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How inconsistent greater goods with these
Mark how they grace Lord Umbra, or Sir Billy.
From ancient story learn to scorn them all.
Or infamous for plunder'd provinces.
O wealth ill-fated! which no act of fame
In hearts of kings, or arms of queens who lay,
E'er taught to shine, or sanctified from shame! 300
The only point where human bliss stands still
Never elated, while one man's oppress'd⚫
See the sole bliss Heaven could on all bestow! Which who but feels can taste, but thinks can know Yet poor with fortune and with learning blind, The bad must miss, the good untaught will find; Slave to no sect, who takes no private road, But looks through nature up to nature's God; Pursues that chain which links th' immense design Joins Heav'n and earth, and mortal and divine Sees that no being any bliss can know, But touches some above, and some below; Learns from the union of the rising whole The first, last purpose of the human soul; 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 still, and opens on his soul; Fill lengthen'd on to faith, and unconfined, It pours the bliss that fills up all the mind. He sees why nature plants in man alone, Hope of known bliss, and faith in bliss unknown : (Nature, whose dictates to no other kind Are given in vain, but what they seek they find)
Wise is her present; she connects in this
Self love thus push'd to social, to divine,
Extend it, let thy enemies have part;
Grasp the whole world of reason, life, and sense,
And height of bliss but height of charity.
God loves from whole to parts: but human soul Must rise from individual to the whole. Self-love but serves the virtuous mind to wake, As the small pebble stirs the peaceful lake; The centre moved, a circle straight succeeds, Another still, and still another spreads; Friend, parent, neighbour, first it will embrace; His country next, and next all human race: Wide and more wide, the o'erflowings of the mind Take every creature in, of every kind : 370
Earth smiles around, with boundless bounty bless'd, And Heaven beholds its image in his breast.
Come then, my friend! my genius! come along; O master of the poet, and the song! And while the muse now stoops, or now ascends, To man's low passions, or their glorious ends, Teach me, like thee, in various nature wise, To fall with dignity, with temper rise; Form'd by thy converse, happily to steer From grave to gay, from lively to severe; Correct with spirit, eloquent with ease, Intent to reason, or polite to please.
O! while along the stream of time thy name
When statesmen, heroes, kings, in dust repose,
THE UNIVERSAL PRAYER.
DEO OPT. MAX.
It may be proper to observe, that some passages in the pre. ceding Essay having been unjustly suspected of a tendency towards fate and naturalism, the author composed this pray. er as the sum of all, to show that his system was founded in free-will, and terminated in piety: that the First Cause was as well the Lord and Governor of the universe as the Creator of it; and that, by submission to his will (the great principle enforced throughout the Essay) was not meant the suffering ourselves to be carried along by a blind determination, but a resting in a religious acquiescence, and confi dence full of hope and immortality. To give all this the greater weight, the poet chose for his model the Lord's Prayer, which, of all others, best deserves the title prefixed to this paraphrase.
FATHER of all! in every age,
By saint, by savage, and by sage,
Thou Great First Cause, least understood.
Who all my sense confined
To know but this, That thou art good,
Yet gave me, in this dark estate,
What conscience dictates to be done,
This, teach me more than hell to shun,
What blessings thy free bounty gives,
For God is paid when man receives :
Yet not to earth's contracted span
When thousand worlds are round.
If I am right, thy grace impart,
If I am wrong, O teach my heart
Savo me alike from foolish pride,