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Say, will the falcon, stooping from above,
Smit with her varying plumage, spare the dove?
Admires the jay the infect's gilded wings? 55
Or hears the hawk when Philomela sings ?
Man cares for all: to birds he gives his woods,
To beasts his pastures, and to filh his floods;
For some his intrest prompts him to provide,
For more his pleasure, yet for more his pride:
that chain of love, Combining all below and all above: But Nature, even by the very gift of Reason, checks this Tyrant. For Reason endowing Man with the ability of setting together the memory of the past, with his conjectures about the future ; and past misfortunes making him apprehensive of more to come, this disposeth him to pity and relieve others in a state of suffering. And the passion growing habitual, naturally extendeth its effect to all that have a fense of suffering. Now as brutes have neither Man's Realon, nor his inordinate Self-love, to draw them from the system of Benevolence: so they wanted not, and therefore have not, this human sympathy of another's mi. fery. By which paflion, we see those qualities, in Man, balance one another; and so retain him in that general Order, in which Providence hath placed its whole creation. But this is not all; Man's intereft, amusement, vanity, and luxury, tie him ftill closer to the system of benevolence, by obliging him to provide for the support of other animals; and though it be, for the moft part, only to devour them with the greater guft, yet this does not abate the proper happiness of the animals so preserved, to whom Providence hath not imparted the useless knowledge of their end.
All feed on one vain Patron, and enjoy
Th' extensive blessing of his luxury,
That very life his learned hunger craves,
He faves from famine, from the savage faves;
Nay, feasts the animal he dooms his feast, 65
And, 'till he ends the being, makes it bleft;
Which sees no more the stroke, or feels the pain,
Than favour'd Man by touch etherial Nain.
The creature had his feast of life before ;
Thou too must perish, when thy feast is o'er! 70
To each unthinking being, Heav'n a friend,
Gives not the useless knowledge of its end :
To Man imparts it; but with f. eh a view
As, while he dreads it, makes him hope it too:
The hour conceal'd, and so remote the fear, 75
Death ftill draws nearer, never seeming near.
Great standing miracle! that Heav'n affign'd
Its only thinking thing this turn of mind.
II. Whether with Reafon, or with Instinct bleft, Know, all enjoy that pow'r which suits them beft; 80 To bliss alike by that direction tend, And find the means proportion'd to their end.
NOTES. Ver. 68: Than favour'd Man, &c.] Several of the ancients, and many of the Orientals fince, esteemed thofe who were struck by lightning as sacred persons, and the particular favourites of Heaven. P.
Say, where full Instinct is th' unerring guide,
What Pope or Council can they need beside?
Reason, however able, cool at best,
Cares'not for service or but serves when prest,
Stays 'till we call, and then not often hear;
But honest Inftinet comes a Volunteer,
Sure never to o'er-shoot, but just to hit;
While still too wide or short is human Wit;
Sure by quick Nature happiness to gain,
Which heavier Reason labours at in vain.
This too serves always, Reason never long;
One must go right, the other may go wrong.
See then the acting and comparing pow'rs 95
One in their nature, which are two in ours !
And Reason raise o'er Instind as you can,
In this 'tis God directs, in that 'tis Man.
Who taught the nations of the field and wood To fhun their poison, and to chuse their food! 100 Prefcient, the tides or tempefts to withstand, * Build on the wave, or arch beneath the land?
After ver, 84. in the MS.
While Man, with op'ning views of various ways
Confounded, by the aid of knowledge strays:
Too weak to chuse, yet chusing still in hafte,
One moment gives the pleasure and distaste.
Who made the spider parallels design,
Sure as De-moivre, without rule or line?
Who bid the stork, Columbus like; explore τος
Heav'ns not his own, and worlds unknown before?
Who calls the council, states the certain day,
Who forms the phalanx, and who points the way?
III. God, in the nature of each being, founds
Its proper bliss, and sets it proper bounds : HIO
But as he fram'd a Whole, the Whole to bless,
On mutual Wants built mutual Happiness:
So from the first, eternal ORDÉR ran;
And creature link'd to creature, man to mano
Whate'er of life all quick’ning æther keeps, 115
Or breathes thro' air, or shoots beneath the deeps,
Or pours profuse on earth, one nature feeds
The vital Game, and swells the genial seeds.
Not man alone, but all that roam the wood,
Or wing the sky, or roll along the food, 120
Each loves itself, but not itself alone,
Each sex desires alike, 'till two are one.
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, 125
The mothers nurse it, and the fires defend;
The young dismiss’d to wander earth or air,
There stops the Instinct, and there ends the care :
The link diffolves, each seeks a fresa embrace,
Another love fucceeds, another race.
A longer care man's helpless kind demando;
That longer care contracts more lasting bands:
Reflection, Reafon, still the ties improve,
At once extend the int’rest, and the love;
With choice we fix, with sympathy we burn; 135
Each virtue in cach 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 nat'ral love maintain'd, habitual those: 140
The last, scarce ripen'd into perfect Man,
Saw helpless him from whom their life began;
Mem’ry and fore-cast just returns engage,
That pointed back to youth, this on to age,
While pleasure, gratitude, and hope, combin'd, 145
Still spread the int'rest, and preservd the kind.
IV. Nor'think in NATURE'S STATE they blindly The ftate of Nature was the reign of god : [trod; Self-love and social at her birth began, Union the bond of all things, and of Man. 150 Pride then was not; nor Arts, that pride to aid; Man walk'd' with beast, joint tenant of the shade ;
NOTE s. VER: 152. Man walk'd with beast, joint tenant of rhe frade :] The poet ftill takes bis imagery from Platonic