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Say, then, shall sov'reign love desert
The humble and the honest heart?
Heav'n may not grant thee all thy mind,
Yet say not thou that heav'n's unkind.
God is alike both good and wise,
In what he grants, and what denies :
Perhaps, what Goodness gives to-day,
To-morrow Goodness takes away.
You say that troubles intervene;
That sorrows darken half the scene.
True, and this consequence you see,
The world was ne'er designed for thee.
You're like a passenger below,
That stays, perhaps, a night or so;
But still his native country lies
Beyond the bound'ries of the skies.
Of heav'n ask virtue, wisdom, health ;
But never let thy pray’r be wealth.
If food be thine (though little gold),
And raiment to repel the cold ;
Such as may nature's wants suffice,
Not what from pride and folly rise ;
If soft the motions of thy soul,
And a calm conscience crowns the whole ;
Add but a friend to all this store,
You can't, in reason, wish for more;
And if kind heav'n this comfort brings,
'Tis more than heav'n bestows on kings.
XXIV.-ADVICE TO A RECKLESS YOUTH.
LEARN to be wise, and practise how to thrive,
That would I have you do: and not to spend
Your coin on every bauble that you fancy,
Or every foolish brain that humours you,
I would not have you to invade each place,
Nor thrust yourself on all societies,
Till men's affections, or your own desert,
Should worthily invite you to your rank.
He that is so respectless in his courses,
Oft sells his reputation at cheap market.
Nor would I you should melt away yourself
In flashing finery, lest, while you affect
To make a blaze of gentry to the world,
A little puff of scorn extinguish it,
And you be left like an unsavoury snuff,
Whose property is only to offend.
I'd have you sober, and contain yourself;
Not that your sail be bigger than your boat;
But moderate your expenses now (at first)
As you may keep the same proportion still,
Nor stand so much on your gentility,
Which is an airy, and mere borrow'd thing,
From dead men's dust and bones; and none of yours,
Except you make, or hold it.
SEARCH We the springs, And backward trace the principles of things : There shall we find that when the world began, One common mass compos'd the mould of man; One paste of flesh on all degrees bestow'd ; And kneaded up alike with moist’ning blood. The same Almighty pow'r inspir'd the frame With kindled life, and form'd the souls the same. The faculties of intellect and will, Dispens’d with equal hand, dispos’d with equal skill; Like liberty indulg'd, with choice of good or ill. Thus born alike, from Virtue first began The diff'rence that distinguish'd man from man.
He claim'd no title from descent of blood,
But that which made him noble, made him good.
Warm’d with more particles of heavenly flame,
He wing'd his upward flight, and soar'd to fame;
The rest remain'd below, a tribe without a name.
This law, though custom now diverts the course,
As nature's institute, is yet in force,
Uncancell'd, though diffus'd: and he whose mind
Is virtuous, is alone of noble kind;
Though poor in fortune, of celestial race:
And he commits the crime, who calls him base.
Look abroad, And tell me, shall we to blind chance ascribe A scene so wonderful, so fair and good ? Shall we no further search than sense will lead, To find the glorious cause which so delights The eye and ear, and scatters everywhere Ambrosial perfumes? Is there not a hand Which operates unseen, and regulates The vast machine we tread on? Yes, there is; Who first created the great world, a work Of deep construction, complicately wrought, Wheel within wheel; though all in vain we strive To trace remote effects through the thick maze Of movements intricate, confused, and strange, Up to the great Artificer who made And guides the whole. What if we see him not? No more can we behold the busy soul Which animates ourselves. Man to himself Is all a miracle. I cannot see The latent cause, yet such I know there is, Which gives the body motion, nor can tell By what strange impulse the so ready limb
Performs the purposes of will. How then
Shalt thou and I, who cannot span ourselves,
In this our narrow vessel comprehend
The being of a God.
XXVII.-ASPIRATIONS AFTER THE INFINITE.
Say, why was man so eminently raised
Amid the vast creation ; why ordained
Through life and death to dart his piercing eye,
With thoughts beyond the limit of his frame;
But that the Omnipotent might send him forth
In sight of mortal and immortal powers,
As on a boundless theatre, to run
The great career of justice; to exalt
aim to all diviner deeds ;
To chase each partial purpose from his breast;
And through the mists of passion and of sense,
And through the tossing tide of chance and pain,
To hold his course unfaltering, while the voice
Of truth and virtue, up the steep ascent
Of nature, calls him to his high reward,
The applauding smile of heaven? Else wherefore burns
In mortal bosoms this unquenched hope,
That breathes from day to day sublimer thiogs,
And mocks possession ? wherefore darts the mind
With such resistless ardour to embrace
Majestic forms; impatient to be free,
Spurning the gross control of wilful might;
Proud of the strong contention of her toils ;
Proud to be daring? who but rather turns
To heaven's broad fire his unconstrained view,
Than to the glimmering of a waxen flame?
Who that, from alpine heights, his labouring eye
Shoots round the wide horizon, to survey
Nilus or Ganges rolling his bright wave
Through mountains, plains, through empires black with shade,
And continents of sand, will turn his gaze
To mark the windings of a scanty rill
That murmurs at his feet? The high-born soul
Disdains to rest her heaven-aspiring wing
Beneath its native quarry. Tired of earth
And this diurnal scene, she springs aloft
Through fields of air; pursues the flying storm ;
Rides on the volleyed lightning through the heavens ;
Or, yoked with whirlwinds and the northern blast,
Sweeps the long tract of day. Then high she soars
The blue profound, and, hovering round the sun,
Beholds him pouring the redundant stream
Of light; beholds his unrelenting sway
Bend the reluctant planets to absolve
The fated rounds of time. Thence far effused,
She darts her swiftness up the long career
Of devious comets; through its burning signs
Exulting measures the perennial wheel
Of nature, and looks back on all the stars,
Whose blended lights, as with a milky zone,
Invest the orient. Now, amazed she views
The empyreal waste, where happy spirits hold,
Beyond this concave heaven, their calm abode;
And fields of radiance, whose unfading light
Has travelled the profound six thousand years,
Nor yet arrives in sight of mortal things.
Even on the barriers of the world, untired
She meditates the eternal depth below;
Till half recoiling, down the headlong steep
She plunges; soon o’erwhelmed and swallowed up
In that immense of being. There her hopes
Rest at the fated goal. For from the birth
Of mortal man, the sovereign Maker said,
That not in humble nor in brief delight,
Not in the fading echoes of renown,