« 上一頁繼續 »
But Heaven's just balance equal will appear,
o, sons of earth! attempt ye still to rise,
Ill. Know, all the good that individuals find,
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, Lest knows the blessing, and will most be blest. But fools the good alone unhappy call, For ills or accidents that chance to all. See Falkland dies, the virtuous and the just! See godlike Turenne prostrate on the dust! See Sidney bleeds amid the martial strife! Was this their virtue, or contempt of life? Say, was it virtue, more through Heaven ne'er gave, Lamented Digby! sunk thee to the grave ? Tell me, if virtue made the son expire, Why, full of days and honour, lives the sire? Why drew Marseilles' good bishop purer breath When nature sicken'd, and each gale was death? ,
Or why so long (in life if long can be)
What makes all physical or moral ill !
IV. Shall burning Ætna, if a sage requires, Forget to thunder, and recall her fires ? On air or sea new motions be imprest, Oh blameless Bethel ! to relieve thy breast? When the loose mountain trembles from on high, Shall gravitation cease, if you go by? Or some old temple, nodding to its fall, For Chartres' head reserve the hanging wall ?
V. But still this world (so fitted for the knave) Contents us not. A better shall we have ? A kingdom of the just then let it be: But first consider how those just agree. The good must merit God's peculiar care; But who, but God, can tell us who they are? One thinks on Calvin Heaven's own spirit fell; Another deems him instrument of hell; If Calvin feels Heaven's blessing, or its rod, This cries, there is, and that there is no God. What shocks one part, will edify the rest, Nor with one system can they all be blest. The very best will variously incline, And what rewards your virtue punish mine. WHATEVER IS IS RIGHT.---This world, 'tis Was made for Cæsar---but for Titus too; (true, And which more blest? who chain'd his country, say, Or he whose virtue sigh'd to lose a day?
VI. But sometimes virtue starves, while vice is
fed.' What then? Is the reward of virtue bread ? That vice may merit, 'tis the price of toil ; The knave deserves it when he tills the soil; The knave deserves it when he tempts the main, Where folly fights for kings, or dives for gain. The good man may be weak, be indolent; Nor is his claim to plenty, but content. But grant him riches, your demand o'er? • No.-shall the good want health, the good want
power ? Add health and power, and every earthly thing, • Why bounded power? why private? why no king? Nay, why external for internal given? Why is not man a god, and earth a heaven?" Who ask and reason thus, will scarce conceive God gives enough while he has more to give ;, Immense the power, immense were the demand; Say, at what part of nature will they stand ?
What nothing earthly gives or can destroy, The soul's calm sun-shine and the heart-felt joy, Is virtue's prize: a better would you fix? Then give humility a coach and six, Justice a conqueror's sword, or truth a gown, Or public spirit its great cure, a crown. Weak, foolish man! will Heaven reward us there With the same trash mad mortals wish for here The boy and man an individual makes, Yet sigh'st thou now for apples and for cakes? Go, like the Indian, in another life Expect thy dog, thy bottle, and thy wife; As well as dream such trifles are assign'd, As toys and empires, for a godlike mind. Rewards, that either would to virtue bring No joy, or be destructive of the thing ; How oft by these at sixty are undone The virtues of a saint at twenty-one ! To whom can riches give repute or trust, Content or pleasure, but the good and just?
Judges and senates have been bought for gold ;
Honour and shame from no condition rise ;
Stuck o'er with titles and hung round with strings, That thou mayst be by kings, or whores of kings. Boast the pure blood of an illustrious race, In quiet flow from Lucrece to Lucrece: But by your fathers' worth if yours you rate, Count me those only who were good and great. Go ! if your ancient, but ignoble blood Has crept through scoundrels ever since the flood, Go! and pretend your family is young ; Nor own your fathers have been fools so long. What can ennoble sots, or slaves, or cowards ? Alas! not all the blood of all the Howards.
Look next on greatness; say where greatness lies: • Where, but among the heroes apd the wise ?" Heroes are much the same, the point's agreed, From Macedonia's madman to the Swede; The whole strange purpose of their lives, to find, Or make, an enemy of all mankind ! Not one looks backward, onward still be goes, Yet ne'er looks forward further than his nose. No less alike the politic and wise: All sly slow things, with circumspective eyes : )
Men in their loose unguarded hours they take,
What's fame? a fancied life in others' breath,
In parts superior what advantage lies ?