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Grant that the pow'rful still the weak controul ; Be man the wit and tyrant of the whole : 50 Nature that tyrant checks; he only knows, And helps, another creature's wants and woes. Say, will the falcon, stooping from above, Smit with her varying plumage, spare the dove? Admires the jay the insects 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 fish his floods ; For some his int'rest prompts him to provide, For more his pleasure, yet for more his pride : бо All feed on one vain patron, and enjoy Th’ extensive blessing of his luxury. That very life his learned hunger craves, He saves from famine, from the savage saves ; Nay, feasts the animal he dooms his feast, And, till he ends the being, makes it blest; Which sees no more the stroke, or feels the pain, Than favour'd man by touch ethereal slain. 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:
After ver. 46. in the former Editions,
What care to tend, to lodge, to cram, to treat him!
To man imparts it, but with such a view
II. Whether with reason or with instinct blest,
Who After ver. 84 in the MS.
While man, with op'ning views of various ways
Who taught the nations of the field and wood To shun their poison, and to choose their food ? 100 Prescient, the tides or tempests to withstand, Build on the wave, or arch beneath the sand ? Who made the spider parallels design, Sure as De-moivre, without rule or line ? Who bid the stork, Columbus-like, explore 105 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 its proper bounds : But as he fram'd the whole, the whole to bless, On mutual wants built mutual happiness : So from the first, eternal ORDER ran, And creature link'd to creature, man to man. Whate'er of life all-quick’ning ether keeps, 115 Or breathes thro' air, or shoots beneath the deeps, Or pours profuse on earth, one nature feeds The vital flame, and swells the genial seeds. Not man alone, but all that roam the wood, Or wing the sky, or roll along the flood, 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 sires defend;
dismiss'd to wander earth or air, There stops the instinct, and there ends the care ; The link dissolves, each seeks a fresh embrace, Another love succeeds, another race.
136 A longer care man's helpless kind demands ; That longer care contracts more lasting bands : Reflection, reason, 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 each 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 forecast 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 preserv'd the kind.
IV. Nor think, in NATURE'S STATE they blindly The state 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 The same his table, and the same his bed ; No murder cloath'd him, and no murder fed.
In the same temple, the resounding wood, 155
165 And ev'ry death its own avenger breeds ; The fury-passions from that blood began, And turn’d on man a fiercer savage, man. See him from nature rising slow to art ! To copy
instinct then was reason's part ; 170 Thus then to man the voice of Nature spake“ Go, from the creatures thy instructions take: “ Learn from the birds what food the thickets yield ; “ Learn from the beasts the physic of the field : “ Thy arts of building from the bee receive ; 175 “ Learn of the mole to plough, the worm to weave ; « Learn of the little Nautilus to sail, “ Spread the thin oar, and catch the driving gale. « Here too all forms of social union find, “ And hence let reason, late, instruct mankind : “ Here subterranean works and cities see ;
181 “ There towns aërial on the waving tree.