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Of systems possible, if 'tis confest,

That wisdom infinite must form the best,
Where all must fall or not coherent be,
And all that rises, rise in due degree;

Then, in the scale of reasoning life, 'tis plain,
There must be, somewhere, such a rank as man;
And all the question (wrangle e'er so long)
Is only this, if God has placed him wrong?
Respecting man, whatever wrong we call
May, must be right, as relative to all.

In human works, though labor'd on with pain,
A thousand movements scarce one purpose gain;
In God's, one single can its end produce,
Yet serves to second to some other use.

So man, who here seems principal alone,
Perhaps acts second to some sphere unknown,
Touches some wheel, or verges to some goal;
'Tis but a part we see, and not a whole.





When the proud steed shall know why man


His fiery course, or drives him o'er the plains;

43. If 'tis confest, that infinite Wisdom must form the best of possible systems.

45. Where all must fall, or not be coherent.

49. Wrangle may be, by hypothesis, put in the imp. m. or in the subj. m.-if we or you wrangle.

50. The phrase, if God has placed him wrong, is in apposition with question.

51. Respecting, by some, is called a prep. and it may be a part. That, respecting man, which we call wrong. 55. In God's works one single purpose, can, &c、

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When the dull ox, why now he breaks the clod,
Is now a victim, and now Egypt's god;

Then shall man's pride and dullness comprehend
His actions', passions', being's, use and end; 66
Why doing, suff'ring, check'd, impell'd; and why
This hour a slave, the next a deity.

Then say not, man's imperfect, heaven in fault;
Say, rather, man's as perfect as he ought; 70
His knowledge measured to his state and place;
His time a moment, and a point his space.

If to be perfect in a certain sphere,

What matter, soon or late, or here, or there?
The blest to-day is as completely so.

As who began a thousand years ago.


III. Heaven from all creatures hides the book

of fate,

All but the page prescribed, their present state; From brutes what men, from men what spirits know :

Or who could suffer being here below?


63. Oxen were offered in sacrifice by most of the ancients, as well as the Jews. With the Egyptians, the species ox, was sacred, and an object of worship. When their god, the bull Apis, died, in the reign of Ptolemy Lagus, the expenses of his funeral pomp exceeded 50,000 French crowns.

75. Blest, a part. used for its s. or, the man, who is (or who began to be) blest to-day, &c.

76. Years Nouns of time and distance, and manner, with the noun, home, are put in the obj. case, without any word expressed to govern them · -a prep. being understood. 80. Being is a noun - Who could suffer (i. e. bear the burden of) existence here below.

The lamb thy riot dooms to bleed to-day,
Had he thy reason, would he skip and play?
Pleas'd to the last, he crops the flowery food,
And licks the hand just rais'd to shed his blood.
Oh blindness to the future! kindly given,
That each may fill the circle mark'd by heaven.
Who sees with equal eye, as God of all,
A hero perish, or a sparrow fall,

Atoms or systems into ruin hurl'd,


And now a bubble burst, and now a world.


Hopé humbly then; with trembling pinions soar; Wait the great teacher, death; and God adore. What future bliss, he gives not thee to know, But gives that hope to be thy blessing now. Hope springs eternal in the human breast: Man never is, but always to be blest. The soul, uneasy, and confin'd from home, Rests and expatiates in a life to come.


Lo, the poor Indian! whose untutor'd mind Sees God in clouds, or hears him in the wind; 100

81. If the lamb, which thy riot dooms, &c. (if he) had thy reason, would he skip and play? He is only a repetition of the subject, and in app. with lamb.

85. Interjections govern both the nom. and obj. of pronouns, but the nom. only of nouns.

87. Who relates to Heaven, which is here used for God; and God, in the end of the line, is connected with who, by the conj. as-or, those nouns which follow the conj. as, and have a like meaning with those to which they are connected, may be considered in apposition with the same..

92. Wait for the great teacher. By a particular usage of language, the obj. case is put after many verbs which do not pass over to them, as the real objects of an action.

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His soul proud science never taught to stray
Far as the solar walk, or milky way;

Yet simple nature to his hope has given,
Benind the cloud-topt hill, an humbler heaven;
Some safer world in depth of woods embrac'd,
Some happier island in the watery waste,


[ Where slaves once more their native land behold, No fiends torment, no Christians thirst for gold; To be, contents his natural desire,

He asks no angel's wing, no seraph's fire;
But thinks, admitted to that equal sky,

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His faithful dog shall bear him company.


IV. Go, wiser thou! and in thy scale of sense,
Weigh thy opinion against Providence ;
Call imperfection what thou fanciest such;
Say, here he gives too little, there too much;
Destroy all creatures for thy sport or gust,
Yet say, if man's unhappy, God's unjust;
If man alone engross not heaven's high care,
Alone made perfect here, immortal there;
Snatch from his hand the balance and the rod,
Rejudge his justice, be the god of God!

In pride, in reasoning pride our error lies;
All quit their, sphere, and rush into the skies.
Pride still is aiming at the blest abodes,



102. To the solar walk, that is, the circuit of the sun.
113. Go, thou, who art wiser than the poor Indian.
115. Call that, imperfection, which thou fanciest to be


120. If he be not alone made, &c. then snatch

Men would be angels, angels would be gods.

Aspiring to be gods, if angels fell,
Aspiring to be angels, men rebel;

And who but wishes to invert the laws

Of order, sins against the Eternal Cause.


V. Ask for what end the heavenly bodies shine, Earth for whose use? Pride answers, ""Tis for mine;


"For me, kind nature wakes her genial power, "Suckles each herb and spreads out ev'ry flow'r; "Annual for me, the grape, the rose, renew "The juice nectarius, and the balmy dew; "For me, the mine a thousand treasures brings; "For me, health gushes from a thousand springs; "Seas roll to waft me, suns to light me rise;

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My footstool earth, my canopy the skies."


But errs not nature from this gracious end, From burning suns when livid deaths descend, When earthquakes swallow, or when tempests



Towns to one grave, whole nations to the deep? "No, 'tis replied, the first Almighty Cause, "Acts not by partial, but by general laws; "The exceptions few; some change since all

begun :

129. He who, &c. sins. When but can be changed into only, without injuring the sense, it is an adverb.

135. Annual-in poetry, the adverb is frequently used in the adjective form.

141. But does not nature err from this gracious end? viz: the blessings enumerated above.

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