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Various forms of each, and the true end of all, ver. Here then we rest: ‘The Universal Cause Acts to one end, but acts by various laws.’ In all the madness of superfluous health, The trim of pride, the impudence of wealth, Let this great truth be present night and day; But most be present, if we preach or pray. Say, will the falcon, stooping from above, Smit with her varying plumage, spare the dove? That very life his learned hunger craves, He saves from famine, from the savage saves; Nay, feasts the animal he dooms his feast. Part pays, and justly, the deserving steer: Know, Nature’s children all divide her care; The fur that warms a monarch, warm’d a bear. Nature that tyrant checks; he only knows, And helps, another creature’s wants and woes. Man cares for all: to birds he gives his woods, To beasts his pastures, and to fish his floods; For some his interest prompts him to provide, For more his pleasure, yet for more his pride: All feed on one vain patron, and enjoy Th’ extensive blessing of his luxury.
He from the wondering furrow call’d the food, Taught to command the fire, control the flood, Draw forth the monsters of the abyss profound, Or fetch the aërial eagle to the ground.
Till drooping, sickening, dying they began Whom they revered as god to mourn as man: Then, looking up from sire to sire, explored One great first Father, and that first adored.
Converse and love mankind might strongly draw, When love was liberty, and Nature law.
Thus states were form’d, the name of king unknown, Till common interest placed the sway in one. Till then, by Nature crown’d, each patriarch sat, King, priest, and parent of his growing state; On him, their second Providence, they hung, Their law his eye, their oracle his tongue.
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Here, too, all forms of social union find, And hence let reason, late, instruct mankind: Here subterranean works and cities see; There towns aërial on the waving tree.
Who made the spider parallels design, Sure as De Moivre, without rule or line?
Prescient, the tides or tempests to withstand, Build on the wave, or arch beneath the sand?
Reason or instinct operate alike to the good of each individual, ver. Reason or instinct operate also to society, in all animals, ver. 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 interest, and the love; With choice we fix, with sympathy we burn; Each virtue in each passion takes its turn; And still new needs, new helps, new habits rise, That graft benevolence on charities.
Thus beast and bird their common charge attend, The mothers nurse it, and the sires defend; The young 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.