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Zeal then, not charity, became the guide,
So drives self-love, thro' just and thro' unjust, To one man's pow'r, ambition, lucre, lust : 270 The same self-love, in all, becomes the cause Of what restrains him, government and laws. For, what one likes, if others like as well, What serves one will, when many wills rebel ? How shall he keep, what, sleeping or awake, 275 A weaker may surprise, a stronger take ? His safety must his liberty restrain : All join to guard what each desires to gain. Forc'd into virtue thus, by self-defence, Ev'n kings learu'd justice and benevolence : 280 Self-love forsook the path it first pursu'd, And found the private in the public good.
'Twas then the studious head or gen'rous mind, Follow'r of God, or friend of human kind, Poet or patriot, rose but to restore
285 The faith and moral, nature gave before Relum'd her ancient ligbt, not kindl'd new ; If not God's image, yet his shadow drew : Taught pow'r's due use to people and to kings, Taught nor to slack, nor strain its tender strings, 290 The less, or greater, set so justly true, That touching one must strike the other too ; Till jarring int’rests, of themselves, create Th’ according music of a well mix'd state. Such is the world's great harmony, that springs 295 From order, union, full consent of things ; Where small and great, where weak and mighty
made To serve, not suffer, strengthen, not invade ;
More pow'rful each as needful to the rest,
300 Draw to one point, and to one centre bring Beast, man, or angel, servant, lord, or king.
For forms of government let fools contest; Whate'er is best administer'd is best : For modes of faith let graceless zealots fight ; 305 His can't be wrong whose life is in the right : In faith and hope the world will disagree, But all mankind's concern is charity : All must be false that thwart this one great end ; And all of God that bless mankind or mend. 310 Man, like the gen'rous vine, supported lives ; The strength he gains is from th’ embrace he gives. On their own axis as the planets run, Yet make at once their circle round the sun ; So two consistent motions act the soul;
315 And one regards itself, and one the whole. Thus God and Nature link'd the geu’ral frame, And bade Self-love and Social be the same.
O HAPPINESS ! our being's end and aim !
Good, pleasure, ease, content! whate'er thy That something still which prompts th' eternal sigh, For wbich we bear to live, or dare to die ; Which still so near us, yet beyond us lios,
5 O'erlook'd, seen double, by the fool and wise : Plant of celestial seed ! if dropt below, Say, in what mortal soil thou deign’st to grow ? Fair op'ning to some court's propitious shine, Or deep with di’monds in the Haming mine? 10 Twin’d with the wreathes Parnassian laurels yield, Or reap'd in iron harvests of the field ?
Where grows !--where grows it not !- If vain our
toil, We ought to blame the culture, not the soil. Fix'd to no spot is happiness sincere,
15 'Tis no where to be found, or ev'ry where ; 'Tis never to be bought, but always free, And fled from monarchs, St. John! dwells with
thee. Ask of the learn’d the way, the learn'd are blind, This bids to serve, and that to shun mankind : 20 Some place the bliss in action, some in ease, Those call it pleasure, and contentment these ; Some, sunk to beasts, find pleasure end in pain ; Some, swellid to gods, confess ev'n virtue vain Or indolent, to each extreme they fall,
25 To trust in ev'ry thing, or doubt of all.
Who thus define it, say they more or less Than this, that Happiness is Happiness? Take nature's path, and mad opinions leave, All states can reach it, and all heads conceive; 30 Obvious her goods, in no extreme they dwell, There needs but thinking right, and meaning well ; And mourn our various portions as we please, Equal is common sense, and common ease. Remember, man, the Universal Cause
35 * Acts not by partial, but by gen’ral laws;' And makes what happiness we justly call, Subsist not in the good of one, but all. There's not a blessing individuals find, But some way leans and hearkens to the kind. 40 No bandit fierce, no tyrant mad with pride, No cavern'd hermit, rests self-satisfy’d. Who most to shun or hate mankind pretend, Seek an adınirer, or would fix a friend. Abstract what others feel, what others think, 45 All pleasures sicken, and all glories sink :. Each has his share ; and who would more obtain, Shall find the pleasure pays not half the pain.
Order is Heaven's first law; and this confest,
65 God in externals could not place content.
Fortune her gifts may variously dispose, And these be happy calid, unhappy those; But Heav'n's just balance equal will appear, While those are plac'd in hope, and these in fear : 70 Not present good or ill, the joy or curse, But future views of better, or of worse.
Oh, sons of earth! attempt ye still to rise, By mountains, pild on mountains, to the skies ? Heav'n still with laughter the vain toil surveys, 75 And buries madmen in the heaps they raise.
Know, all the good that individuals find,
Say, in pursuit of profit or delight,
85 Who risk the most, that take wrong means or right? Of vice or virtue, whether blest or curst, Which meets contempt, or which compassion first ? Count all th’advantage prosp'rous vice attains, 'Tis but what virtue flies from and disdains : 90 And grant the bad what happiness they would, One they must want, which is to pass for good. Oh, blind to truth, and God's whole scheme below, Who fancy bliss to vice, to virtue woe ! Who sees and follows that great scheme the best, 95 Best knows the blessing, and will most be blest. But fools the good alone unhappy call, For ills or accidents that chance to all. See Falkland dies, the virtuous and the just! See god-like Turenne prostrate on the dust ! 100 See Sydney bleeds amid the martial strife ! Was this their virtue, or contempt of life? Say, was it virtue, more though Heav'n ne'er gave, Lamented Digby ! sunk thee to the grave ? Tell me, if virtue made the son expire,
What makes all physical or moral ill: