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That never air or ocean felt the wind;
soar, And little less than angels, would be more ; Now looking downwards, just as griev'd appears 175 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 pow'rs of all ; Nature to these, without profusion, kind, The proper organs, proper pow'rs assign'd; 180 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 heav'n unkind to man, and man alone ? Shall he alone, whom rational we call, Be pleas'd with nothing, if not bless'd with all ?
The bliss of man (could pride that blessing find) Is not to act or think beyond mankind;
Ver. 174. And little less than angels, &c.] Thou hast made bim a little lower than the angels, and hast crown'd bim with glory and honour. Psalm viii. 9.
No pow'rs of body or of soul to share,
VII. Far as creation's ample range extends, The scale of sensual, mental pow’rs ascends : Mark how it mounts, to man's imperial race, From the green myriads in the peopled grass : 210 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 to the tainted green
Of VER. 213. the beadlong lioness] The manner of the lions hunting their prey in the desarts of Africa is this: at their first going out in the night-time, they set up a loud roar, and then listen to the noise made by the beasts in their flight, pursuing them by the ear, and not by the nostril. It is probable the story of the jackall's hunting for the lion, was occasioned by the observation of this defect of scent in that terrible animal,
Of hearing, from the life that fills the flood,
215 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 pois’nous herbs extracts the healing dew? 220 How instinct varies in the grov'ling swine, Compar'd, half-reas'ning elephant, with thine ! . "Twixt that, and reason, what a nice barrier ? For ever sep’rate, yet for ever near ! Remembrance and reflection, how ally'd ; 225 What thin partitions sense from thought divide ? And middle uatures, 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?
230 The pow'rs of all subdu'd by thee alone, Is not thy reason all these pow'rs in one ?
VIII. See, thro’ this air, this ocean, and this earth, All matter quick, and bursting into birth. Above, how high, progressive life may go! 235 Around, how wide, how deep extend below! Vast chain of being ! which from God began, Natures ethereal, human, angel, man, Beast, bird, fish, insect, what no eye can see, No glass can reach ; from infinite to thee,
240 From thee to nothing.-On superior pow'rs Were we to press, inferior might on ours :
Or VER. 238. Ed. Ist.
Ethereal essence, spirit, substance, man.
Or in the full creation leave a void,
And, if each system in gradation roll
IX. What if the foot, ordain'd the dust to tread,
All are but parts of one stupendous whole,
Warms in the sun, refreshes in the breeze,
X. Cease then, nor Order imperfection name :
285 Secure to be as blest as thou canst bear: Safe in the hand of one disposing Pow'r, Or in the natal, or the mortal hour. All nature is but art, unknown to thee ; All chance, direction, which thou canst not see; 290 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.
After ver. 282. in the MS.
Reason, to think of God when she pretends,