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Yet gave me in this dark estate,
To see the good from ill;
And binding Nature fast in Fate,
Let free the human Will.

What conscience dictates to be done, Or warns me not to do,

This teach me more than hell to shun, That more than heaven pursue.

What blessings Thy free bounty gives Let me not cast away;

For God is paid when man receives; To enjoy is to obey.

Yet not to earth's contracted span
Thy goodness let me bound,
Or Thee the Lord alone of man,

When thousand worlds are round.

Let not this weak, unknowing hand
Presume Thy bolts to throw,
And deal damnation round the land
On each I judge Thy foe.

If I am right, Thy Grace impart
Still in the right to stay;
If I am wrong, oh teach my heart
To find that better way.

Save me alike from foolish pride
Or impious discontent,

At aught Thy wisdom has denied,
Or aught Thy goodness lent.

Teach me to feel another's woe,
To hide the fault I see;
That mercy I to others show,
That mercy show to me.

Mean though I am, not wholly so,
Since quickened by Thy breath;
Oh, lead me, wheresoe'er I go,

Through this day's life or death.

This day be bread and peace my lot:
All else beneath the sun

Thou knowest it best, bestowed or not,
And let Thy will be done!

To Thee, whose temple is all space,
Whose altar earth, sea, skies,
One chorus let all being raise;
All Nature's incense rise.

AN ESSAY ON MAN

HE bliss of man (could pride that blessing find) Is not to act or think beyond mankind; No powers of body or of soul to share,

THE

But what his nature and his state can bear.
Why has not a man a microscopic eye?
For this plain reason, man is not a fly.
Say what the use were finer optics given,
T' inspect a mite, not comprehend the heaven?
Or touch, if tremblingly alive all o'er,
To smart and agonize at every pore?

Or quick effluvia darting through the brain,
Die of a rose in aromatic pain?

If nature thunder'd in his opening ears,

And stunn'd him with the music of the spheres, How would he wish that Heaven had left him still

The whispering zephyr and the purling rill?
Who finds not Providence all good and wise,
Alike in what it gives, and what denies?

Far as creation's ample range extends The scale of sensual, mental powers ascends: Mark how it mounts to man's imperial race From the green myriads in the peopled grass: What modes of sight betwixt each wide extreme, The mole's dim curtain and the lynx's beam! Of smell, the headlong lioness between And hound sagacious on the tainted green! Of hearing, from the life that fills the flood To that which warbles through the vernal wood! The spider's touch, how exquisitely fine! Feels at each thread, and lives along the line; In the nice bee what sense so subtly true, From poisonous herbs extracts the healing dew! How instinct varies in the groveling swine, Compar'd, half-reasoning elephant, with thine! "Twixt that and reason what a nice barrier! For ever separate, yet for ever near! Remembrance and reflection how allied!

What thin partitions sense from thought divide!
And middle natures how they long to join,
Yet never pass th' insuperable line!
Without this just gradation could they be
Subjected these to those, or all to thee?
The powers of all subdued by thee alone,
Is not thy reason all these powers in one?

See through this air, this ocean, and this earth,
All matter quick, and bursting into birth!
Above, how high progressive life may go!
Around, how wide! how deep extend below!
Vast chain of being! which from God began;
Natures ethereal, human, angel, man,
Beast, bird, fish, insect, what no eye can see,
No glass can reach; from infinite to thee;
From thee to nothing-On superior powers
Were we to press, inferior might on ours;
Or in the full creation leave a void,

Where, one step broken, the great scale's destroy'd:

From Nature's chain whatever link you strike,
Tenth, or ten thousandth, breaks the chain alike.
And if each system in gradation roll,
Alike essential to th' amazing whole,
The least confusion but in one, not all
That system only, but the whole must fall.
Let earth unbalanc'd from her orbit fly,
Planets and stars run lawless through the sky,
Let ruling angels from their spheres be hurl'd.
Being on being wreck'd, and world on world;
Heaven's whole foundations to their center nod,
And nature tremble to the throne of God.
All this dread order break-for whom? for thee?
Vile worm!-O madness! pride! impiety!

What if the foot ordain'd the dust to tread,
Or hand to toil, aspir'd to be the head?
What if the head, the eye, or ear repin'd
To serve mere engines to the ruling mind?
Just as absurd for any part to claim
To be another in this general frame;
Just as absurd to mourn the tasks or pains
The great directing Mind of All ordains.

All are but parts of one stupendous whole,
Whose body Nature is, and God the soul;
That chang'd through all, and yet in all the same,
Great in the earth as in th' ethereal frame,
Warms in the sun, refreshes in the breeze,
Glows in the stars, and blossoms in the trees;
Lives through all life, extends through all extent,
Spreads undivided, operates unspent;
Breathes in our soul, informs our mortal part,
As full, as perfect, in a hair as heart;
As full, as perfect, in vile man that mourns
As the rapt seraph that adores and burns:
To him no high, no low, no great, no small;
He fills, he bounds, connects, and equals all!

Cease, then, nor order imperfection name; Our proper bliss depends on what we blame.

Know thy own point: this kind, this due degree
Of blindness, weakness, Heaven bestows on thee.
Submit. In this or any other sphere,

Secure to be as bless'd as thou canst bear;
Safe in the hand of one disposing Power,
Or in the natal or in the mortal hour.
All nature is but art unknown to thee;
All chance, direction, which thou canst not see;
All discord, harmony not understood;

All partial evil, universal good;

And spite of pride, in erring reason's spite,
One truth is clear, Whatever is, is right.

Y

MESSIAH

A SACRED ECLOGUE

E nymphs of Solyma! begin the song:

To heavenly themes sublimer strains belong. The mossy fountains and the sylvan shades, The dreams of Pindus and th' Aonian maids, Delight no more-O Thou my voice inspire Who touch'd Isaiah's hallow'd lips with fire! Rapt into future times the bard begun: A Virgin shall conceive-a Virgin bear a Son! From Jesse's root behold a Branch arise Whose sacred flower with fragrance fills the skies: Th' Ethereal Spirit o'er its leaves shall move, And on its top descends the mystic Dove. Ye heavens! from high the dewy nectar pour, And in soft silence shed the kindly shower! The sick and weak the healing plant shall aidFrom storms a shelter, and from heat a shade. All crimes shall cease, and ancient fraud shall fail; Returning Justice lift aloft her scale,

Peace o'er the world her olive wand extend,
And white-robed Innocence from heaven descend.

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