Self-love ftill stronger, as its object's nigh;
Reafon's at diftance, and in prospect lie;
That fees immediate good, by prefent fenfe,
Reason, the future, and the confequence;
Thicker than arguments, temptations throng,
At beft more watchful this, but that more ftrong.
The action of the ftronger to fufpend,
Reason ftill use, to reafon ftill attend:
Attention, habit and experience gains,
Each strengthens reafon, and felf-love refrains.
Let fubtile fchoolmen teach thefe friends to fight,
More ftudious to divide, than to unite,
And grace and virtue, fenfe and reafon fplit,
With all the rash dexterity of wiť.
Wits, juft like fools, at war about a name,
Have full as oft, no meaning, or the fame:
Self-love and reason to one end aspire,
Pain their averfion, pleasure their defire:
But greedy that its object would devour,
This tafte the honey, and not wound the flower:
Pleasure, or wrong or rightly understood,
Our greatest evil, or our greatest good:
Modes of felf-love the Paffions we may call ;
'Tis real good, or feeming, moves them all
But fince not every good we can divide,
And reafon bids us for our own provide ;`
Paffions tho' felfifh, if their means be fair,
Lift under reafon, and deferve her care
Thofe that imparted, court a nobler aim,
Exalt their kind, and take fome virtue's name.
In lazy apathy let Stoics boaft
Their virtue fix'd; tis fix'd as in a froft,
Contracted all, retiring to the breaft;
But ftrength of mind is exercife, not fest:
The rifing tempeft puts in act the foul,
Parts it may ravage, but preferves the whole.
On life's vaft ocean diverfely we fail,
Reafon the card, but, paffion is the gale: