See through this air, this ocean, and this
All matter quick, and bursting into birth.
Above, how high progressive life may go!
Around, how wide! how deep extend below!
Vast chain of Being! which from God began,
Natures ethereal, human, angel, man,
Beast, bird, fish, insect, what no eye can see
No glass can reach; from Infinity to thee
From thee to Nothing.—On superior
Were we to press, inferior might on ours;
Or in the full creation leave a void,
Where one step broken the great scale's
From Nature's chain whatever link you
Tenth or ten-thousandth, breaks the chain alike.
And, if each system in gradation roll
Alike essential to th' amazing whole,
The least confusion but in one, not all
That system only, but the whole must fall.
Let earth unbalanc'd from her orbit fly,
Planets and suns run lawless through the sky;
Let ruling angels from their spheres be
Being on being wreck'd, and world on world,
Heav'n's whole foundations to the centre
And Nature trembles to the throne of God:
All this dread Order break—for whom? for
Vile worm!--Oh, madness! pride! impiety!
What if the foot, ordain'd the dust to
Or hand to toil, aspired to be the head?
What if the head, the eye, or ear, repined
To serve—mere engines to the ruling Mind?
Just as absurd for any part to claim
To be another, in this general frame:
Just as absurd to mourn the tasks or pains,
The great directing Mind of All ordains.
All are but parts of one stupendous whole
Whose body Nature is, and God the Soul:
That changed through all, and yet in all the
Great is in earth as in th' ethereal frame,
Warms in the sun, refreshes in the breeze,
Glows in the stars, and blossoms in the trees,
Lives through all life, extends through all
Spreads undivided, operates unspent;
Breathes in our soul, informs our mortal part,
As full, as perfect, in a hair as heart;
As full, as perfect, in vile man that mourns,
As the rapt seraph that adores and burns:
To him no high, no low, no great, no small;
He fills, he bounds, connects, and equals all.
Cease then, nor Order Imperfection name:
Our proper bliss depends on what we blame.
Know thy own point: This kind, this due degree
Of blindness, weakness, Heav'n bestows on
Submit—in this, or any other sphere,
Secure to be as blest as thou canst bear:
Safe in the hand of one disposing Pow'r
Or in the natal, or the mortal hour.
All Nature is but Art, unknown to thee;
All Chance, Direction which thou canst not see;
All Discord, Harmony not understood;
All partial Evil, universal Good:
And, spite of Pride, in erring Reason's
One truth is clear, WHATEVER is, is RIGHT.