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Ah! if the lend not arms, as well as rules,
Yes, nature's road must ever be prefer'd; Reafon is here no guide, but ftill a guard; "Tis hers to rectify, not overthrow,
And treat this paffion more as friend than foe;
Th' Eternal Art educing good from ill,
As fruits, ungrateful to the planter's care, On favage stocks inferted learn to bear; The fureft virtues thus from paffions shoot Wild nature's vigor working at the root. What crops of wit and honefty appear From fpleen, from obftinacy, hate, or fear! See anger, zeal and fortitude fupply; Even avarice, prudence; floth, philosophy; Luft, thro' fome certain ftrainers well refin'd, Is gentle love, and charms all womankind; Envy, to which th' ignoble mind's a flave, Is emulation in the learn'd or brave; Nor virtue, male or female, can we name, But what will grow on pride, or grow on shame, Thus nature gives us (let it check onr pride) The virtue nearest to our vice ally'd: Reafon the bias turns to good from ill, And Nero reigns a Titus, if he will. The fiery foul abhorr'd in Catiline, In Decius charms, in Curtius is divine: The fame ambition can destroy or fave, And makes a patriot as it makes a knave.
This light and darkness in our chaos join'd, What fhall divide? The GoD within the mind. Extremes in nature equal ends produce, In man they join to fome mysterious use; Tho' each by turns the other's bounds invade, As, in fome well-wrought picture, light and shade, And oft fo mix, the difference is too nice Where ends the virtue, or begins the vice.
Fools! who from hence into the notion fall,
Vice is a monster of fo frightful mien,
Ak where's the North? at York, 'tis on the Tweed; In Scotland, at the Orcades; and there,
At Greenland, Zembla, or the LORD knows where.
But thinks his neighbour further gone than he :
Virtuous and vicious every man must be,
For, vice or virtue, felf directs it ftill;
But HEAVEN'S great view is One, and that the Whole
That counter-works each folly and caprice;
That disappoints th' effect of every vice;
That, happy frailties to all ranks apply'd;
Heaven forming each on other to depend,
"Till one man's weakness grows the ftrength of all.
Whate'er the paffion, knowledge, fame, or pelf,
See fome ftrange comfort every state attend, And pride bestow'd on all, a common friend : See some fit passion every age supply, Hope travels thro', nor quits us when we die. Behold the child, by nature's kindly law, Pleas'd with a rattle, tickled with a straw: Some livelier play-thing gives his youth delight, A little louder, but as empty quite : Scarfs, garters, gold, amufe his riper stage, And beads and prayer-books are the toys of age: Pleas'd with this bauble still, as that before; 'Till tir'd he fleeps, and life's poor play is o'er. Mean-while opinion gilds with varying rays Thofe painted clouds that beautify our days; Each want of happiness by hope fupply'd, And each vacuity of fenfe by pride: Thefe build as faft as knowledge can destroy; In folly's cup till laughs the bubble joy; One profpect loft, another still we gain; And not a vanity is given in vain;
Even mean felf-love becomes, by force divine, 1 The feale to measure others wants by thine.
See! and confefs, one comfort ftill must rife;