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Where slaves once more their native land behold,
IV. Go, wiser thou ! and, in thy scale of sense,
125 Men would be Angels, Angels would be Gods. Aspiring to be Gods, if Angels fell, Aspiring to be Angels, Men rebel :
After ver. 108. in the first Edition;
But does he say the maker is not good,
And who but wishes to invert the laws
V. Ask for what end the heav'nly bodies shine, Earth for whose use? Pride answers, “ 'Tis for mine: “ For me kind Nature wakes her genial pow'r, “ Suckles each herb, and spreads out ev'ry flow'r ; “ Annual for me, the grape, the rose renew
135 “ The juice nećtareous, and the balmy dew; “ For me, the mine a thousand treasures brings ; “ For me, health gushes from a thousand springs ; “ Seas roll to waft me, suns to light me rise ; “ My foot-stool earth, my canopy the skies.”
But errs not Nature from this gracious end, From burning suns when livid deaths descend, When earthquakes swallow, or when tempefts sweep Towns to one grave, whole nations to the deep ? si No ('tis reply'd) the first Almighty Cause 145 “ Aas not by partial, but by gen'ral laws ; “ Th'exceptions few; some change since all began: " And what created perfect?” – Why then Man? If the great end be human Happiness, Then Nature deviates ; and can Man do lefs ?
VER. 131. Ask for what end, etc.] If there be any fault in these lines, it is not in the general sentiment, but a want of exactness in expressing it. - It is the highest absurdity to think that Earth is man's foot-ftool, his canopy the Skies, and the beavenly bodies lighted up principally for his use; yet not so, to suppose fruits and minerals given for this end.
VER. 150. Then Nature deviates, etc.] " While comets "move in very eccentric orbs, in all manner of positions, blind
As much that end a constant course requires
Better for us, perhaps, it might appear, 165 Were there all harinony, ali virtue here; That never air or ocean felt the wind, That never paffion discompos'd the mind. But all subfifts by elemental strife ; And paflions are the elements of Life.
170 The gen'ral Order, fince the whole began, Is kept in Nature, and is kept in Man.
* Fate could never make all the planets move one and the “ same way in orbs concentric ; some inconsiderable irregula“ rities excepted, which may have risen from the mutual ac“ tions of comets and planets upon one another, and which “ will be apt to increase, 'till this system wants a reforma“ tion.” Sir Isaac Newton's Optics, Queft, ult.
VER, 169. But all subsisis, etc.) See this subject extended in E. ij. from ver. go. to 112, 155, etc.
VI. What would this Man ? Now upward will he
foar, And little less than Angel, would be more ; Now looking downwards, just as griev'd appears 175 To want the strength of bulls, the fur of bears. Made for his use all creatures if he call, Say what their use, had he the pow'rs of all; Nature to these, without profusion, kind, The proper organs, proper pow’rs allign’d; 180 Each seeming want compensated of course, Here with degrees of swiftness, there of force; All in exact proportion to the state ; Nothing to add, and nothing to abate. Each beast, each insect, happy in its own : 185 Is Heav'n unkind to Man, and Man alone ? Shall he alone, whom rational we call, Be pleas'd with nothing, if not bleft with all ?
The bliss of Man (could Pride that blesling find) Is not to act or think beyond mankind; 190 No pow'rs of body, or of foul to share, But what his nature and his state can bear. Why has not Man a microscopic eye? For this plain reafon, man is not a Fly.
VER. 174. And little less than Angel, etc.] Thou hast made bim a little lower than the Angels, and haft crowned bim with glory and boncur. Psalm viii. 9.
VER. 182. Here with degrees of Grifiness, etc. ] It is a certain axiom in the anatomy of creatures, that, in proportion as they are formed for strength, their swiftness is leliened ; or as they are formed for Twiftness, their strength is abated.
Say what the use, were finer optics giv'n, 195
VII. Far as Creation's ample range extends,
VER, 202. Stunnid him witb the mufic of the spheres, ] This instance is poctical and even sublime, but misplaced. He is arguing philosophically in a case that required him to employ the real objects of sense only: and, what is worse, he speaks of this as a real object. – If NATURE thunder'd, etc. The cafe is different where (in ver. 253.) he speaks of the morion of the heavenly bodies under the sublime Imagery of ruling Angels : For wheiher there be ruling Angels or no, there is real motion, which was all his argument wanted ; but if there be no mafic of the Jpberes, there was no real sound, which his argument was obliged to find.
VER, 213. The headlorg li ness] 'The manner of the lions