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Nor ends the pleasure with the fierce embrace;
They love themselves, a third time, in their race.
Thus beast and bird their common charge attend,
The mothers nurse it, and the sires defend:
The young dismiss’d to wander earth or air,
There stops the instinct, and there ends the care;
The link dissolves, each seeks a fresh embrace,
Another love succeeds, another race.
A longer care man's helpless kind demands;
That longer care contracts more lasting bands:
Reflection, reason, still the ties improve,
At once extend the interest, and the love;
With choice we fix, with sympathy we burn;
Each virtue in each passion takes its turn;
And still new needs, new helps, new habits rise
That graft benevolence on charities.
Still as one brood, and as another rose,
These natural love maintain'd, habitual those:
The last, scarce ripen'd into perfect man,
Saw helpless him from whom their life began:
Memory and forecast just returns engage;
That pointed back to youth, this on to age;
While pleasure, gratitude, and hope, combined,
Still spread the interest, and preserved the kind.

IV. Nor think, in nature's state they blindly trod; The state of nature was the reign of God: Self-love and social at her birth began, Union the bond of all things, and of man. Pride then was not; nor arts, that pride to aid; Man walk'd with beast, joint-tenant of the shade; The same his table, and the same his bed; No murder clothed him, and no murder fed. In the same temple, the resounding wood, All vocal beings hymn’d their equal God: The shrine gore unstain'd, with gold undress'd, Unbribed, unbloody, stood the blameless priest: Heaven’s attribute was universal care; And man's prerogative to rule, but spare. Ah! how unlike the man of times to come ! Of half that live the butcher and the tomb; Who, foe to mature, hears the general groan; Murders their species, and betrays his own. But just disease to luxury succeeds, And every death its own avenger breeds; The fury-passions from that blood began, And turn’d on man a fiercer Savage, man. See him from nature rising slow to art! To copy instinct then was Reason's part:

Thus then to man the voice of Nature spake :—
‘Go, from the creatures thy instructions take:
Learn from the birds what food the thickets yield;
Learn from the beasts the physic of the field:
Thy arts of building from the bee receive;
Learn of the mole to plough, the worm to weave;
Learn of the little nautilus to sail;
Spread the thin oar, and catch the driving gale:
Here too all forms of social union find,
And hence let reason, late, instruct mankind:
Here subterranean works and cities see;
There towns aerial on the waving tree:
Learn each small people's genius, policies,
The ants’ republic and the realm of bees;
How those in common all their wealth bestow,
And anarchy without confusion know;
And these for ever, though a monarch reign,
Their separate cells and properties maintain.
Mark what unvaried laws preserve each state;—
Laws wise as nature, and as fix’d as fate.
In vain thy reason finer webs shall draw;
Entangle justice in her net of law;
And right, too rigid, harden into wrong,
Still for the strong too weak, the weak too strong.
Yet go! and thus o'er all the creatures sway;
Thus let the wiser make the rest obey;
And for those arts mere instinct could afford,
Be crown'd as monarchs, or as gods adored.’

W. Great Nature spoke; observant men obey'd; Cities were built, societies were made: Here rose one little state; another near Grew by like means, and join'd through love or fear. Did here the trees with ruddier burdens bend, And there the streams in purer rills descend ? What war could ravish, commerce could bestow; And he return’d a friend, who came a foe. Converse and love mankind may strongly draw, When love was liberty, and nature law: Thus states were form'd; the name of king unknown, Till common interest placed the sway in one 'Twas Virtue only, or in arts or arms, Diffusing blessings, or averting harms; The same which in a sire the sons obey'd, A prince the father of a people made.

VI. Till then, by Nature crown'd, each patriarch sate, King, priest, and parent of his growing state; On him, their second Providence, they hung; Their law his eye, their oracle his tongue.

He from the wondering furrow call'd the food;
Taught to command the fire, control the flood;
Draw forth the monsters of the abyss profound,
Or fetch the aerial eagle to to the ground;
Till drooping, sickening, dying, they began
Whom they revered as god to mourn as man
Then, looking up from sire to sire, explored
One great first Father, and that first adored.
Or plain tradition that this all begun,
Convey'd unbroken faith from sire to son;
The worker from the work distinct was known,
And simple reason never sought but one :
Ere wit oblique had broke that steady light,
Man, like his Maker, saw that all was right;
To virtue in the paths of pleasure trod,
And own d a father when he own’d a God.
Love all the faith and all the allegiance then;
For nature knew no right divine in men, -
No ill could fear in God; and understood
A sovereign being but a sovereign good.
True faith, true policy, united ran
That was but love of God, and this of man. -
Who first taught souls enslaved, and realms undone
The enormous faith of many made for one;
That proud exception to all Nature's laws,
To invert the work, and counterwork its cause?
Force first made conquest, and that conquest law
Till superstition taught the tyrant awe;
Then shared the tyranny, then lent it aid,
And gods of conquerors, slaves of subjects made:
She, 'midst the lightning's blaze and thunder's sound
When rock'd the mountains, and when groan'd the
She taught the weak to bend, the proud to pray, iground
To Power unseen, and mightier far than they :
She, from the rending earth and bursting skies,
Saw gods descend, and fiends infernal rise:
Here fix’d the dreadful, there the bless'd abodes;
Fear made her devils, and weak hope her gods;--
Gods partial, changeful, passionate, unjust,
Whose attributes were rage, revenge, or lust;
Such as the souls of cowards might conceive;
And, form'd like tyrants, tyrants would believe.
Zeal then, not charity, became the guide;
And hell was built on spite, and heaven on pride:
Then sacred seem'd the ethereal vault no more;
Altars grew marble then, and reek'd with gore:
Then first the flamen tasted living food; -
Next his grim idol smear'd with human blood;
With Heaven's own thunders shook the world below,
And play'd the god an engine on his foe.

So drives self-love, through just and through unjust To one man's power, ambition, lucre, lust: 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 we keep, what, sleeping or awake, A weaker may surprise, a stronger take? His safety must his liberty restrain : All join to guard what each desires to gain. Forced into virtue thus by self-defence, Ev’n kings learn’d justice and benevolence: Self-love forsook the path it first pursued, And found the private in the public good. 'Twas then, the studious head or generous mind, Follower of God or friend of human-kind, Poet or patriot, rose but to restore The faith and moral Nature gave before ; Relumed her ancient light, not kindled new ; If not God’s image, yet his shadow drew; Taught power's due use to people and to kings; Taught not to slack nor strain its tender strings; 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 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, And in proportion as it blesses, blest; 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; His can’t be wrong whose life is in the right: In faith and hope thee 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. Man, like the gen’rous vine, supported lives: She 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; And one regards it elf, and one the whole. Thus God and Nature link'd the gen'ral frame. And bade self-love and social be the same.




I. False motions of happiness, philosophical and popular, answered. II. It is the end of all men, and attainable by all. God intends happiness to be equal; and to be so, it must be social, since all particular happiness depends on general, and since he governs by general, not particular laws. As is is necessary for order, and the peace and welfare of society, that external goods should be unequal, happiness is not made to consist in these. But notwithstanding that inequality, the balance of happiness among mankind is kept even by Providence, by the two passions of hope and fear. III. What the happiness of individuals is, as far as is consistent with the constitution of this world; and that the good man has here the advantage. The error of imputing to virtue what are only the calamities of nature, or of fortune. IV. The folly of expecting that God should alter his general laws in favour of particulars. W. That we are not judges who are good; but that whoever they are they must be happiest, WI. That external goods are not the proper rewards, but often inconsistent with, or destructive of, virtue. That even these can make no man happy without virtue: instanced in riches, in honours, nobility, greatness, fame, superior talents, with pictures of human infelicity in umen possessed of them all. VII. That virtue only constitutes a happiness, whose object is universal, and whose prospect eternal. That the perfection of virtue and happiness consists in a conformity to the order of Providence here, and resignation to it here and hereafter. -

O HAPPINEssl our being's end and aim,
Good, pleasure, ease, content! whate'er thy mame :
That something still which prompts th' eternal sigh;
For which we bear to live, or dare to die;
Which still so near us, yet beyond us lies,
O'erlook'd, seen double by the fool and wise :
Plant of celestial seed if dropp'd below,
Say in what mortal soil thou deign'st to grow?
Fair op'ning to some court's propitious shine,
Or deep with diamonds in the flaming mine !
Twin'd with the wreaths Parnassian laurels yield,
Or reap'd in iron harvests of the field 2
Where grows?—where grows it not ? If , aim our toil,
We ought to blame the culture, not the soil:
Fix'd to no spot is Happiness sincere,
"Tis no where to be found, or ev'ry where:

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