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To break the toils where strangled vapors lie; l Meantime, the most malignity to shun
For fragrance vies; for in the thirsty soil
And let them see the winter morn arise, Shrinks from the cold embrace of wat'ry Heavens. The summer evening blushing in the West: But neither these, nor al? A pollo's arts,
While with umbrageous oaks the ridge behind Disarm the dangers of the dropping sky,
O'erhung, defends you from the blust'ring North, Unless with exercise and manly toil
And bleak affliction of the peevish East. You brace your nerves, and spur the lagging blood. Oh! when the growling winds contend, and all The fatt'ning clime let all the sons of ease
The sounding forest fluctuates in the storm; Avoid ; if indolence would wish to live,
To sink in warm repose, and hear the din Go, yawn and loiter out the long slow year Howl o'er the steady battlements, delights In fairer skies. If droughty regions parch
Above the luxury of vulgar sleep The skin and lungs, and bake the thick’ning blood; The murmuring rivulet, and the hoarser strain Deep in the waving forest choose your seat, Of waters rushing o'er the slippery rocks, Where fuming trees refresh the thirsty air ; Will nightly lull you to ambrosial rest. And wake the fountains from their secret beds, To please the fancy is no trifling good, And into lakes dilate their rapid stream.
Where health is studied; for whatever moves Here spread your gardens wide ; and let the cool, The mind with calm delight, promotes the just The moist relaxing vegetable store
And natural movements of th' harmonious frame. Prevail in each repast : your food supplied
Besides, the sportive brook for ever shakes By bleeding life, be gently wasted down,
The trembling air, that floats from hill to hill, By soft decoction and a mellowing heat,
From vale to mountain, with incessant change To liquid balm ; or, if the solid mass
of purest element, refreshing still
High on the breezy ridge, whose losty sides,
Th' ethereal deep with endless billows chafes. Its nectar acid or benign will pour
His purer mansion nor contagious years To drown your thirst; or let the mantling bowl Shall reach, nor deadly putrid airs annoy. of keen sherbet the fickle taste relieve.
But may no fogs, from lake or fenny plain, For with the viscous blood the simple stream Involve my hill! and wheresoe'er you build, Will hardly mingle; and fermented cups
Whether on sun-burnt Epsom, or the plains
At every window drink the liquid sky.
How pale, the plants in those ill-fated vales, Of summers, balmy air, and skies serene.
That, circled round with the gigantic heap Good Heaven! for what unexpiated crimes of mountains, never felt, nor ever hope This dismal change! the brooding elements, To feel, the genial vigor of the Sun! Do they, your powerful ministers of wrath, While on the neighboring hill the rose inflames Prepare some fierce exterminating plague ?
The verdant spring; in virgin beauty blows Or is it fix'd in the decrees above
The tender lily, languishingly sweet : That lofty Albion melt into the main ?
O'er every hedge the wanton woodbine roves, Indulgent Nature! O dissolve this gloom! And autumn ripens in the summer's ray. Bind in eternal adamant the winds
Nor less the warmer living tribes demand That drown or wither; give the genial West The fost'ring Sun, whose energy divine To breathe, and in its turn the sprightly North : And may once more the circling seasons rule | * The wild rose, or that which grows on the common The year; not mix in every monstrous day. I brier.
Dwells not in mortal fire; whose gen'rous heat Readiest obeys th' assimilating powers;
In youth and sanguine vigor let him die;
Absolve him ill-requited from the yoke.
Some with high forage, and luxuriant ease,
Indulge the veteran ox; but wiser thou,
From the bald mountain or the barren downs, DIET.
Expect the flocks by frugal Nature fed ;
A race of purer blood, with exercise ENOUGII of air. A desert subject now,
Refin'd and scanty fare : for, old or young, Rougher and wilder, rises to my sight.
The stallid are never healthy ; nor the cramm'd. A barren waste, where not a garland grows Not all the culinary arts can tame To bind the Musa's brow; not ev'n a proud To wholesome food, the abominable growth Stupendo is solitude frowns o'er the heath, Of rest and gluttony; the prudent taste To rouse a noble horror in the soul :
Rejects like bane such lothesome lusciousness, But rugged paths fatigue, and error leads
The languid stomach curses even the pure
Its feeble tone ; and with the eager lymph
(Fond to incorporate with all it meets) The blood, the fountain whence the spirits flow, Coyly they mix, and shun with slippery wiles The generous stream that waters every part, The woo'd embrace. Th'irresoluble oil, And motion, vigor, and warm life conveys
So gentle late and blandishing, in floods To every particle that moves or lives;
Of rancid bile o'erflows: what tumults hence, This vital fluid, through unnumber'd tubes What horrors rise, were nauseous to relate. Pour'd by the heart, and to the heart again Choose leaner viands, ye whose jovial make Refunded ; scourg'd for ever round and round; Too fast the gummy nutriment imbibes : Enrag'd with heat and toil, at last forgets Choose sober meals; and rouse to active life Its balmy nature ; virulent and thin
Your cumbrous clay; nor on the enfeebling down, It grows; and now, but that a thousand gates Irresolute, protract the morning hours. Are open to its flight, it would destroy
But let the man whose bones are thinly clad. The parts it cherish'd and repair'd before. With cheerful ease and succulent repast Besides, the flexible and tender tubes
Improve his habit if he can; for each Melt in the mildest most nectareous tide
Extreme departs from perfect sanity. That ripening Nature rolls; as in the stream:
I could relate what table this demands, Its crumbling banks; but what the force
Or that complexion ; what the various powers Of plastic Auids hourly batters down,
Of various foods : but fifty years would roll, That very force, those plastic particles
And fifty more before the tale were done. Rebuild : so mutable the state of man.
Besides, there often lurks some nameless, strange, For this the watchful appetite was given,
Peculiar thing ; nor on the skin display'd, Daily with fresh materials to repair
Felt in the pulse, nor in the habit seen; This unavoidable expense of life,
Which finds a poison in the food that most This necessary waste of flesh and blood.
The temp'rature affects. There are, whose blood Hence, the concoctive powers, with various art, Impetuous rages through the turgid veins, Subdue the cruder aliments to chyle;
Who better bear the fiery fruits of India The chyle to blood; the foamy purple tide Than the moist melon, or pale cucumber. To liquors, which through finer arteries
Of chilly nature others fly the board To different parts their winding course pursue ; Supplied with slaughter, and the vernal powers To try new changes, and new forms put on, For cooler, kinder sustenance implore. Or for the public, or some private use.
Some even the generous nutriment detest Nothing so foreign but th' athletic hind
Which, in the shell, the sleeping embryo rears. Can labor into blood. The hungry meal
Some, more unhappy still, repent the gifts Alone he fears, or aliments too thin;
Of Pales; soft, delicious and benign: By violent powers too easily subdu'd,
The balmy quintessence of every flower, Too soon expell’d. His daily labor thaws, And every grateful herb that decks the spring; To friendly chyle, the most rebellious mass The fost'ring dew of tender sprouting life; That salt can harden, or the smoke of years; The best refection of declining age; Nor does his gorge the luscious bacon rue, The kind restorative of those who lie Nor that which Cestria sends, tenacious paste Half dead and panting, from the doubtful strife Of solid milk. But ye of softer clay,
Of nature struggling in the grasp of death.
Try all the bounties of this fertile globe,
As suits with every stomach. But (except,
Amid the mingled mass of fish and fowl, Grow wiser, lessen'd by the dropping teeth. And boil'd and bak'd, you hesitate by which
Half subtiliz'd to chyle, the liquid food You sunk oppress'd, or whether not by all)
Taught by experience, soon you may discern For want of use the kindest aliment
of poison to mild amity with life. Or heave with fev'rish Alushings all the face, | So Heaven has form'd us to the general taste Burn in the palms, and parch the rough’ning of all its gists: so custom has improvod - tongue;
This bent of nature ; that few simple foods, Or much diminish or too much increase
of all that earth, or air, or ocean yield, Th' expense, which Nature's wise economy, But by excess offend. Beyond the sense Without or waste or avarice, maintains.
or light resection, at the genial board Such cates abjur'd, let prowling hunger loose, Indulge not often; nor protract the feast And bid the curious palate roam at will;
To dull satiety; till soft and slow
Led by sagacious laste, the ruthless king The stomach, urg'd beyond its active tone,
The softest food : unfinish'd and depravid, Would at the manger starve; of milder seeds The chyle, in all its future wanderings, owns The generous horse to herbage and to grain Its turbid fountain; not by purer streams i Confines his wish; though fabling Greece resound So to be clear'd, but foulness will remain. The Thracian steeds with human carnage wild. To sparkling wine what ferment can exalt Prompted by instinct's never-erring power,
Th' unripen'd grape ? or what mechanic skill Each creature knows its proper aliment;
From the crude ore can spin the ductile gold ? But man, th' inhabitant of every clime,
Gross riot treasures up a wealthy fund With all the commoners of Nature feeds.
of plagues : but more immedicable ills Directed, bounded, by this power within,
Attend the lean extreme. For physic knows Their cravings are well aim'd: voluptuous man How to disburthen the too tumid veins, Is by superior faculties misled;
Even how to ripen the half-labor'd blood :
But to unlock the elemental tubes,
The dried and worn-out habit, were to bid
Old age grow green, and wear a second spring; Is this for pleasure ? Learn a juster taste !
Or the tall ash, long ravish'd from the soil, And know that temperance is true luxury.
Through wither'd veins imbibe the vernal dew. Or is it pride? Pursue some nobler aim,
When hunger calls, obey; not often wait Dismiss your parasites who praise for hire ;
Till hunger sharpen to corrosive pain : And earn the fair esteem of honest men,
For the keen appetite will feast beyond Whose praise is fame. Form'd of such clay as yours, What nature well can bear: and one extreme The sick, the needy, shiver at your gates.
Ne'er without danger meets its own reverse. Even modest want may bless your hand unseen, Too greedily th' exhausted veins absorb Though hush'd in patient wretchedness at home. The recent chyle, and load enfeebled powers Is there no virgin, grac'd with ev'ry charm Oft to th' extinction of the vital flame. But that which binds the mercenary vow?
To the pale cities, by the firm-set siege No youth of genius, whose neglected bloom And famine humbled, may this verse be borne ; Unfoster'd sickens in the barren shade ?
And hear, ye hardiest sons that Albion breeds, No worthy man by fortune's random blows, Long toss'd and famish'd on the wintry main ; Or by a heart too generous and humane,
The war shook off, or hospitable shore Constrain'd to leave his happy natal seat,
Attain'd, with temperance bear the shock of joy ; And sigh for wants more bitter than his own? Nor crown with festive rites th' auspicious day: There are, while human miseries abound,
Such feasts might prove more fatal than the wares A thousand ways to waste superfluous wealth, Than war or famine. While the vital fire Without one fool or flatterer at your board, Burns feebly, heap not the green fuel on; Without one hour of sickness or disgust.
But prudently foment the wandering spark But other ills th' ambiguous feast pursue, With what the soonest feeds its kindest touch : Besides provoking the lascivious taste.
Be frugal ev'n of that: a little give Such various foods, though harmless each alone, At first; that kindled, add a little more ; Each other violate; and oft we see
Till, by deliberate nourishing, the flame What strife is brew'd, and what pernicious bane, Reviv'd with all its wonted vigor glows. From combinations of obnoxious things.
But though the two (the full and the jejune) Th' unbounded taste I mean not to confine Extremes have each their vice; it much avails To hermit's diet needlessly severe.
Ever with gentle tide to ebb and flow
Whatever chance or headlong appetite
Collected, and unloads the wheels of life.
Sometimes a coy aversion to the feast To change obnoxious, be to change inur'd. Comes on, while yet no blacker omen lowers; But stay the curious appetite, and taste
Then is the time to shun the tempting board, With caution fruits you never tried before. | Were it your natal or your nuptial day
Perhaps a fast so seasonable starves
A generous pulp: the cocoa swells on high The latent seeds of woe, which rooted once With milky riches; and in horrid mail Might cost you labor. But the day return'd The crisp ananas wraps its poignant sweets. Of festal luxury, the wise indulge
Earth's vaunted progeny ; in ruder air
Too coy to flourish, even too proud to live ;
In boundless billows fluctuates o'er their plains.
That waves on gloomy Lebanon, assuage Impose. Through Autumn's languishing domain The torrid Hell that beams upon their heads. Descending, Nature by degrees invites
Now come, ye Naiads, to the fountains lead; To glowing luxury. But from the depth
Now let me wander through your gelid reign. Of Winter, when th' invigorated year
I burn to view th' enthusiastic wilds Emerges; when Favonius, fush'd with love, By mortal else untrod. I hear the din Toyful and young, in every breeze descends Of waters thund'ring o'er the ruin'd cliffs. More warm and wanton on his kindling bride; With holy reverence I approach the rocks Then, shepherds, then begin to spare your flocks; Whence glide the streams renown'd in ancient song And learn, with wise humanity, to check
Here from the desert down the rumbling steep The lust of blood. Now pregnant earth commits First springs the Nile; here bursts the sounding Po A various offspring to the indulgent sky:
In angry waves; Euphrates hence devolves Now bounteons Nature seeds with lavish hand A mighty food to water half the East : The prone creation ; yields what once suffic'd And there, in Gothic solitude reclin'd, Their dainty sovereign, when the world was young; The cheerless Tanais pours his hoary urn. Ere yet the barbarous thirst of blood had seiz'd What solemn twilight! what stupendous shades The human breasl.--Each rolling month matures Enwrap these infant floods! through every nerve The food that suits it most; so does each clime. A sacred horror thrills, a pleasing fear
Far in the horrid realms of Winter, where Glides o'er my frame. The forest deepens round Th' establish'd ocean heaps a monstrous waste And more gigantic still th' impending trees of shining rocks and mountains to the Pole, Stretch their extravagant arms athwart the gloom There lives a hardy race, whose plainest wants Are these the confines of some fairy world? Relentless Earth, their cruel stepmother,
A land of genii? Say, beyond these wilds Regards not. On the waste of iron fields, What unknown nations ? if, indeed, beyond Untam'd, intractable, no harvests wave:
Aught habitable lies. And whither leads, Pomona hates them, and the clownish god
To what strange regions, or of bliss or pain, Who tends the garden. In this frozen world That subterraneous way? Propitious maids, Such cooling gifts were vain: a fitter meal
Conduct me, while with fearful steps I tread Is earn'd with ease; for here the fruitful spawn This trembling ground. The task remains to sing Of ocean swarms, and heaps their genial board Your gifts (so Pæon, so the powers of health With generous fare and luxury profuse.
Command) to praise your crystal element: These are their bread, the only bread they know: The chief ingredient in Heaven's various works : These, and their willing slave the deer that crops Whose flexile genius sparkles in the gem, The shrubby herbage on their meagre hills. Grows firm in oak, and fugitive in wine; Girt by the burning zone, not thus the South The vehicle, the source, of nutriment Her swarthy sons in either Ind maintains : And life, to all that vegetate or live. Or thirsty Libya; from whose fervid loins
O comfortable streams! with eager lips The lion bursts, and every fiend that roams And trembling hand the languid thirsty quaff Th' affrighted wilderness. The mountain-herd, New life in you; fresh vigor fills their veins. Adust and dry, no sweet repast affords ;
No warmer cups the rural ages knew; Nor does the tepid main such kinds produce, None warmer sought the sires of human-kind. So perfect, so delicious, as the shoals
Happy in temperate peace! their equal days of icy Zembla. Rashly where the blood
Felt not th' alternate fits of severish mirth, Brews feverish frays; where scarce the tubes sustain And sick dejection. Still serene and pleas'd, Its tumid fervor, and tempestuous course;
They knew no pains but what the tender soul Kind Nature tempts not to such gifts as these. With pleasure yields to, and would ne'er forget. But here in livid ripeness melts the grape :
Blest with divine immunity from ails, Here, finish'd by invigorating suns,
Long centuries they liv'd ; their only fate Through the green shade the golden orange glows : Was ripe old age, and rather sleep than death. Spontaneous here the turgid melon yields
Oh! could those worthies from the world of gods
Return to visit their degenerate sons, * The burning sever.
How would they scorn the joys of modern time,
With all our an b.la soil improv'd to pain! Say how, unseason'd to the midnight frays
With Centaurs long to hardy deeds inur'd ?
The brows of care, indulge your festive vein Is best : the lightest then; what bears the touch In cups by well-inform'd experience found of fire the least, and soonest mounts in air; The least your bane; and only with your friends. The most insipid; the most void of smell.
There are sweet follies; frailties to be seen Such the rude mountain from his horrid sides By friends alone, and men of generous minds. Pours down; such waters in the sandy vale
Oh! seldom may the fated hours return For ever boil, alike of winter frosts
of drinking deep! I would not daily taste, And summer's heat secure. The crystal stream, Except when life declines, even sober cups. Through rocks resounding, or for many a mile Weak withering age no rigid law forbids, O'er the chaf'd pebbleshurl'd, yields wholesome, pure, With frugál nectar, smooth and slow with balm, And mellow draughts; except when winter thaws, The sapless habit daily to bedew, And half the mountains melt into the tide. And gives the hesitating wheels of life Though thirst were e'er so resolute, avoid
Gliblier to play. But youth has better joys : The sordid lake, and all such drowsy floods And is it wise, when youth with pleasure flows, As fill from Lethe Belgia's slow canals ;
To squander the reliefs of age and pain? (With rest corrupt, with vegetation green;
What dextrous thousands just within the goal Squalid with generation, and the birth
Of wild debauch direct their nightly course! of little monsters ;) till the power of fire
Perhaps no sickly qualms bedim their days, Has from profane embraces disengag'd
No morning admonitions shock the head. The violated lymph. The virgin stream
But, ah! what woes remain ! life rolls a pace, In boiling wastes its finer soul in air.
And that incurable disease, old age, Nothing like simple element dilutes
In youthful bodies more severely felt, The food, or gives the chyle so soon to flow. More sternly active, shakes their blasted prime; But where the stomach, indolent and cold, Except kind Nature by some hasty blow Toys with its duty, animate with wine
Prevent the lingering fales. For know, whate'er Th' insipid stream: though golden Ceres yields Beyond its natural fervor hurries on A more voluptuous, a more sprightly draught; The sanguine tide; whether the frequent bowl, Perhaps more active. Wine unmix'd, and all High-season'd fare, or exercise to toil The gluey floods that from the vex'd abyss
Protracted ; spurs to its last stage tired life, of fermentation spring; with spirit fraught, And sows the temples with untimely snow. And furious with intoxicating fire;
When life is new, the ductile fibres feel Retard concoction, and preserve unthaw'd
The heart's increasing force; and, day by day Th' embodied mass. You see what countless years, The growth advances : till the larger iubes Embalm'd in fiery quintessence of wine,
Acquiring (from their elemental veins* The pony wonders of the reptile world,
Condens'd to solid chords) a firmer tone, The tender rudiments of life, the slim
Sustain, and just sustain, th' impetuous blood. Unravellings of minute anatomy,
Here stops the growth. With overbearing pulse Maintain their texture, and unchang'd remain. | And pressure, still the great destroy the small;
We curse not wine : the vile excess we blame; Still with the ruins of the small grow strong. More fruitful than th' accumulated board, Life glows meantime, amid the grinding force Of pain and misery. For the subtle draught of viscous fluids and elastic tubes; Faster and surer swells the vital tide;
Its various functions vigorously are plied And with more active poison than the floods By strong machinery ; and in solid health Of grosser crudity convey, pervades
| The man confirm'd long triumphs o'er disease. The far remote meanders of our frame.
But the full ocean ebbs: there is a point, Ah! sly deceiver! branded o'er and o'er,
By Nature fix'd, when life must downward tend. Yet still believ'd! exulting o'er the wreck
For still the beating tide consolidates
To the weak throbs of th' ill-supported heart. The fatal charms, the many woes of wine; This languishing, these strength’ning by degrees Perhaps its various tribes and various powers.
Meantime, I would not always dread the bowl, Nor every trespass shun. The feverish strife, Rous'd by the rare debauch, subdues, expels
* In the human body, as well as in those of other ani. The loitering crudities that burden life;
mals, the larger blood vessels are composed of smaller And, like a torrent full and rapid, clears
Jones; which, by the violent motion and pressure of the Th'obstructed tubes. Besides, this restless world
fluids in the large vessels, lose their cavities by degrees, Is full of chances, which, by habit's power,
and degenerate into impervious chords or fibres. In pro.
portion as these small vegsels become solid, the larger To learn to bear is easier than to shun.
must of course become less extensile, more rigid, and Ah! when ambition, meagre love of gold,
make a stronger resistance to the action of the heart, and Or sacred country calls, with mellowing wine force of the blood. From this gradual condensation of To moisten well the thirsty suffrages;
the smaller vessels, and consequent rigidity of the larger
ones, the progress of the human body from infancy to old * Hippocrates.
See Book IV. age is accounted for.