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Mournful eclipse, or planets ill combin'd,
Thy salutary power averts their rage,
Averts the general bane: and but for thee • BOOK I.-AIR.
Nature would sicken, nature soon would die
Without thy cheerful active energy DAUGHTER of Pæon, queen of every joy,
No rapture swells the breast, no poet sings, Hygeia '; whose indulgent smile sustains No more the maids of Helicon delight. The various race luxuriant Nature pours,
Come then with me, O goddess, heav'nly gay ! And on th' immortal essences bestows
Begin the song; and let it sweetly flow, Immortal youth ; auspicious, o descend ! And let it wisely teach thy wholesome laws: Thou cheerful guardian of the rolling year, “ How best the fickle fabric to support Whether thou wanton'st on the western gale, Of mortal man; in healthful body how Or shak'st the rigid pinions of the North,
A healthful mind the longest to maintain." Diffusest life and vigour through the tracts 'Tis hard, in such a strife of rules, to choose Of air, thro' earth, and ocean's deep domain. The best, and those of most extensive use ; When thro' the blue serenity of Heaven
Harder in clear and animated song
Dry philosophic precepts to convey.
Thro' paths the Muses never trod before. Grow more profane. Whatever shapes of death, Nor should I wander doubtful of my way, Shook from the hideous chambers of the globe, Had I the lights of that sagacious mind Swarm thro' the shuddering air: whatever Which taught to check the pestilential fire, plagues
And quell the deadly Python of the Nile. Or meagre famine breeds, or with slow wings O thou belov'd by all the graceful arts, Rise from the putrid wat'ry element,
Thou.long the fav’rite of the healing powers, The damp waste forest, motionless and rank, Indulge, O Mead! a well-design'd essay, That smothers earth, and all the breathless Howe'er imperfect : and permit that I winds,
My little knowledge with my country share, Or the vile carnage of th' inhuman field;
Till you the rich Asclepian stores unlock, Whatever baneful breathes the rotten Soutb; And with new graces dignify the theme. Whatever ills th'extremes or sudden change
Yewbo amid this fererish world would wear Of cold and hot, or moist and dry produce; A body free of pain, of cares a mind; They Ay thy pure effulgence: they and all Fly the rank city, shun its turbid air; The secret poisons of avenging Heaven,
Breathe not the chaos of eternal smoke And all the pale tribes halting in the train And volatile corruption, from the dead, Of Vice and heedless Pleasure: or if aught The dying, sick’ning, and the living world The comet's glare amid the burning sky,
Exhal'd, to sully Heaven's transparent dom
With dim mortality. It is not air "Hygeia, the goddess of health, was, accord- That from a thousand lungs reeks back to thine, ing to the genealogy of the heathen deities, the Sated with exhalations rank and fell, daughter of Æsculapius; who, as well as Apollo, The spoil of dunghills, and the putrid thaw was distinguished by the name of Pæon. Of nature; when from shape and texture sbe
Relapses into fight og elements:
| Devour'd, in sallow melancholy clad. It is not air, but floats a nauseous mass
And oft the sorceress, in her sated wrath, Of all obscene, corrupt, offensive things.
Resigns them to the furies of her train: Much moisture hurts; but here a sordid bath, | The bloated Hydrops, and the yellow Fiend With oily rancour fraught, relaxes more
Ting'd with her own accumulated gall. The solid frame than simple moisture can.
In quest of sites, avoid the mournful plain Besides, immur'd in many a sullen bay
Where osiers thrive, and trees that love the That never felt the freshness of the breeze,
Fix near the marshy margin of the main. Did not the acid rigour of the mine,
For from the humid soil and wat'ry reign Roli'd from so many thundering chimnies, tame Eternal vapours rise ; the spongy air The putrid steams that overswarm the sky; For ever weeps : or, turgid with the weight This caustic venom would perhaps corrode Of waters, pours a sounding deluge down. Those tender cells that draw the vital air,
Skies such as these let every mortal shun In rain with all the unctuous rills bedew'd; Who dreads the dropsy, palsy, or the gout, Or by the drunken venous tubes, that yawn Tertian, corrosive scurvy, or moist catarrh; In countless pores o'er all the pervious skin Or any other injury that grows Imbib'd, would poison the balsamic blood, From raw-spup fibres idle and unstrung, And rouse the heart to every fever's rage. Skin ill-perspiring, and the purple flood While yet you breathe, away; the rural wilds In languid eddies loitering into phlegm. Invite, the mountains call you, and the vales; yet not alone from humid skies we pine ; The woods, the streams, and each ambrosial For air may be too dry. The subtle Heaven, breeze
That winnows into dust the blasted downs, That fans the ever-undulating sky;
| Bare and extended wide without a stream, A kindly sky! whose fost'ring power regales Too fast inbibes th' attenuated lymph Man, beast, and all the vegetable reign. Which, by the surface, from the blood exhiales. Find then some woodland scene where Nature / The lungs grow rigid, and with toil essay smiles
Their flexible vibrations ! or inflam'd, Benign, where all her honest children thrive. Their tender ever-moving structure thaws. To us there wants not many a happy seat! Spoild of its limpid vehicle, the blood Look round the smiling land, such numbers rise A mass of lees remains, a drossy tide We hardly fix, bewilder'd in our choice.
That slow as Lethe wanders thro' the veins ; See where enthron'd in adamantiue state,
Unactive in the services of life, Proud of her bards, imperial Windsor sits; Unfit to lead its pitchy current thro' Where choose thy seat in some aspiring grove The secret mazy channels of the brain. Fast by the slowly-winding Thames; or where | The melancholic fiend (that worst despair Broader she laves fair Richmond's green retreats, Of physic) hence the rust-complexion'd man (Richmond that sees an hundred villas rise Pursues, wbose blood is dry, whose fibres gain Rural or gay.) (! from the suminer's rage Too stretch'd a tone ; and hence in climesadust O! wrap me in the friendly gloom that bides So sudden tumults seize the trembling verres, Unbrageous Ham !-But if the busy town And burning fevers glow with double rage. Attract thee still to toil for power of gold,
Fly, if you can, these violent extremes Sweetly thou may'st thy vacant hours possess Ofair; the wholesome is nor moist nor dry. In Hampstead, courted by the western wind; But as the power of choosing is deny'd Or Greenwich, waving o'er the winding Hood; To half mankind, a further task ensues ; Or lose the world amid the sylvan wilds
How best to mitigate these fell extremes, Of Dulwich, yet by barbarous arts unspoil'd. How breathe unhurt the withering element, Green rise the Kentish bills in cheerful air; Or hazy atmosphere: though custom moulds But on the marshy plains that Lincoln spreads To every clime the soft Promethean clay; Build not, nor rest too long tny wandering feet. | And he wlio first the fogs of Essex breath'd For on a rustic throne of dewy turf,
(So kind is native air) may in the fens With baneful fogs her aching temples bound, Of Essex from inveterate ills revive Quartana there presides; a meagre fiend At pure Montpelier or Bermuda caught. Begot by Eurus, when his brutal force
But if the raw and oozy heaven offend; Compress'd the slothful Naiad of the fens.
Correct the soil, and dry the sources up From such a mixturé sprung, this fitful pest Of wat'ry exhalation : wide and deep With fev'rish blasts subdues the sick’ning land: Conduct your trenches through the quaking Cold treinours come, with mighty love of rest,
bog; Convulsive yawnings, lassitude, and pains . Solicitous, with all your winding arts, That sting the burden'd brows, fatigue the loios, 1 Betray the unwillin
Betray the unwilling lake into the stream; And rack the joints, and every torpid limb; And weed the forest, and invoke the winds Ther parching heat succeeds, till copious sweats / To break the toils where strangled vapours le ; O'erflow: a short relief from former ills
Or through the thickets send the crackling Beneath repeated shocks the wretches pine,
flames. The vigour sinks, the habit melts away :
Meantime at home with cheerful fires dispel The cheerful, pure, and animated bloom
The humid air : and let your table smoke Dies from the face, with sqiralid atrophy With solid roast or bak'd; or what the herds
Of tamer breed supply; or what the wilds Swells into cheerful hills : where marjoram Yield to the toilsome pleasures of the chase. And thyıne, the love of bees, perfume the air ; Generous your wine, the boast of ripening And where the cynorrhodon? with the rose years ;
For fragrance vies; for in the thirsty soil But frugal e your cups : the languid frame, Most fragrant breathe the aromatic tribes. Vapid and sunk from vesterday's debauch, There bid thy roofs high on the basking steep Shrinks from the cold embrace of wat’ry Heavens. | Ascend, there light thy hospitable fires. Birt neither these nor all Apollo's arts,
And let them see the winter morn arise, Disarın the dangers of ihe dropping sky,
The sunmer evening blushing in the West : Unless with exercise and manly toil (blood. While with umbrageous oaks the ridge behind You brace your perves, and spur the lagging O'erhung, defends you from the blust'ring North, The fatning clime let all the sons of ease
And bleak afiliction of the peevish East. Avoid ; if indolence would wish to live,
Oh! when the growling winds contend, and all Go, yawn and loiter out the long slow year The sounding forest fluctuates in the storm; In fairer skies. If droughty regions parch To sink in warm repose, and hear the din The skin and lungs, and bake the thickening Howl o'er the steady battlements, delights blood;
Above the luxury of vulgar sleep. Deep in the waving forest choose your seat, The murmuring rivulet, and the hoarser strain Where fuming trees refresh the thirsty air ; Of waters rushing o'r the slippery rocks, And wake the fountains from their secret beds, Will nightly lull you to ambrosial rest. And into lakes dilate their rapid stream. . To please the fancy is no trifling good, Here spread your gardens wide; and let the cool, Where health is studied; for whatever moves The moist relaxing vegetable store
The inind with calm delight, promotes the just Prevail in each repast: your food supply'd And natural movements of th' harmonious By bleeding life, be gently wasted down,
frame. By soft decoction and a mellowing heat,
Besides, the sportive brook for ever shakes To liquid balm ; or, if the solid inas3
The trembling air, that floats from hill to bill You choose, tormented in the boiling wave: From vale to mountain, with incessant change That through the thirsty channels of the blood Of purest element, refreshing still A smooth diluted chyle may ever flow.
Your airy seat, and uninfected gods. The fragrant dairy from its cool recess
Chiefly tor this l praise the man who builds Its nectar acid'or benign will pour
High on the breezy ridge, whose lofty sides To drown your thirst; or let the mantling bowl Th'ethereal deep with endless billows chafes. Of keen sherbet the fickle taste relieve.
His purer mansion nor contagious years For with the viscous blood the simple stream Shall reach, nor deadly putrid airs annos. -Will hardly mingle; and fermented cups
But may no fogs, from lake or fenny plain,
Let lofty ceilings grace your ample rooms;
While on the neighbouring hill the rose in. That lofty Albion melt into the main ?
flames Indulgent Nature ! O dissolve this gloom ! | The verdant spring; in virgin beauty blows Bind in eternal adamant the winds
| The tender lily, languishingly sweet;
Meantime, the moist malignity to shun (paign
Dwells not in mortal fre; whose gen'rous heat The full repast; and let sagacious age
Relents; and soon the young of those that tread First-born of Heaven, and only less than God! Tbe stedfast earth, or cleave the green abyss,
Or pathless sky. And if the steer must fall,
In youth and sanguine vigour let him die;
Nor stay till rigid age, or heavy ails,
Absolve him ill-requited froin the yoke.
Some with high forage, and luxuriant ease, - BOOK II. -DIET.
Indulge the veteran ox; but wiser thou,
From the bald mountain or the barren downs, Exouch of air. A desert subject now,
Expect the docks by frugal Nature fed; Rougher and wilder, rises to my sight.
A race of purer blood, with exercise A barren waste, where not a garland grows Refin'r and scanty fare : for, old or young, To bind the Muse's brow; not ev'n a proud The stall'd are never healthy ; nor the cramm'd Stupendous solitude frowns o'er the heath, Not all the culinary arts can tame To rouse a noble borrour in the soul :
To wholesome food, the abominable growth But rugged paths fatigue, and errour leads of rest and gluttony; the prudent taste Thro' endless labyrinths the devious feet.
Rejects like bane such loathsome lusciousness.
Delicious fat, and all the race of oil:
(Fond to incorporate with all it meets)
So gentle late and blandishing, in foods This vital fluid, through unnumber'd tubes - | Of rancid bile o'erflows: what tumults hence, Pour'd by the heart, and to the heart again | What horrors rise, were nauseous to relate. Refunded; scourg'd for ever round and round; Choose leaner viands, ye whose jovial make Eorag'd with heat and toil, at lasts forgets Too fast the gummy nutriment imbibes : Its balmy nature; virulent and thin
Choose sober meals; and rouse to active life It grows; and now, but that a thousand gates Your cumbrous clay ; nor on the enfeebling down, Are open to its flight, it would destroy
Irresolute, protract the morning bours. The parts it cherish'd and repair'd before.
But let the man whose bones are thinly clad, Besides, the flexible and tender tubes
With cheerful ease and succulent repast Melt in the mildest most nectareous tide
Improve his babit if he can ; for each That ripening Nature rolls; as in the stream Extreine departs from perfect sanity. Its crumbling banks; but what the force
I could relate what table this demands, Of plastic fluids hourly batters down,
Or that complexion ; what the various powers That very force, those plastic particles
Of various foods : but fifty years would roll, Rebuild: so mutable the state of inan.
And fifty more before the tale were done. For this the watchful appetite was given,' Besides, there often lurks some nameless, strange, Daily with fresh materials to repair
Peculiar thing; nor on the skin display'd, This unavoidable expense of life,
Felt in the pulse, nor in the babit seen; This necessary waste of flesh and blood.
Which finds a poison in the food that inost Hence, the concoctive powers, with various art, The temp'rature affects. There arc, whose blood Subdue the cruder aliments to chyle;
Impetuous rages thro' the turgid veins, The chyle to blood; the foamy puuple tide Who better bear the fiery fruits of India To liquors, which thru' finer arteries
Than the moist melon, or pale cucumber, To different parts their winding course pursue ; Of cbilly nature others fly the board To try new changes, and new forins put on, Supply'd with slaughter, and the vernal powers Or for the public, or some private use.
For cooler, kinder sustenance implore. Nothing so foreign but th'athletic hind
Some even the generous nutriment detest Can labour into blood. The hungry ineal Which, in the shell, the sleeping embryo rears. Aloue he fears, or aliments tvo tim;
Some, more unhappy still, repent the gifts By violent powers too easily subu'd,
Of Pales; soft, delicious and benign: Too soon expell'd. His daily labour thaws, The balmy quintessence of every flower, To friendly chyle, the most rebellious mass And every grateful herb that decks the spring; That salt can harden, or the smoke of years; The fost'ring dew of tender sprouting life ; Nor does his gorge the luscious bacon rue, | The best refection of declining age; Nor that whieh Cestria sends, tenacious paste The kind restorative of those who lie Of solid milk. But ye of softer clay,
Half dead and panting, from the doubtful strife Infirm and delicate ! and ye who waste
Of nature struggling in the grasp of death. With pale and bloated sloth the tedious day! | Try all the bounties of this fertile globe, Avoid ihe stubborn aliment, avoid
There is no such a salutary food