« EelmineJätka »
Say, in pursuit of profit or delight,
Oh, blind to truth, and God's whole scheme below,
What makes all physical or moral ill ? There deviates nature, and here wanders will. God sends not ill, if rightly understood, Or partial ill is universal good, Or change admits, or nature lets it fall, Short, and but rare, till man improved it all. We just as wisely might of Heaven complain, That righteous Abel was destroy'd by Cain, As that the virtuous son is ill at ease When his lewd father gave the dire disease. 120 Think we, like some weak prince, the Eternal Cause Prone for his favourites to reverse his laws!
IV. Shall burning Ætna, if a sage requires, Forget to thunder, and recall her fires ! On air or sea new motions be impressid, Oh blameless Bethel ! to relieve thy breast ? When the loose mountain treibles from on high, Shall gravitation cease if you go by ? Or some old temple, nodding to its fall, For Chartres' head reserve the hunging wall? 130
V. But still this world (so fitted for the knave) Contenis us not. A better shall we have? A kingdom of the just then let it be: But first consider how those just agree. The good must merit God's peculiar care! But who, but God, can tell us who they are ? One thinks on Calvin Heaven's own spirit fell; Another deems him instrument of hell : If Calvin feel Heaven's blessing, or its rod, This cries, there is, and that, there is no God. 140 What shocks one part will edify the rest, Nor with one system can they all be bless'd. The very best will variously incline, And what rewards your virtue, punisn mine. WHATEVER IS, IS RIGHT.-This world, 'tis true, Was made for Cæsar-but for Titus too; And which more bless'd? who chain'd his country
say, Or he whose virtue sigh'd to lose a day?
VI. “But sometimes virtue starves while vice is sed.' What then? Is the reward of virtue bread ? 150 That, vice may merit, 'tis the price of toil; The knave deserves it, when he tills the soil ; The knave deserves it when he tempts the main; Where folly fights for kings, or dives for gain The good man may be weak, be indolent; Nor is his claim to plenty, but content. But grant him riches, your demand is o'er : No-shall the good want health, the good wan
And health and power and every earthly thing-
190 Whose life is healthful, and whose conscience clear, Because he wants a thousand pounds a year.
Honour and shame from no condition rise; Act well your part, there all the honour lies. Fortune in men has some small difference pad One flaunts in rags, one flutters in brocado,
The cobbler apron'd, and the parson gown'd,
Stuck o'er with titles and hung round with strings,
Look next on greatness : say where greatness lies 'Where, but among the heroes and the wise ?' Heroes are much the same, the point's agreed, From Macedonia's madman to the Swede; 220 'The whole strange purpose of their lives, to find Or make, an enemy of all mankind! Not one looks backward, onward still he goes Yet ne'er looks forward further than his nose. No less alike the politic and wise ; All sly slow things with circumspective eyes ; Men in their loose unguarded hours they take, Not that themselves are wise, but others weak. But grant that those can conquer, these can cheat, "Tis phrase absurd to call a villain great: Who wickedly is wise, or madly brave, Is but the more a fool, the more a knave. Who noble ends by noble means obtains, Or failing smiles in exile or in chains,
Like good Aurelins let him reign, or bleed
What's fame? a fancied life in other's breath,
In parts superior what advantage lies ? Tell (for you can) what is it to be wise ?
200 'Tis but to know how little can be known, To see all others' faults, and feel our own; Condemn'd in business or in arts to drudge Without a second, or without a judge; Truths would you leach, or save a sinking land; All fear, none aid you, and few understand. Painful pre-eininence! yourself to view Above life's weakness, and its comforts too.
Bring then these blessings to a strict account : Make fair deductions; see to what they 'mount: 270 How much of other each is sure to cost; How each for other oft is wholly lost;