« PreviousContinue »
with, or destructive of Virtue, ver. 167. That even these can make no Man happy without Virtue : Instanced in Riches, ver. 185. Honours, ver. 193. Nobility, ver. 205. Greatness, ver. 217. Fame, ver. 237. Superior Talents, ver. 257, &c. With pictures of human infelicity in Men, poffeffed of them all, ver. 269, &c. VII. That Virtue only constitutes a Happiness, whose object is universal, and whose prospect eternal, ver. 307. That the perfection of Virtue and Happiness consists in a conformity to the ORDER of PROVIDENCE here, and a Resignation to it here and hereafter, ver. 326, &c.
OH HAPPINESS! our being's end and aim!
Good, Pleasure, Ease, Content! whate'er thy name : 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,
5 O’erlook'd, seen double, by the fool and wise. Plant of celestial feed ! if dropt below, Say, in what mortal soul thou deign'st to grow? Fair opening 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 ? Where grows ? where grows it not? If vain our toil, We ought to blame the culture, not the soil: Fix'd to no spot is happiness fincere,
15 'Tis no where to be found, or every where: 'Tis never to be bought, but always free, And fled from monarchs, St. John! dwells with thee.
Alk of the Learn'd the way? The Learn’d are blind : This bids to serve, and that to Thun mankind;
Ver. 1. Oh Happiness ! &c.] in the MS. thus,
Oh Happiness, to which we all aspire,
Some place the bliss in action, some in ease,
25 To trust in ev'ry thing, or doubt of all.
Who thus define it, say they more or less Than this, that Happiness is Happiness ?
Take Nature's path, and mad Opinion's leave; All states can reach it, and all heads conceive; Obvious her goods, in no extreme they dwell; There needs but thinking right, and meaning well ; And, mourn our various portions as we please, Equal is Common Sense, and Common Ease. Remember, Man, “ the Universal Cause
35 « Acts not by partial, but by gen’ral laws;" And makes what Happiness we justly call Subsist not in the good of one, but all. There's not a blessing Individuals find, But some-way leans and hearkens to the kind : No Bandit fierce, no Tyrant mad with pride, No cavernd Hermit, refts felf-fatisfy'd: Who most to fhun or hate Mankind pretend, Seek an admirer, or would fix a friend : Abstract what others feel, what others think, 45 All pleasures ficken, and all glories fink: Each has his share; and who would more obtain, Shall find, the pleasure pays not half the pain.
Order is Heaven's first Law; and this confest, Some are, and must be, greater than the rest,
More rich, more wise; but who infers from hence
60 Heaven breathes through every member of the whole One common blessing, as one common foul, But Fortune's gifts if each alike pofsest, And each were equal, must not all contest? If then to all Men Happiness was meant, God in Externals could not place Content.
Fortune her gifts may variously dispose, And these be happy call'd, unhappy those;
After ver. 52. in the MS.
Say not, “ Heaven's here profuse, there poorly faves, " And for one Monarch makes a thousand flaves." You'll find, when Causes and their Ends are known,
'Twas for the thousand Heaven has made that one. After ver. 66. in the MS.
'Tis peace of mind alone is at a stay :
But Heaven's just balance equal will appear,
Oh, fons of earth! attempt ye still to rise,
Know, all the good that individuals find, Or God and Nature meant to mere Mankind, Reason's whole pleasure, all the joys of Sense, Lie in three words, Health, Peace, and Competence. 80 But Health consists with Temperance alone; And Peace, oh Virtue ! Peace is all thy own. The good or bad the gifts of Fortune gain; But these less taste them, as they worse obtain, Say, in pursuit of profit or delight,
85 Who risk the most, that take wrong means, or right? Of Vice or Virtue, whether bleft or curst, Which meets contempt, or which compassion first ? Count all th' advantage prosperous Vice attains, 'Tis but what Virtue flies from and disdains : And grant the bad what happiness they would, One they must want, which is, to pass for good, Oh blind to truth, and God's whole scheme below, Who fancy Bliss to Vice, to Virtue Woe! Who sees and follows that great scheme the best, 95 Best knows the blesling, and will most be blest.
After ver. 92. in the MS.
Let sober Moralists correct their speech,