. The whole universe one system of society. Grant that the powerful still the weak control, Nothing made wholly for itself, nor yet wholly Be man the wit and tyrant of the whole : for another. The happiness of animals mutual. Nature that tyrant checks; he only knows, II. Reason or instinct operate alike to the good And helps, another creature's wants and woes. of each individual. Reason or instinct operate Say, will the falcon, stooping from above, also to society in all animals. III. How far Smit with her varying plumage, spare the dove? society carried by instinct. How much farther Admires the jay the insect's gilded wings? by reason. IV. Of that which is called the state Or hears the hawk when Philomela sings? of nature. Reason instructed by instinct in the Man cares for all to birds he gives his woods, invention of arts, and in the forms of society. To beasts his pastures, and to fish his floods: V. Origin of political societies. Origin of mon- For some, his interest prompts him to provide, archy Patriarchal government. VI. Origin of For more his pleasure, yet for more his pride: true religion and government, from the same All feed on one vain patron, and enjoy principle, of love. Origin of superstition and Th' extensive blessing of his luxury. tyranny, from the same principle of fear. The That very life his learned hunger craves, influence of self-love operating to the social and public good. Restoration of true religion and government on their first principle. Mixed government. Various forms of each, and the true end of all.
He saves from famine, from the savage saves;
Nay, feasts the animal he dooms his feast,
And, till he ends the being, makes it blest:
Which sees no more the stroke, or feels the pain,
Than favor'd man by touch ethereal slain.
The creature had his feast of life before;
Thou too must perish, when thy feast is o'er!
To each unthinking being, Heaven, a friend,
Gives not the useless knowledge of its end:
To man imparts it; but with such a view
As, while he dreads it, makes him hope it too:
The hour conceal'd, and so remote the fear,
of Death still draws nearer, never seeming near.
Great standing miracle! that Heaven assign'd
Its only thinking thing this turn of mind.
II. Whether with reason, or with instinct blest,
Know, all enjoy that power which suits them best;
To bliss alike by that direction tend,
And find the means proportion'd to their end.
Say, where full Instinct is th' unerring guide,
What pope or council can they need beside?
Reason, however able, cool at best,
Cares not for service, or but serves when prest,
Stays till we call, and then not often near;
But honest Instinct comes a volunteer,
Sure never to o'ershoot, but just to hit;
While still too wide or short is human Wit;
Sure by quick Nature happiness to gain,
Which heavier Reason labors at in vain.
This too serves always, Reason never long:
One must go right, the other may go wrong.
See then the acting and comparing powers
One in their nature, which are two in ours!
And Reason raise o'er Instinct as you can,
In this 'tis God directs, in that 'tis man.
Who taught the nations of the field and wood
To shun their poison, and to choose their food?
Prescient, the tides or tempests to withstand,
Build on the wave, or arch beneath the sand?
Who made the spider parallels design,
Sure as De Moivre, without rule or line?
Who bid the stork, Columbus-like, explore
Heavens not his own, and worlds unknown before?
Who calls the council, states the certain day?
Who forms the phalanx, and who points the way?
III. God, in the nature of each being, founds
Its proper bliss, and sets its proper bounds:
But as he fram'd a whole, the whole to bless,
On mutual wants built mutual happiness:
So from the first, eternal Order ran,
And creature link'd to creature, man to man.
Whate'er of life all-quickening ether keeps,
Or breathes through air, or shoots beneath the deeps,
Or pours profuse on earth, one Nature feeds
The vital flame, and swells the genial seeds.
Not man alone, but all that roam the wood,
Or wing the sky, or roll along the flood,
Each loves itself, but not itself alone,
Each sex desires alike, till two are one.
Nor ends the pleasure with the fierce embrace;
They love themselves, a third time, in their race.
Thus beast and bird their common charge attend,
The mothers nurse it, and the sires defend;
The young dismiss'd to wander earth or air,
There stops the Instinct, and there ends the care;
The link dissolves, each seeks a fresh embrace,
Another love succeeds, another race.
A longer care man's helpless kind demands;
That longer care contracts more lasting bands:
Reflection, Reason, still the ties improve,
At once extend the interest, and the love:
With choice we fix, with sympathy we burn;
Each virtue in each passion takes its turn;
And still new needs, new helps, new habits rise,
That graft benevolence on charities.
Still as one brood, and as another rose,
These natural love maintain'd, habitual those :
The last, scarce ripen'd into perfect man,
Saw helpless him from whom their life began:
Memory and Forecast just returns engage,
That pointed back to youth, this on to age;
While Pleasure, Gratitude, and Hope, combin'd,
Still spread the interest, and preserve the kind.
IV. Nor think, in Nature's state they blindly
The state of Nature was the reign of God:
Self-love and social at her birth began,
Union the bond of all things, and of man.
Pride then was not; nor arts, that Pride to aid;
Man walk'd with beast, joint tenant of the shade;
The same his table, and the same his bed;
No murder cloth'd him, and no murder fed.
In the same temple, the resounding wood,
All vocal beings hymn'd their equal God:
The shrine with gore unstain'd, with gold undress'd
Unbrib'd, unbloody, stood the blameless priest:
Heaven's attribute was universal care,
And man's prerogative, to rule, but spare.
Ah! how unlike the man of times to come!
Of half that live the butcher and the tomb;
Who, foe to Nature, hears the general groan,
Murders their species, and betrays his own.
But just disease to luxury succeeds,
And every death its own avenger breeds;
The Fury-passions from that blood began,
And turn'd on man, a fiercer savage, man.
See him from Nature rising slow to Art!
To copy Instinet then was Reason's part:
Thus then to man the voice of Nature spake-
"Go, from the creatures thy instructions take:
Learn from the birds what food the thickets yield
Learn from the beasts the physic of the field;
Thy arts of building from the bee receive;
Learn of the mole to plow, the worm to weave;
Learn of the little Nautilus to sail,
Spread the thin oar, and catch the driving gale.
Here too all forms of social union find,
And hence let Reason, late, instruct mankind:
Here subterranean works and cities see;
There towns aëreal on the waving tree.
Learn each small people's genius, policies,
The ants' republic, and the realm of bees;
How those in common all their wealth bestow,
And anarchy without confusion know;
And these for ever, though a monarch reign,
Their separate cells and properties maintain.
Mark what unvaried laws preserve each state,
Laws wise as Nature, and as fix'd as Fate.
In vain thy Reason finer webs shall draw,
Entangle Justice in her net of Law,
And right, too rigid, harden into wrong;
Still for the strong too weak, the weak too strong.
Yet go! and thus o'er all the creatures sway,
Thus let the wiser make the rest obey:
And for those arts mere Instinct could afford,
Be crown'd as monarchs, or as gods ador'd."
V. Great Nature spoke; observant man obey'd;
Cities were built, societies were made:
Here rose one little state; another near
Grew by like means, and join'd through love or fear
Did here the trees with ruddier burthens bend,
And there the streams in purer rills descend,
What War could ravish, Commerce could bestow;
And he return'd a friend, who came a foe.
Converse and Love mankind might strongly draw,
When Love was Liberty, and Nature Law.
Thus states were form'd; the name of king unknown,
Till common interest plac'd the sway in one.
'Twas Virtue only, (or in arts or arms,
Diffusing blessings, or averting harms,)
The same which in a sire the sons obey'd,
A prince the father of a people made.
VI. Till then, by Nature crown'd, each patriarch
King, priest, and parent, of his growing state: