FOOLS by excess make varied pleasures pall,
The wise man's moderate, and enjoys them all;
Pleasure and business to combine he knows,
And makes joy terminate in due repose.
To all things no one mortal can aspire,
From early youth to know was your desire:
Nature's your book, you strive with curious eye
In nature more than others to descry,
Guided by reason nature try to sound,
But set to curiosity a bound.
Stop on infinity's dread verge thy course,
And pry not into nature's awful source,
Reaumur and Buffon who with piercing sight,
Athwart her veil discerned truth's sacred light,
Cannot by philosophic process state
The wondrous laws by which plants vegetate.
Was it e'er known to the profoundest sage
Why panthers, tigers, and why vipers rage?
Wherefore to man the dog still lifts his eyes,
And licks his feeder's hand before he dies?
Why on a hundred legs, with motion slow,
Does yonder insect ever trembling go?