Alexander Essay Man Note Pope
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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. Reason, however able, cool at best, Cares not for service, or but serves when press’d, Stays till we call, and then not often near; But honest instinct comes a volunteer, Sure never to o’ershoot, but just to hit; While still too wide or short is human wit; Sure by quick nature happiness to gain, Which heavier reason labours at in vain. Say, where full instinct is th’ unerring guide, What pope or council can they need beside? 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. Nor ends the pleasure with the fierce embrace; They love themselves, a third time, in their race. 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. See then the acting and comparing powers One in their nature, which are two in ours; And reason raise o’er instinct as you can, In this ’tis God directs, in that ’tis Man. This, too serves always, reason never long; One must go right, the other may go wrong.Mark what unvaried laws preserve each state, Laws wise as Nature, and as fix’d as Fate.In vain thy reason finer webs shall draw, Entangle Justice in her net of lay, And right, too rigid, harden into wrong; Still for the strong too weak, the weak too strong. and thus o’er all the creatures sway, Thus let the wiser make the rest obey; And for those arts mere instinct could afford, Be crown’d as monarchs, or as gods adored.’ Here rose one little state; another near Grew by like means, and join’d, through love or fear.