Thou great First Cause, least understood,
Who all my sense confined
To know but this, that Thou art good,
And that myself am blind;
Yet gave me, in this dark estate,
To see the good from ill;
And, binding nature fast in fate,
Left free the human will.
What conscience dictates to be done,
Or warns me not to do,
This teach me more than hell to shun,
That more than heaven pursue.
What blessings Thy free bounty gives
Let me not cast away;
For God is paid when man receives;
To enjoy is to obey.
Yet not to Earth's contracted span
Thy goodness let me bound,
Or think Thee Lord alone of man,
When thousand worlds are round:
Let not this weak, unknowing hand
Presume Thy bolts to throw,
And deal damnation round the land
On each I judge Thy foe.
If I am right, Thy grace impart,
Still in the right to stay;
If I am wrong, oh teach my heart
To find that better way!
Save me alike from foolish pride,
Or impious discontent,
At aught Thy wisdom has denied,
Or aught Thy goodness lent.
Teach me to feel another's woe,
To hide the fault I see;
That mercy I to others show
That mercy show to me.
Mean though I am, not wholly so
Since quicken'd by Thy breath;
Oh lead me, whereso'er I go,
Through this day's life or death!
This day be bread and peace my lot:
All else beneath the Sun,
Thou know'st if best bestow'd or not,
And let Thy will be done.
To Thee, whose temple is all space,
Whose altar earth, sea, skies!
One chorus let all Being raise!
All Nature's incense rise!
Alexander Pope, 1688-1744
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