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In hearts of Kings, or arms of Queens who lay,
How happy those to ruin, these betray.
Mark by what wretched fteps their glory grows,
From dirt and fea-weed as proud Venice rofe;
In each how guilt and greatnefs equal ran,
And all that rais'd the Hero, funk the Man :
Now Europe's laurels on their brows behold,
But ftain'd with blood, or ill exchang'd for Gold:
Then fee them broke with toils, or funk in ease,
Or infamous for plunder'd provinces.
Oh wealth ill-fated! with no act of fame
E'er taught to fhine, or fanctify'd from thame!
What greater blifs attends their clofe of life?
Some greedy minion, or imperious wife,
The trophy'd arches, ftory'd halls invade,
And haunt their flumbers in the pompous fhade.
Alas! not dazzled with their noon-tide ray,
Compute the morn and ev'ning to the day;
The whole amount of that enormous fame,
A Tale, that blends their glory with their fhame! Know then this truth (enough for Man to know) "Virtue alone is happiness below."
The only point where human bliss stands still,
And tastes the good without the fall to ill;
Where only merit conftant pay receives,
bleft in what it takes, and what it gives;
The joy unequall'd, if its end it gain,
And if it lofe, attended with no pain :
Without fatiety, tho' e'er fo bless'd,
And but more relish'd, as the more distress'd :
The broadeft mirth unfeeling Folly wears,
Lefs pleasing far than Virtue's very tears:
Good, from each object, from each place acquir'd,
For ever exercis'd, yet never tir'd;
Never elated, while one man's opprefs'd;
Never dejected, while another's bless'd;
And where no wants, no wishes can remain,
Since but to wifh more virtue, is to gain.
See the fole blefs Heav'n could on all beftow!
Which who but feels can taste, but thinks can know:
Yet poor with fortune, and with learning blind,
The bad must mifs, the good, untaught, will find;
Slave to no fect, who takes no private road,
But looks thro' Nature, up to Nature's God:
Purfues that chain which links th' immenfe defign,
Joins heav'n and earth, and mortal and divine;
Sees, that no Being any blifs can know,
But touches fome above, and fome below;
Learns, from this union of the rifing whole,
The first, last purpose of the human foul;
And knows where Faith, Law, morals, all began,
All end, in LOVE OF GOD, and LOVE OF MAN.
For him alone, hope leads from goal to goal,
And opens ftill, and opens on his foul;
'Till lengthen'd on to Faith, and unconfin'd,
pours the blifs that fills up all the mind.
He fees, why naturé plants in Man alone
Hope of known bliss, and Faith in bliss unknown : (Nature, whofe dictates to no other kind
Are giv'n in vain, but what they seek they find)
Wife is her prefent; fhe connects in this
His greatest Virtue with his greatest blifs;
At once his own bright prospect to be bleft,
And strongest motive to affift the rest.
Self-love thus push'd to focial, to divine,
Gives thee to make thy neighbour's bleffing thine.
Is this too little for the boundless heart?
Extend it, let thy enemies have part:
Grafp the whole worlds of Reafon, Life, and Senfe, In one close fyftem of Benevolence:
Happier as kinder, in whate'er degree,
And height of Blifs, but height of Charity.
God loves from Whole to Parts: But human foul
Muft rife from Individual to the Whole.
Self-love but ferves the virtuous mind to wake,
As the small pebble stirs the peaceful lake;
The centre mov'd, a circle ftrait fucceeds,
Another ftill, and still another spreads;
Friend, parent, neighbour, first it will embrace;
His country next; and next all human race;
Wide and more wide, th' o'erflowings of the mind
Take ev'ry creature in, of ev'ry kind;
Earth fmiles around, with boundlefs bounty bleft,
And heav'n beholds its image in his breast.
Come then, my friend! my Genius! come along; Oh master of the poet, and the fong!
And while the Mufe now stoops, or now afcends,
To Man's low paffions, or their glorious ends,
To fall with dignity, with temper rise;
like thee, in various nature wife,
Form'd by thy converfe, happily to steer,
From grave to gay, from lively to fevere;
Correct with ipirit, eloquent with cafe,
Intent to reafon, or polite to pleaî.
Oh while along the ftream of Tine thy name
Expanded flies, and gathers all its fame;
Say, Shal! my little bark attendant fail.
Furue the triumph, and partake the gale?
Wi en ftatefmen, heroes, kings, in dust repofe,
Wofe fons fhall blush their fathers were thy toes,
Shall then this verf to future age pretend
Tou wert my guide, philosopher, and friend?
That, urg'd by thee, I turn'd the tunciul art
From founds to things, from fancy to the heart;
For Wit's falfe mirror held up Nature's light;
Shew'd erring Pride, WHATEVER IS, IS RIGHT;
That REASON, PASSION, anfwer one great aim
That true SELF-LOVE and SOCIAL are the fame;
That VIRTUE only makes our 1 lifs below;
And all our Knowledge is, OURSELVES TO KNOW,
FATHER of All in ev'ry Age,
In ev'ry Clime ador'd,
By Saint, by Savage, and by Sage,
Jehovah, Jove, or Lord!
Thou Great First Caufe, leaft understood:
Who all my Senfe confin'd
To Know but this, that Thou art Good,
And that myself am blind;
What Confcience dictates to be done,
Or warns me not to do,
This, teach me more than Hell to fhun,
That, more than Heav'n pursue.
What bleffings thy free bounty gives,
Let me not cast away;
For God is paid when Man receives,
T'enjoy is to obey.