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Our portion is not large, indeed!
But then how little do we need!
For nature's calls are few:
In this the art of living lies,
To want no more than may suffice,
And make that little do.
We'll therefore relish, with content,
Whate'er kind Providence has sent,
Nor aim beyond our pow'r :
For if our stock be very small,
'Tis prudence to enjoy it all,
Nor lose the present hour.
To be resign'd, when ills betide,
Patient when favours are denied,
And pleas'd with favours giv'n:
Dear Chloe, this is wisdom's part:
This is that incense of the heart,
Whose fragrance smells to heav'nə
We'll ask no long protracted treat,
Since winter-life is seldom sweet;
But when our feast is o'er,
Grateful from table we'll arise,
Nor grudge our sons, with envious eyes,
The relics of our store.
Thus, hand in hand, thro' life we'll go ;
Its checker'd paths of joy and wo,
With cautious steps, we'll tread ;
Quit its vain scenes without a tear,
Without a trouble or a fear,
And mingle with the dead.
While conscience, like a faithful friend,
Shall thro' the gloomy vale attend,
And cheer our dying breath;
B. b. 2
Shall, when all other comforts cease,
Like a kind angel whisper peace,
And smooth the bed of death.
Providence vindicated in the present state of man.
HEAV'N from all creatures hides the book of fate,
All but the page prescrib'd, their present state:
From brutes what men, from men what spirits know;
Or who could suffer being here below?
The lamb thy riot dooms to bleed to-day,
Had he thy reason, would he skip and play?
Pleas'd to the last, he crops the flow'ry food,
And licks the hand just rais'd to shed his blood.
Oh blindness to the future! kindly giv'n,
That each may fill the circle mark'd by heav'n;
Who sees with equal eye, as God of all,
A hero perish, or a sparrow fall;
Atoms or systems into ruin hurl'd,
And now a bubble burst, and now a world.
Hope humbly then; with trembling pinions soar;
Wait the great teacher Death; and God adore.
What future bliss, he gives not thee to know,
But gives that hope to be thy blessing now.
Hope springs eternal in the human breast:
Man never is, but always TO BE blest.
The soul, uneasy, and confin'd from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.
Lo, the poor Indian! whose untutor'd mind
Sees God in clouds, or hears him in the wind;
His soul proud science never taught to stray
Far as the Solar Walk, or Milky Way;
Yet simple nature to his hope has given,
Behind the cloud-topt hill, a humbler heav'n;
Some safer world in depth of woods embrac'd,
Some happier island in the wat'ry waste:
Where slaves once more their native land behold,
No fiends torment, no Christians thirst for gold.
TO BE, contents his natural desire;
He asks no angel's wing, no seraph's fire :
But thinks, admitted to that equal sky,
His faithful dog shall bear him company.
Go, wiser thou! and in thy scale of sense,
Weigh thy opinion against Providence ;
Call imperfection what thou fanciest such;
Say here he gives too little, there too much.-
In pride, in reas'ning pride, our error lies;
All quit their sphere, and rush into the skies.
Pride still is aiming at the blest abodes;
Men would be angels, angels would be gods..
Aspiring to be gods, if angels fell,
Aspiring to be angels, men rebel :
And who but wishes to invert the laws
Of ORDER, Sins against th' ETERNAL CAUSE.
HAS God, thou fool! work'd solely for thy good,
Thy joy, thy pastime, thy attire, thy food?
Who for thy table feeds the wanton fawn,
For him as kindly spreads the flow'ry lawn.
Is it for thee the lark ascends and sings?
Joy tunes his voice, joy elevates his wings.
Is it for thee the linnet pours his throat?
Loves of his own, and raptures swell the note.
The bounding steed you pompously bestride,
Shares with his lord the pleasure and the pride.
Is thine alone the seed that stre the plain?
The birds of heav'n shall vindicate their grain.
Thine the full harvest of the golden year?
Part pays, and justly, the deserving steer.
Where wilt thou dwell, if not with me,
From av'rice and ambition free,
And pleasure's fatal wiles;
For whom, alas! dost thou prepare
The sweets that I was wont to share,
The banquet of thy smiles?
The great, the gay, shall they partake
The heav'n that thou alone canst make?
And wilt thou quit the stream,
That murmurs through the dewy mead,
The grove and the sequester'd shade,
To be a guest with them?
For thee I panted, thee I priz'd,
For thee I gladly sacrific'd
Whate'er I lov'd before:
And shall I see thee start away,
And helpless, hopeless, hear thee say
Farewell, we meet no more?
DAUGHTER of Heav'n, relentless power,
Thou tamer of the human breast,
Whose iron scourge, and tort'ring hour,
The bad affright, afflict the best!
Bound in thy adamantine chain,
The proud are taught to taste of pain,
And purple tyrants vainly groan
With pangs unfelt before, unpitied and alone.
When first thy sire to send on earth
Virtue, his darling child, design'd,
To thee he gave the heav'nly birth,
And bade to form her infant mind.
Woven with pains into his plan,
To-morrow rends away.
The bow well bent, and smart the spring,
Vice seems already slain;
But passion rudely snaps the string,
And it revives again.
Some foe to his upright intent
Finds out his weaker part;
Virtue engages his assent,
But pleasure wins his heart.
'Tis here the folly of the wise,
Through all his art we view ;
And while his tongue the charge denies,
His conscience owns it true.
Bound on a voyage of awful length,
And dangers little known,
A stranger to superior strength,
Man vainly trusts his own.
But oars alone can ne'er prevail
To reach the distant coast;
The breath of heav'n must swell the sail,
Or all the toil is lost.
COME, peace of mind, delightful guest!
Return, and make thy downy nest
Once more in this sad heart:
Nor riches I, nor pow'r pursue,
Nor hold forbidden joys in view;
We therefore need not part.