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KNOW thou 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 he fall to ill; Where only Merit constant pay receives, Is blest in what it takes, and what it gives ; The joy unequall'd if its end it gain, And if to lose, attended with no pain ; Without satiety, tho' e'er so bless'd, And but more relish'd, as the more distress'd : The broadest mirth unfeeling Folly wears, Less 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 oppress'd; Never dejected, while another's bless'd; And where no wants, no wishes cap remain, Since but to wish more Virtue, is to gain.
See the sole bliss Hear'n 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 thro? Nature, up to Nature's God : Pursues that Claim 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 this 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,
pours the bliss that fills up all the mind. He sees why Nature plants
in man alone
Self-love thus.push'd to social, to divine
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 mov'd a circle strait 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, th' overflowings of the mind Take ev'ry creature in of ev'ry kind; Earth smiles around, with boundless bounty blest, And Heav'n beholds its image in his breast. M 2
POPE. CHAP. XVII.
MANY by Numbers judge a Poet's song ; And smooth or rough, with them, is right or wrong: In the bright Muse tho thousand charms conspire, Her voice is all these tuneful fools admire ; Who haunt Parnassus but to please their ear, Not mend their minds; as some to Church repair Not for the doctrine, but the music there. These equal syllables alone require, Tho' oft the ear the open vowels tire ; While expletives their feeble aid do join ; And ten low words oft creep in one dull line : While they ring round the same unvary'd chimes, With sure returns of still expected rhimes i Where'er you find “ the cooling western breeze, In the next line, it " whispers thro' the trees :" If crystal streams “ with pleasing murmurs creep," The reader's threatenid (not in vain) with “sleep :" Then, at the last and only couplet fraught With some unmeaning thing they call a thought, A needless Alexandrine ends the song, That, like a wounded snake, drags its slow length along. Leave such to tune their own dull rhimes, and know What's roundly smooth, or languishingly slow; And praise the easy vigour of a line, Where Denham's strength, and Waller's sweetness join. True ease in writing comes from art, not chance. As those move easiest who have learn'd to dance. Tis not enough no harshness gives offence, The sound must seem an echo to the sense ; Soft is the strain when Zeplıyr gently blows, And the smooth stream in smoother numbers flows ;
But when loud surges lash the sounding shore,
LESSONS OF WISDOM. ,
HOW to live happiest ; how avoid the pains,
easy presence check'd no decent joy.
Vers'd in the woes and vanities of life,
Tis not for mortals always to be blest.