Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

a

Why then a Borgia, or a Catiline?
Who knows but he, whose hand the lightning forms,
Who heaves old ocean, and who wings the storms;
Pours fierce ambition in a Cæsar's mind,
Or turns young Ammon loose to scourge mankind?
From pride, from pride, qur very reas'ning springs
Account for moral, aş for nat'ral things:
Why charge we Heaven in those, in these acquit?
In both, to reason right, is to submit.

Better for us, perhaps it might appear,
Were there all harmony, all virtue here;
That never air or ocean felt the wind;
That never passion discompos'd the mind.
But all subsists by elemental strife;
And passions are the elements of life.
The gen'ral order, since the whole began,
Iş kept in nature, and is kept in man.

What would this man? Now upward will he soar;
And little less than angel, would be more;
Now looking downwards, just as griev’d, appears
To want the strength of bulls, the fur of bears.
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 assigned
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 alope, whom rational we call,
Be pleas'd with nathing, if not bless'd with all?

The bliss of man could pride that blessing find)
Is, not to aet, or think beyond mankind;
No powers of body, or of soul to share,
But what his nature and his state cap bear.
Why has not man a microscopic eye?
For this plain reason, man is not a fly.
Say what the use, were finor aptics given,
T'inspect a mite, not comprehend the heaven!
Or touch, if tremblingly alive all o'er,
To smart and agonize at ev'ry 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 hin

still

The whisp’ring zephyr, and the purling rill!
Who finds not Providence all good and wise,
Alike in what it gives, and what denies?

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 miriads 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, Forever sep'rate, yet forever near! Remembrance and reflection how alli'd; 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 subdu'd by thee alone,
Is not thy reason all these powers in one?

See, through this air, this ocean, and this earth 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, Nature's 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

[ocr errors]

And, if each system in gradation roll
Alike essential to th' amazing whole;
The least confusion but in ope, not all

[ocr errors]

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 hurld,
Being on being wreck'd, and world on world;
Heaven's whole foundations to their centre nod,
And nature tremble, to the throne of God!

All this dread order break?-For whom? for thee; Vile worm!- madnegg! pridel impiety!

What if the foot, ordain'd the dust to tread,
Or hand, to toil, aspire to be the head?
What if the head, the eye, or ear, repin'd
To serve mere engines to the ruling mind?
Jast 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 chang'd through all, and yet in all the same,
Great in the earth as in the ethereal frame;
Warms in the sun, refreshes in the breeze,
Glows in the stars, and blossoms in the trees,

« ZurückWeiter »