Page images

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 heights 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 small pebble stirs the peaceful lake;
The centre mov'd, a circle 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 its image in his breast.

Come, then, my Friend! my Genius! come along; Oh master of the poet, and the song!

And while the Muse now stoops, or now ascends,
To Man's low passions, or their glorious ends,
Teach me, like thee, in various nature wise,
To fall with dignity, with temper rise;
Form'd by thy converse, happily to steer
From grave to gay, from lively to severe;
Correct with spirit, eloquent with ease,





Intent to reason, or polite to please.



Oh! while along the stream of Time thy name
Expanded flies, and gathers all its fame;
Say, shall my little bark attendant sail,
Pursue the triumph, and partake the gale?
When statesmen, heroes, kings, in dust repose,
Whose sons shall blush their fathers were thy foes,
Shall then this verse to future age pretend
Thou wert my guide, philosopher, and friend?
That, urg'd by thee, I turn'd the tuneful art
From sounds to things, from fancy to the heart;
For Wit's false mirror held up Nature's light;
Show'd erring Pride, WHATEVER IS, IS RIGHT!
That REASON, PASSION, answer one great aim;
That true SELF-LOVE and SOCIAL are the same;
That VIRTUE only makes our Bliss below;
And all our Knowledge is, OURSELVES TO KNOW.


[blocks in formation]

Who all my Sense confin'd

To know but this, that Thou art Good,
And that myself am blind;

Yet gave me, in this dark Estate,

To see the Good from Ill;


And, binding Nature fast in Fate,
Left free the Human Will.

What Conscience dictates to be done,

Or warns me not to do,

This, teach me more than Hell to shun,
That, more than Heav'n pursue.

What Blessings Thy free Bounty gives,
Let me not cast away;

For God is paid when Man receives,
T'enjoy is to obey.

Yet not to Earth's contracted Span
Thy goodness let me bound,
Or think Thee Lord alone of Man,
When thousand Worlds are round:

Let not this weak, unknowing hand
Presume thy bolts to throw,
And deal damnation round the land
On each I judge thy Foe.

If I am right, thy grace impart,
Still in the right to stay;

If I am wrong, oh teach my heart

To find that better way.

Save me alike from foolish Pride,
Or impious Discontent,
At aught thy wisdom has deny'd,
Or aught thy Goodness lent.

Teach me to feel another's Woe,
To hide the Fault I see;






That Mercy I to others show

That Mercy show to me.

Mean tho' I am, not wholly so
Since quicken'd by thy Breath;
Oh lead me wheresoe'er I go,

Thro' this day's Life or Death.

This day, be Bread and Peace my Lot:
All else beneath the Sun,
Thou know'st if best bestow'd or not,
And let Thy Will be done.

To Thee, whose Temple is all Space,
Whose Altar, Earth, Sea, Skies!
One Chorus let all Being raise!

All Nature's Incense rise!







Est brevitate opus, ut currat sententia, neu se
Impediat verbis lassas onerantibus aures:
Et sermone opus est modò tristi, sæpe jocoso,
Defendente vicem modò Rhetoris atque Poetæ,
Interdum urbani, parcentis viribus, atque
Extenuantis eas consultò.-HORACE.

[Close be your language; let your sense be clear,
Nor with a weight of words fatigue the ear;
From grave to jovial you must change with art,
Now play the critic's, now the poet's part;
In raillery assume a graver air,

Discreetly hide your strength, your vigour spare;
For ridicule shall frequently prevail,

And cut the knot when graver reasons fail.-FRANCIS.]


To Sir Richard Temple, Lord Cobham



I. That it is not sufficient for this knowledge to consider Man in the Abstract: Books will not serve the purpose, nor yet your own Experience singly, ver. 1. General maxims, unless they be formed upon both, will be but notional, ver. 10. Some Peculiarity in every man, characteristic to himself, yet varying from himself, ver. 15. Difficulties arising from our own Passions, Fancies, Faculties, etc., ver. 31. The shortness of Life to observe in, and the uncertainty of the Principles of action in men to observe by, ver. 37, etc. Our own Principle of action often hid from ourselves, ver. 41. Some few Characters plain, but in general confounded, dissembled, or inconsistent, ver. 51. Unimaginable weakness in the greatest, ver. 69, etc. The same man utterly different in different places and seasons, ver. 71. Nothing constant and certain but God and Nature, ver. 95. No judging of the Motives from the actions; the same actions proceeding from contrary Motives, and the same Motives influencing contrary actions, ver. 100. II. Yet to form Characters we can only take the strongest actions of a man's life and try to make them agree: the utter uncertainty of this, from Nature itself and from policy, ver. 120. Characters given according to the rank of men of the world, ver. 135. And some reason for it, ver. 140. Education alters the Nature, or at least Character, of many, ver. 149. Actions, Passions, Opinions, Manners, Humours, or Principles, all subject to change. No judging by Nature, from ver. 158 to ver. 178. III. It only remains to find (if we can) his Ruling Passion: that will certainly influence all the rest, and can reconcile the seeming or real inconsistency of all his actions,

« EelmineJätka »