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To please thee, I have empty'd all my store, Have you e'er seen th'affrighted peasant grasp I can invent and can supply no more:
(Searching for flow'rs or fruits) thenvenom'd But run the round again, the round I ran before. Suppose thou art not broken yet with years, Or have you ever felt th’impetuous shock, Yet still the self-same scene of things appears, When the swift vessel splits upon a rock? And would be ever, cou'dst thou ever live; Or mark'd a face with liorrour over-spread, For life is still but life, there's nothing new to When the third apoplex invades the head? give.'
Then form some image of my ghastly fright; What can we plead against so just a bill? Fear stopp'd my voice, and terrour dimm'd my We stand convicted, and our cause goes ill.
sight: But if a wretch, a man oppress'd by fate, My heart few from its place" in consternation, Should beg of Nature to prolong his date, And nature felt a short annihilation : [eyes She speaks aloud to him, with more disdain ; Then-with a plunge - 1 sobb’d;—and with faint "Be still, thou martyr-ful, thou covetous of pain. Look'd upwards, to the Ruler of the skies 13. But if an old decrepid sut lament; (tent? At length-recov'ring-in a broken tone• What thou !' she cries, 'who bast out-liv'd con- “ Princess''- cry'd, -" Thy pris'ner is unDost thou complain, who hast enjoy'd my store? De pair and misery succeed to fear:- [cloneBut this is still th' effect of wishing more! O had I known thy presence was so near!” Unsatisfy'd with all that Nature brings,
Abrupt th' inexorable pow'r reply'd, Loathing the present, liking absent things. ('Then turn’d her face, and show'd the hideous From bence it comes, thy vain desires at strife
side:) Within themselves, have tantaliz'd thy life; “ Fool! 'tis too late to wish, too late to pray: And ghastly death appear'd before thy sight Thou hadst the means, but not the will to pay; E'er thou hast gorg'd thy soul and senses with Each day of human life is warning-day. delight.
The present point of time is all thou hast, Now leave those joys, upsuiting to thy age, The future doubtful and the former past! To a fresh comer, and resign the stage.
Yet as I read contrition in thy eyes, Mean-time, when thoughts of death disturb thy And thy breast heaves with terrour and surprise, head,
(1, who as yet was never known to show Consider, Ancus, great and good, is dead : False pity to premeditated woe) Ancus, thy better far, was born to die;
Will graciousiy explain great Nature's laws, And thou, dost thou bewail mortality'• ?, " And hear thy sophisms in so plain a cause, Charm'd with these lines of reason and good There is a reason, (which to time I leave) sense,
Why I give thee alone this short reprieve '3. (No matter who the author was, nor whence,) Banish thy fears, urge all thy wit can tind, I stopp'd, and into conteinplation fell; Suppose me what I am, suppose thyself mankiod!” Amaz'd an impious wit should think so well; She spoke, and led me by a private way, Who often (to bis own and reader's cost,
Where a small winding path half-printed lay: To show the atheist, half the poet lost.
Then, turning short, an avenue we 'spy'd,
And gloomy yew-trees, which for ever mourn'd:
Its pallid bloom sick-smelling hen-bane show'd; Methought I wander'd in a fairy vale:
Next emblematic rose-mary appeard, Replete with people of each sex and age;
And lurid hemloc its stain'd stalks up-rear'd, Good, bad, great, small, the foolish and the sage. (God's signature to man in evil hour!-) Whilst on the ground promiscuously were laid Nor were the night-shades wanting, nor the pow'r Stars, mitres, rags, the sceptre, and the spade. Of thorn'd stramonium, nor the sickly flow'r
At length a haughty dame approach'd my view, of cloying mandrakes; the deceitful root Whom by no single attribute I knew;
Of the monk's fraudful cowl", and Plinian For all that painters feigil, and barus devise,
fruit 15. Is meer mock-imag'ry, and arifullyes.
Hypericon 16 was there, the herb of war, Boldly she look'd, like one of high degree; Pierc'd thro’ sith wounds,and seam'd with many Yet never seem'd to cast a glance on ine; At which I inly joy'd; for, truth to say, I felt an unknown awe, and some dismay.
11 Job, ch. xxxvii, v, 1. She pass'd me: her side-face was smooth and 12 From Statius. fair;
Stabat anhela metu, solun Natura Tonantem (Much as fine women, turn’d of forty, are:) Respiciens.
Acbill. I. v. 487. When, turning shuit, and un-perceiv'd by me, 13 The reason is, that what here happens is a She grasp'd iny throat, and spoke with stern au- vision, and not a reality. thority:
14 Napellus; monk's-hood, friar's cowl; the “ Him, whom I seek, art thou! Thy race is run: most dangerous sort of aconite. My journey's ended, and thy bus’ness done. 15 Amuinum Plinii. Surrender up to me thy captive-breath,
16 St. John's Wort, See Gondibert, L. I, My pow'r is nature's pow'r, my name is Death!" Canto 6. This plant is called by us the herb of
war, not merely because its juice is of a bloody 10 Lucret. L. III. translated by Dryden. colour, but because it is one of the principal
And pale nymphæa 17 with her clay-cold | And that thy likeness of a head sustain'd breath;
A regal crown 22 : but all was false, or feign'd. And poppies, which suborn the sleep of death. “ I see thee now, delusive as thou art, This avenue (mysterious to relate)
Without one syinbol to alarm the heart : Surpris'd me much, and warn’d me of my fate. Not ev’n upon thy flowing vest is shown Its length at first approach enormous seem'd; An emblematic dart, or charnel-bone; Full half a thousand stadia 18 as I deem'd: I rather see it, glorious to behold, But then the road was smooth and fair to see; With rubies edg'd, and purtled o'er with gold: (With such insensible declivity)
Gay annual flow'rs adorn each vacant space, That what men thought a tedious course to run, Of short-liv'd beauty, and uncertain grace. Was finish'd oft the hour it first begun.
Artificer of fraud and deep disguise ! Sudden, arriving at a palace-gate,
Prompt to perform, ingenious to surprise: I saw a spectre in the portal wait :
In ev'ry light (as far as man can see An ill-shap'd monster, hideous to be seen; By thy consent) supreme hypocrisy ! She seem'd, methought, the mother of the Punish thy bopeless captive if he lies.
Instead of a scalp'd skull, and empty eyes, Opening their valves, self-mov'd on either | Bones without flesh, and (as we all suppose) The adamantine doors expanded wide: [side, Vacuity of lips, and cheeks, and nose, When Death commands they close, when Death (So dextrous is thy sorcery and care !) commands divide.
woman tolerably fair. Then quick we enter'd a magnific hall,
“ Instead of sable robes and mournful geer Where groups of trophies over-spread the wall. Camelion-like, a thousand garbs you wear, lo sable scrawls [ Nero's name perus’d,
Nor bear the black and solemn thrice a year; And Herod's, with a sanguine stain suffus'd; Drest in gay robes, whose shifting colours show While Numa's name adorn'd a radiant place, The varying glories of the show'ry bow, (green, And that of Titus deck'd a milk white space. Glowing with waves of gold; sea-tincturd “Now," cry'd the Pow'r of Death,“ survey Rich azure, and the bloomy gridéline 23. me well :
“ Thus in appearances you cheat us all, Thy shame, remorse, and disappointment tell; Plan our disgraces, and contrive our fall; Why dost thou trenible still, and whence thy Something you show, that ev'ry fool may hit, dread?
With mirth you treat, and bait that mirth with Why shake thy lips, and why thy colour filed ?
wit: Speak, vassal, recognize thy sov'reign queen: Palse hopes, the loves and graces of your train, Hast thou ne'er seen me? Know'st thou not me, (Pimps to the great, th' ambitious, and the vain,) seen?"
Summon your guests, and in attendance wait; “ Liege-mistress, whom the greatest kings While you, like eastern queens, conceal'd in adore,
state, lown my homage, and confess thy pow'r. O'erlook the whole; th' audacious jest refine, Alone, that sov'reignty on Earth is thine, Smile on the feast 24, and sparkle in the wine. Which justly proves its claim to right divine: Arachné thus in ambush'd covert lies; Thine is the old hereditary sway,
Wits, atheists, jobbers, statesmen, are the flies. Which portals ought, and mortals must obey. Doom'd to be lost, they dream of no deceit, But empress, thou hast not the form I deem'd: And, fond of ruin, over-look the cheat; Velasquez 20 painted lies, and Camoëns 20 Pride stands for joy, and riches for delight: dream'd:
(grant!) Weak men love weakness, in their own despite; I thonght to meet, (as late as Heav'n might | And, finding in their native funds no ease, A skeleton, ferocious, tall, and gaunt;
Assume the garb of fools and hope to please.-Whose loose teeth in their naked sockets shook, Wretches when sick of life for rats-bane call : And grinn'd terrific, a Sardonian look 21.
'Twere worth our while to give them fool-bane I thought, besides, thy right-hand aim'd a dart, Since by degrees each mis-conceiving elf [all : Resistless, to transpierce the human heart, Is ruin'd, nut by nature, but himself.
“ Too late I see thy fraudful face entire: vulnerary herbs used in making the famous ar- One-half half-mimics health; half-means desire; quebusade-water.–And again, as its leaves are And, tho' true youth and nature have no part, full of little punctures and holes, it is named Yet paint enlivens it, and wiles, and art ; by Latin writers porusa, and perfoliata: the Colours laid on with a true harlot-grace; French call it mille-pertuis, and the Italians, They only show themselves, and bide the face. perforata.
The other half is hideous to behold, 17 Water-lily.
Ugly as grandame-apes, and full as old. 18 About threescore and ten miles: emblematical of the Psalmist's duration of human life. 22 Milton's Paradise Lost, L. II, v. 672.
23 Dryden's Flower and Leaf. “ Bright crim20 'Two Spaniards, the one a famous painter, son and pure white, sweetly mixed in waves and and the other a celebrated poet.
melting one into the other, make the colour 21 According to the antients the herba Sardoä, which our ancient poets called gridéline.” or apium risûs, (by some supposed to be the 24 In speculis Mors atra sedet, dominique siwater crow-foot) brought on, after being eaten,
lentis such horrid convulsions, that the party died Adnumerat populos. grinning, through the extremity of agony.
Stat. Theb. L. IV, v. 527.
There time has spent the fury of his course, “ Culprit, thou hast thy piteous story told,
ilave neither sung me right, for justly drew: An half-liv'd emblem, fit for man to see; I am not the gaunt spectre they devise An hemiplegia of deformity!
With chap-fall’n mouth, and with extinguish'd “ But princess, to thy cunning be it known,
eyes. • This emblematic side is rarely shown;
Whether enlighten'd with an heav'nly ray, Man would start back if wedded to the crone. Or whether thou hast better guess'd than they, Side-long it is your custom to advance,
I say not; yet thus much I must confess, Show the fair hail, and hide the foul, askance; 'Thy kuowledge is superior, or thy guess. And, like a vetran tempter, cast an eye Town the feign'd retreat, th' oblique advance, Of glancing blandishment in passing by. The fight I take unseen, th' illusive glance,
By stealing side-ways with a silent pace The blandishments of artificial grace, Man rarely sees the moral of your face: The sound, the palsy'd limbs, and double face, And (what's the dang'rous frenzy of the whim) | All I contend fur, (tliere the question lies,) Concludes, you've no immediate call for him, Is this; Let men but look thro' wisdom's eyes, Adjoin to this, your necromantic pow'r,
And death ne'er takes them by a false surprize. Contracting half an age to balf an hour.
“ Did not thy Maker, when be gave thee birth, Just so the cyphers from the unit Aed,
Create thee out of perishable earth? When Malicorn the deincn's contract read 25, Where hot, and cold, the rough, and lenient fight, The unit in the fore-most column stood,
The hard, and soft, the heavy, and the light: And the two cyphers were obscur'd with blood 26. Whilst ev'ry atom fretted to decay
"Two other mistress-arts you make your own; The heterogenevus lump of jarring clay?-To Circe and I'rganda arts unknown :
Was not just death entailid on thee and all, When men look on you, and your steps survey, (Such the decree of Heav'n) in Adam's fall? You seem to glide a-slant another way:
The parent-plant receir'd a taint at root, But the first moment they withdraw their eye, Hence the weak branches, hence the sickly Swift you take wing, and like a vulture fly,
fruit. Which smuffs the distant quarry in the wind, “ Thus with spring's genial balm and sun-sbine And marks the carcass she is sure to find.- The annual flouret lifts its tender heal, [fed The next deception is more wund'rous still; In sum mer blooming, and at winter dead; O grand artificer of fraud and ill!
Nay, if by chance a lasting plant be found, When the sick man up-lifts the sash t'inhale W'hose roots pierce deep th’inhospitable ground; Thenlivening breezes of the western gale, Whose verdant leaves, (life's common autumn To snatch one glimpse of ease from flow'ry Bid fair t'out-live the bitter wintry blast, (past) fields,
And green old-age predicts a vernal shoot ;And (fancying) taste the joy which nature yields; I lend my hand io pluck both braoch and root.Far as the landscape's verge admits his view, Man is no more perennial than a flow'r; He sees a phantoin, and corcludes it you. Some may live years, some months and some an A gleam of courage then relieves his breast,
hour. • Be calm my soul,' he cries, and take thy "When first thou gav'st the promise of a man, rest 27:)
When th' embryon-speck of entity began, When at that moment, dreadful to relate, Was not the plastic atom at a strife, (For all but he that ought observe bis fate,) 'Twist death ambiguous and a twilight life, The wife, the son, the friend perceive thee stand Struggling with dubious shade and dubious light, Behind his curtains with uplifted hand,
Like the Moon's orb; whilst nations in atlright Thee, real Thce! to drive the deadly dart, Hope for new day, but fear cternal night? And at one sudden stroke transpierce the * When motionless the half-form'd fætus lay, heart!"
And doubtful life just gleam'd a glimm’ring ray,
When nature bade the vital tide to roll, 25 D. of Guise, a Tragedy. Dryden.
I cloth'd with crust of flesh that gem the soul; 26 Malicorn was an astrologer advanced in My mortal dart th' immortal stream defil'd, years, but being ambitious of making a great and the sire's frailties flow'd into the child. figure in this world, nrade over his soul to Satan, The very milk bis pious mother gare, upon condition that he enjoyed earthly gran- Turn'd poison, and but nurs'd him for the grarea, deur for 100 years more. The contract was In ev'ry atom that his frame compos'd written, signed and sealed in due form, when I weak to strong, unsound to sound oppos’d. lo, at the expiration of one year the evil spirit Cruel, and proud of a deputed reign, entered Malicorn's chamber, preceded by thun. I ting’d the limpid stream with gloomy pain; der and lightning, and demanded him as his | Nor yet contented, in the current threw forfeit. The astrologer was exceedingly terri- | Discolour'd sickness of each dismal hue. fied, and, afier making many remonstrances, insisied on sering the original contract; but the 28 “ Consider, Oman, what thou wert before cyphers in number 100 were written with eva. thy birth, what thou art from thy birth to thy nescent ink, and the figure 1 only remained le- death, and what thou shalt be after death. Thou gible. The moral of this fiction is incompara- wast made of an impure substance, and clothble. See Act V, Sc. 5.
ed and nourished in thy mother's blood.” 37 Luke, ch, xii. v. 13.
Thus from the source which first life's waters “ Then mark the worldling, and explore him gave,
well: Till their last final home, the ocean-grave, His grief, his shame, and self-conviction tell : Ínfection blends itself in ev'ry wave:
* Weak were my joys,' (he cries,) and short Marasmus, atrophy, the gout, and stone;
their stay: Fruits of our parents' folly and our own! Pride mark'd the race, and folly pick'd the way.
“ To live in health and case you idly feign; Can I reruke my mis.directed pow'r? [hour? Man's sprightliest days are intermitting pain. Where's my lost bope, and where the vanish'd Changing for worse, and never warn’d by ill, Curst be that greatness which blind fortune lent; Still the same bait, the same deception still ! Curst be that wealth which sprung not from conYouth has new times for change, and may com
tent! Age ventures all upon a losing hand. [mand; Still, still my conscious memory prevails; The liberty you boast of is a cheat;
And understanding paints where mem'ry fails !' Licentiousness lurks under the deceit:
“ Allow me next with confidence to say, Pleuty of means you have, and pow'r to chuse; (As safely with the strictest truth I may ;) Yet still you take the bad, the good refuse. Why dost thou, ideot, senselessly complain, The freedom of the tempests you enjoy, (Fond of inore life, and covetous of pain,) Born to o'erturn, and breathing to destroy. That I, a tyrant, seize thee by surprize?”– These injure not themselves, the reas'ning elf Flames, as she spoke, shot flashing from her Injares alike both others and himself.
“Dotard ! I gave thee warving ev'ry hour; [eyes. Sour'd in his liveliest hours, infirm when strong, Announc'd my presence, and proclaim'd my Unsure at safest, and but short when long.
pow'r. “ Hast thou with anxious care and strictest One only bus'ness in the world was thine, thought
Boro but to die! t'exact the payment mine, Made that nice estimate of time you ought? If, atheist-like, you blame the just decree, Time, like the precious di’mond, should be Attack thy Maker, but exculpate me! weigh'd;
Mortality's coeval with thy breath; Carats, not pounds, must in the scale be laid. Life is a chain of links which lead to death. Know'st thou the value of a year, a day, Sleep-wake-run-creep-alike to death you An hour, a moment, idly thrown away ?
[love. Then had thy life been blessedly employ'd, Death's in thy meat, thy wine, thy sleep, thy And all thy minutes sensibly enjoy'd !
Know'st thou not me, my warnings, and alarms? What are they now, and whither are they flown? | Thou, wbo so oft hast slumber'd in my arms ! Th’immortal pain subsists, the mortal pleasures For ever seeing, can'st thou nought descry? gone!
Dead ev'ry night, and yet untaught to die ! Can'st thou recall them ?-Impotent and vain ! “How dar'st thou give thy impious murmurd Or hare they promis’d to return again?
vent, Call (if thou can'st) the winged arrow back, Thyself a breathing, speaking monument ? Which lately cut thro' air its viewless track; No death is sudden to a wretch like thee, Or bid the cataract ascend its source, [course; The emblem of his own mortality! Which pour'd from Alpine heights' its furious | Above, beneath, within thee, and without, Ah no-Time's vanisb'd! and you only find All things fore-show the stroke, and clear the A cold, unsatisfying scent vehind !
The very apoplex, thy swiftest foe, [doubt, “ Fue to delays, economist of time,
Forewarns his coining; and approaches slow; Thrice-happy Titus, virtuous in thy prime! : Sudden confusions interrupt thy brain; In whom the noon.day—or the setting Sun Swist thro' thy temples shoots the previous pain; Ne'er saw a work of goodness left undone. Suspicion follows, and mis-giving fear.Old age compounds, or (more proroking yet) Death always speaks, if man would strive to Sends a small gift, when Heav'n expects the debt.
hear. Bring not the leavings of thy faint desires
“ Acquit me then of fraudulent surprise: To him who gives the best, and best requires; Leave sophistry to wits; be truly wise; Man mocks his Maker, and derides his law : For, as the cedar falls, it ever lies 29 ! Satan has the full ears, and God the straw. Start not at what we call our latest breath;
“Behold the wretch,who long has health enjoy'd, The morning of man's real life is death 30." With gold unsated and with pow'r unclog'd; So spake the pow'r, Who never felt control. Salmoneus like, lo fancy'd greatness rais'd, Fear smote my heart, and conscience stung my With slaves surrounded, and by fatt'rers prais’d:
soul; See him against his nature vainly strive, Remorse, vexation, shame, and anger strive. The busiest, pertest, proudest thing alive! I wak’d:-and (to my joy) I wak'd alive. (As if beyond the patriarchal date
Never was human transport more sincere ;Exceptive mercy had prolong'd his fate.) And the best men may find instruction here. When lo! behind the variegated cloud, Euwrapt in mists, and muffed in a shrowd, 29 Eccles. ch. xi, v. 3. The dissolution of old age comes on,
Steriles transmisimus angos; Gouts, palsies, asthmas, jaundice, and the stone: Hæc ævi mihi prima dies : hæc limina vitæ An bungry, merciless, insatiate band,
Stat. Sylv. L. IV. Eager as Croats for Death's last command ! Which still repeat their mercenary strain, • Lead us, to add the living to the slain.''
Casually lucky, fortunately great,
Ten times his planet overcame his fate.
Riches How'd in; and accidents were kind; Who puts off Death, to the last moments
Health join'd her opium to delude the mind "; driv'n,
Whilst pride was gratify'd in ev'ry view, Is near the grave, but very far from Heav'n 31.
And pow'r bad scarce an object to pursue; He who repents, and gains the wrish'd reprieve,
Cramm'd to the throat with happiness and ease, Was fit to die, and is more fit to live.
Till nature's self could do no more to please, Chuse a good convoy in an bostile course;
Vain-glorious mortal, to profusion blest !
And almost by prosperity distrest!
Hymn'd bis no-virtues in each fatt'ring page: THE COURTIER AND PRINCE.
True parasitic plants 8, which only grow
Upon their patron trees, like miscelto:
So pella-mountain on the flax appears,
And thyme, th' epíthîmy, (her bastard) rears Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of Just so th' agáric from the larix springs, man, in whom there is no help.
And fav'rites fatten on perspiring kings.-
More might be said ; but this we leave untold, Now behold, thou trusteth upon the staff of a
That better things their proper place may hold. bruised reed-on which if a man lean, it will
Our mirror of good luck, whom chance had go through his hand and pierce it: so is Pha
claim'd raoh, king of Egypt, unto all that trust in him.
As her own offspring, was Amariel nam'd. 2 Kings, ch. xviii, v. 21. At his first horoscope the goddess smild,
And wrapp'd in her own mantle her own child;
Then, as a wit upon th’occasion said, W itu diffidence, O Muse, awake the string ! (Not less a wit, we hope, for being dead,) Proba!, herself a Muse, commands to sing : is Gave him her blessing, put him in a way, Divest thyself of thy pretended bays, (lays: Set up the farce, and laugh'd at her own play." And crown'd with short-liv'd flow'rs present thy Fortune, the mistress of the young and bold, Froin female archives stol'n, a tale disclose, Espous’d him early, but caress'd him old; Verse tortur'd into rhymes from honest prose. Duteous and faithful as an Indian wife, Short fables may with double grace be told ; She made appearance to be true for life : So smallest glasses sweetest essence hold.
And kept her love alive, and like to last, Antonia somewhere a does a tale report, Beyond the date her Pompey was disgracid. Of no small use to rising men at court :
But nothing certain (as the wise man i found) (Who seek promotion in the worldly road, Is to be deem'd on sublunary ground. And make their titles and their wealth their god ;)
-9 “Prosperous health and uninterrupted ease Antonia ! who the Hermit's Story fram'd 3: are often the occasion of some fatal misfortune. A tale to prose-men known 4, by verse-men Thus a long peace makes men unguarded, and fam'd 5.
sometimes uumindful, in matters of war : it beA courtier, of the lucky, thriving sort, ing observed, that the most signal overthrow is Rose like a meteor, and eclips'd the court ; usually given us, when an unexpected enemy By chance or cunning erry storm outbraves : surpriseth us in the deep sleep of peace and se. Topmost he rode, midst shoals of fools and curity.”
St. Gregor, the Great. knaves,
8 Parasitical plants, according to the language Triumphant, like an eygre“, o'er the waves: of botanists, will not grow in the common ma
trix of the earth, but their seeds, being dispers. 31 A saying of pious Jeremy Taylor.
ed by winds, take root in the excrementitious * A Roman young lady of quality and a Chris- parts of a decayed tree, or arise as an excrestian convert. She afterwards married Adelphus, cence from the exsudations of some tree or who was a proconsul in the reign of Honorius plant. Thus the dodder (cuscuta), forinerly and Theodosius junior. She composed an His- called pella-mountain, grows usually on flax; and tory of the Old and New Testament in verse. therefore the Italian peasant calls it podagra di Her epitaph on her husband is much admired. linio. Both pieces were printed at Francfort in 1541. 9 The Arabians and Italians (imitating the
Her name at length was Proba Valeria Fal- Greek word óæslunidy) call this adscititious plant conia.
efitimo and epithimo; but very few of our En. 2 Traité sur la Pieté solide. Epit. xx, par glish botanists make mention of it. As far as I Madame Antoinette de Bourignon.
have hitherto seen, only one of our herbalists 3 Epit. de Bourignon. Partie seconde, Epít. has touched upon it, namely, Peter Treveris, xvii.
who flourished about, the reign of Henry VII. 4 Dr. Patrick's Parable of the Pilgrim. He calls it epíthimy. Por my own part, not s Parnelle's Hermit.
caring to invent new words in poetry, I have 6 The tenth wave, when rivers are swollen by thought proper to retain the word which he foods, or agitated by storms, is called in some (Treveris) has used, as it is well-sounding, and parts of England an eygre.