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And tastes the good without the fall to ill;
Where oply merit constant pay receives,
Is blest in what it takes, and what it gives;
The joy unequal, if its end it gain,
And if it lose, attended with no pain:
Without satiety, though e'er so bless'd,
And but more relish'd as the more distress'd:
The broadest mirth unfeeling folly wears,
Less pleasing far, than virtue's very tears:
Good, from each object, from each place acquir'd,
For ever exercis'd, yet never tir'd;
Never elated while one man's oppress'd;
Never dejected, wbile another's bless'd;
And where no wants, no wishes can remain,
Since but to wish more virtue, is to gain.
See the sole bliss heaven could on all bestow! Which who but feels can taste, but thinks can
know: Yet poor with fortune, and with learning blind, The bad must miss, the good, untaught, will find; Slavę to no sect, who takes no private road, But looks through nature up to nature's God: Pursues that chain which links th' immense
Joins heaven and earth, and mortal and divine;
Sees that no being any bliss can know,
But touches some above, and some below;
Learns from this union of the rising whole,
The first, last purpose of the human soul;
And knows where faith, law, morals, all began,
All end in love of God and love of man.
For him alone hope leads from goal to goal,
And opens still, and opens on his soul;
Til lengthen'd on to faith, and unconfin'd,
It pours the bliss that fills up all the mind.
He sees wby nature plants in man alone
Hope of known bliss, and faith in bliss unknown:
(Nature, whose dictates to no other kind
Are given 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 neighbor'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 height 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 moy'd, a circle strait succeeds,
Another still and still another spreads;
Friend, parent, neighbor, 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 Heaven 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 ste0 $, 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
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;
Shew'd erring pride, WHATEVER 18, 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;
Apd all our knowledge iş, OURSELVES TO KNOW.
FATHER of All! in ev'ry age,
In ev'ry clime ador'd,
By saint, by savage, and by sage,
Jehovah, Jove, or Lord!
Thou great First Cause, least understood;
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.
* It may be proper to observe, that some passages in the preceding Essay, having been unjustly suspected of a tendency towards fate and naturalism, the author composed this prayer as the sum of all, to show that his system was founded in free-will and terminated in piety; that the first Cause was as well the Lord and Governor of the universe, as the Creator of it; and that, by submission to his will (the great principle enforced throughout this essay) was not meant the suffering ourselves to be carried along by a blind determination, but the resting in a religions acquiescence, and confidence full of hope and immortality. To give all this the greater weight, the poet chose for his model the Lord's prayer, which of all others best deserves the title prefixed to his paraphrase.