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Remembrance and reflection how allied!

What thin partitions sense from thought divide! though 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

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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,

included that



Beast, bird, fish, insect, what no eye can see, which
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, [stroy'd:
Where, one step broken, the great scale's de-
From nature's chain whatever link you strike,

237. Vast chain of being! comprehending natures ethereal, &c. In exclamatory sentences, like this, the noun, as chain, seems to be a nom. independent, in a different sense from that where an address is made; but we have no established rule for it, and therefore must under stand a verb.

239. What that which no glass can reach, viz. animalcules, which cannot be discovered even by the best magnifiers; extending from infinite to thee. Extending agrees with which, after being, in line 237.


Tenth, or ten thousandth, breaks the chain aiike.
And, if each system in gradation roll
Alike essential to the 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!-O madness! pride! impiety!

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IX. What if the foot, ordained the dust to tread, Or hand, to toil, aspired to be the head? What if the head, the eye, or ear, repined


To serve mere engines to the ruling mind?
Just as absurd for any part to claim
To be another in this gen'ral 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, changed 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,

259. What-see note to ver. 173.

262. Engines is in the nom. c. after to serve.


269. That-a rel. pro. referring to soul for its antecedent, and in the nom. case to warms.

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, 275
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. 280
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.



6. Which is as full. A hair may be considered as the inost insignificant, and the heart as the noblest part of mortal man. The idea was probably suggested by this passage of scripture; Not a sparrow falleth to the ground without his notice, and the hairs of our head are all numbered.

281. Do not name or call order, imperfection.

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I. Know then thyself, presume not God to scan! The proper study of mankind is man.

man Placed on this isthmus of a middle state, he is A being darkly wise, and rudely great:

With too much knowledge for the skeptic's 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 : he Chaos of thought and passion, all confus'd,

Still by himself abus'd, or disabus'd;

ha Created half to rise, and half to fall:

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Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all;

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15 created.



L. 1. Know thyself, was the favorite maxim of the ancients. It is here, perhaps, more confined in its meaning. Know thy weakness, presume not God to scan: for "who by searching can find out God?

5. The sceptic is one who professes to doubt all things. 6. The stoic pretends that our happiness should not in the least be affected by our outward circumstances.

10. Man is the only terrestrial being capable of reasoning, or of deducing remoter truths from those which are known and admitted; yet, by assuming false premises, or by improperly linking his ideas, he too frequently stumbles upon false conclusions But, i. e. only to err.

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Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurl'd;
The glory, jest, and riddle of the world!
Go, wondrous creatureffendent


mount where science

Go, measure earth, weigh air, and state the tides;
maef pro

Instruct the planets in what orbs to run,

Correct old time, and regulate the sun;

Go, soar with Plato to the 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!

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Superior beings, when of late they saw perfect b

A mortal man unfold all nature's law, they Admired such wisdom in an earthly shape,

And show'd a Newton as we show an ape.

Could he, whose rules the rapid comet bind, 35

21. Instruct the planets as to the orbs in which they
should run; or to point out to the planets the orbs in which
they should run.

26. Call quitting sense, imitating God. These are substantive phrases, the latter in apposition with the former.

27-28. The poet here alludes to the practices of the eastern priests, viz.: turning round in giddy circles, tha with their heads they may imitate the course of the sun

34. And showed a Newton, &c. i. e. with the same admiration of his superiority over his kind, in imitating them, which we feel, on seeing a brute animal capable of showing, by his actions, so striking a resemblance to the human species.

35–35. Could he (Newton,) after all his mighty dis

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