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Then say not Man's imperfect, Heaven in fault; Say, rather, Man's as perfect as he ought: His knowledge measur'd 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 All but the page prescrib'd, their present state: From brutes what men, from men what spirits know: Or who could suffer being 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:
Atoms or systems into ruin hurl'd,
And now a bubble burst, and now a world.
Hope 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;
His soul proud Science never taught to stray
Yet simple Nature to his hope has given,
Where slaves once more their native land behold,
He asks no angel's wing, no seraph's fire;
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 fancy'st 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 ingross not Heaven's high care, Alone made perfect here, immortal there : Snatch from his hand the balance and the rod, Re-judge his justice, be the god of God. In Pride, in reasoning Pride, our errour lies; All quit their sphere, and rush into the skies. Pride still is aiming at the blest abodes, 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 th' 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;
Th' exceptions few; some change since all begun :
Who knows, but he whose hand the lightning forms,
Or turns young Ammon loose to scourge mankind? From pride, from pride our very reasoning springs : Account for moral as for natural 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 general order, since the whole began,
Is kept in Nature, and is kept in man.
VI. What would this man? Now upward will he
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.
Each beast, each insect, happy in its own:
The bliss of man (could Pride that blessing find)
Is not to act or think beyond mankind;
No powers of body or of soul to share,
But what his nature and his state can bear.
Why has not man a microscopic eye?
Or touch, if tremblingly alive all o'er,
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,
VII. Far as creation's ample range extends,