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ARMSTRONG

Relents; and soon the young of those that tread BOOK II.

The stedfast earth, or cleave the green abyss,

Or pathless sky. And if the steer must fall, Enough of air. A desert subject now,

In youth and sanguine vigour let him die; Rougher and wilder, rises to my sight.

Nor stay till rigid age, or heavy ails, A barren waste, where not a garland grows

Absolve him ill-requited from the yoke. To bind the Muse's brow; not ev'n a proud

Some with high forage, and luxuriant ease, Stupendous solitude frowns o'er the heath,

Indulge the veteran ox; but wiser thou, To rouse a noble horror in the soul :

From the bald mountain or the barren downs, But rugged paths fatigue, and error leads

Expect the flocks by frugal nature fed; Through endless labyrinths the devious feet. A race of purer blood, with exercise Farewell, ethereal fields! the humbler arts

Refin'd, and scanty fare: for, old or young, Of life; the table, and the homely gods,

The stallid are never healthy; nor the crammid: Demand my song. Elysian gales, adieu!

Not all the culinary arts can tame
The blood, the fountain whence the spirits flow,

To wholesome food the abominable growth
The generous stream that waters every part, Of rest and gluttony; the prudent taste
And motion, vigour, and warm life conveys

Rejects like bane such lothesome lusciousness. To every particle that moves or lives;

The languid stomach curses even the pure
This vital tluid, through unnumber'd tubes

Delicious fat, and all the race of oil :
Pour’d by the heart, and to the heart again

For more the oily aliments relax
Refunded; scourg'd for ever round and round;

Its feeble tone; and with the eager lymph, Enrag'd with heat and toil, at last forgets

Fond to incorporate with all it meets, Its balmy nature; virulent and thin

Coyly they mix, and shun with slippery wiles It grows; and now, but that a thousand gates The woo'd embrace. Th' irresoluble oil, Are open to its flight, it would destroy

So gentle late and blandishing, in floods The parts it cherish'd and repair'd before.

Of rancid bile o'erflows: what tumults hence, Besides, the flexible and tender tubes

What horrors rise, were nauseous to relate.
Melt in the mildest most nectareous tide,

Choose leaner viands, ye whose jovial make That ripening nature rolls; as in the stream Too fast the gummy nutriment imbibes : Its.crumbling banks; but what the vital force Choose sober meals; and rouse to active life Of plastic fluids hourly batters down,

Your cumbrous clay; nor on th' enfeebling down, That very force those plastic particles

Irresolute, protract the morning hours.
Rebuild: so mutable the state of man.

But let the man whose bones are thinly clad,
For this the watchful appetite was giv'n,

With cheerful ease and succulent repast,
Daily with fresh materials to repair

Improve his habit if he can; for each
This unavoidable expense of life,

Extreme departs from perfect sanity.
This necessary waste of flesh and blood.

I could relate what table this demands,
Hence the concoctive powers, with various art,

Or that complexion ; what the various powers
Subdue the cruder aliments to chyle;

of various foods: but fifty years would roll, The chyle to blood; the foamy purple tide

And fifty more, before the tale were done.
To liquors, which through finer arteries

Besides, there often lurks some nameless, strange, To different parts their winding course pursue ;

Peculiar thing; nor on the skin display'd,
To try new changes, and new forms put on, Felt in the pulse, nor in the habit seen;
Or for the public, or some private use.

Which finds a poison in the food that most
Nothing so foreign, but th' athletic hind

The temp'rature affects. There whose blood Can labour into blood. The hungry meal

Impetuous rages through the turgid veins,
Alone he fears, or aliments too thin;

Who better bear the fiery fruits of Ind
By violent powers too easily subdu'd,

Than the moist melon, or pale cucumber.
Too soon expell’d. His daily labour thaws, Of chilly nature others fly the board
To friendly chyle, the most rebellious mass

Supply'd with slaughter, and the vernal

powers That salt can harden, or the smoke of years;

For cooler, kinder, sustenance implore. Nor does his gorge the luscious bacon rue,

Some even the generous nutriment detest, Nor that which Cestria sends, tenacious paste

Which, in the shell, the sleeping embryo rears. Of solid milk. But ye of softer clay,

Some, more unhappy still, repent the gifts

Of Pales; soft, delicious, and benign:
Infirm and delicate! and ye, who waste

The balmy quintessence of every flower,
With pale and bloated sloth the tedious day!
Aroid the stubborn aliment, avoid

And every grateful herb that decks the spring;

The fost'ring dew of tender sprouting life;
The full repast; and let sagacious age

The best resection of declining age ;
Grow wiser, lesson’d by the dropping teeth.

The kind restorative of those who lie
Half subtilized to chyle, the liquid food

Half dead and panting, from the doubtful strife
Readiest obeys th' assimilating pow'rs;

Of nature struggling in the grasp of death.
And soon the tender vegetable mass

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Try all the bounties of this fertile globe,

What strife is brew'd, and what pernicious bane, There is not such a salutary food

From combinations of innoxious things. As suits with every stomach. But (except,

Th' unbounded taste I mean not to confine Amid the mingled mass of fish and fowl,

To hermit's diet, needlessly severe. And boil'd and bak'd, you hesitate by which But would you long the sweets of health enjoy, You sunk oppress'd, or whether not by all ;) Or husband pleasure, at one impious meal Taught by experience, soon you may discern Exhaust not half the bounties of the year, What pleases, what offends. Avoid the cates Of every realm. It matters not, meanwhile, That lull the sicken'd appetite too long;

How much to-morrow differ from to-day; Or heave with fev'rish flushings all the face, So far indulge: 'tis fit, besides, that man, Burn in the palms, and parch the rough'ning tongue; To change obnoxious, be to change inur'd. Or much diminish, or too much increase

But stay the curious appetite, and taste Th' expense which nature's wise economy,

With caution fruits you never tried before. Without or waste or avarice, maintains.

For want of use the kindest aliment Such cates abjur'd, let prowling hunger loose, Sometimes offends; while custom tames the rage And bid the curious palate roam at will;

Of poison to mild amity with life. They scarce can err amid the various stores,

So Heav'n has form'd us to the general taste That burst the teeming entrails of the world. Of all its gifts; so custom has improv'd Led by sagacious taste, the ruthless king

This bent of nature; that few simple foods, Of beasts on blood and slaughter only lives;

Of all that earth, or air, or ocean yield, The tyger, form'd alike to cruel meals,

But by excess offend. Beyond the sense Would at the manger starve: of milder feed Of light resection, at the genial board The generous horse to herbage and to grain Indulge not often ; nor protract the feast Confines his wish ; though fabling Greece resound To dull satiety; till soft and slow The Thracian steeds with human carvage wild. A drowsy death creeps on, th' expansive soul Prompted by instinct's never-erring power,

Oppress'd, and smother'd the celestial fire. Each creature knows its proper aliment;

The stomach, urg'd beyond its active tone, But man, th' inhabitant of every clime,

Hardly to nutrimental chyle subdues With all the commoners of nature feeds.

The softest food: unfinish'd and deprav'd, Directed, bounded, by this power within,

The chyle, in all its future wanderings, owns Their cravings are well-aim'd: voluptuous man Its turbid fountain; not by purer streans Is by superior faculties misled;

So to be clear'd, but foulness will remain. Misled from pleasure, even in quest of joy.

To sparkling wine what ferment can exalt Sated with nature's boons, what thousands seek,

Th' unripen'd grape? Or what mechanic skil, With dishes tortur'd from their native taste, From the crude ore, cau spin the ductile gold? And mad variety, to spur beyond

Gross riot treasures up a wealthy fund Its wiser will the jaded appetite!

Of plagues: but more immedicable ills Is this for pleasure ? Learn a juster taste;

Attend the lean extreme. For physic knows And know that temperance is true luxury.

How to disburden the too tumid veins; Or is it pride? Pursue some nobler aim;

Even how to ripen the half-labour'd blood:
Dismiss your parasites, who praise for hire,

But to unlock the elemental tubes,
And earn the fair esteem of honest men,
Whose praise is fame. Form’d of such clay as yours,

Collaps’d and shrunk with long inanity,

And with balsamic nutriment repair The sick, the needy sbiver at your gates.

The dried and worn-out habit, were to bid Even modest want may bless your hand unseen,

Old age grow green, and wear a second spring; Though hush'd in patient wretchedness at home.

Or the tall ash, long ravish'd from the soil

, Is there no virgin grac'd with every charm,

Through wither'd veins imbibe the vernal dew. But that which binds the mercenary vow?

When hunger calls, obey; nor often wait No youth of genius, whose neglected bloom,

Till hunger sharpen to corrosive pain : Unfoster’d, sickens in the barren shade?

For the keen appetite will feast beyond No worthy man by fortune's random blows,

What nature well can bear; and one extreme Or by a heart too generous and humane,

Ne'er without danger meets its own reverse. Constrain’d to leave his happy natal seat,

Too greedily th’exhausted veins absorb And sigh for wants more bitter than his own?

The recent chyle, and load enfeebled powers
There are, while human miseries abound,

Oft to th'extinction of the vital flame.
A thousand ways to waste superfluous wealth, To the pale cities, by the firm-set siege
Without one fool or flatterer at your board,
Without one hour of sickness or disgust.

And famine humbled, may this verse be borge. But other ills th' ambiguous feast pursue,

And hear, ye hardiest sons that Albion breeds,

Long toss'd and famish'd on the wint'ry maja; Besides provoking the lascivious taste.

The war shook off, or hospitable shore
Such various foods, though harmless each alone,
Each other violate; and oft we see

Attain'd, with temperance bear the shock of jos;
Nor crown with festive rites th' auspicious day:

Such feast might prove more fatal than the waves, Untam’d, untractable, no harvests wave:
Than war or famine. While the vital fire

Pomona bates them, and the clownish god
Burns feebly, heap not the green fuel on ;

Who tends the garden. In this frozen world But prudently foment the wandering spark

Such cooling gifts were vain: a fitter meal With what the soonest feeds its kindred touch: Is earn'd with ease ; for here the fruitful spawn Be frugal ev'n of that: a little give

Of ocean swarms, and heaps their genial board At first; that kindled, add a little more;

With generous fare and luxury profuse. Till, by deliberate nourishing, the flame

These are their bread, the only bread they know; Reviv'd, with all its wonted vigour glows.

These, and their willing slave the deer that crops But though the two (the full and the jejune) The shrubby herbage on their meagre hills. Extremes have each their vice; it much avails Girt by the burning zone, not thus the south Ever with gentle tide to ebb and flow

Her swarthy sons in either Ind maintains : From this to that: so nature learns to bear

Or thirsty Libya; from whose fervid loins Whatever chance or headlong appetite

The lion bursts, and every fiend that roams May bring. Besides, a meagre day subdues Th' affrighted wilderness. The mountain herd, The cruder clods by sloth or luxury

Adust and dry, no sweet repast affords: Collected, and unloads the wheels of life.

Nor does the tepid main such kinds produce, Sometimes a coy aversion to the feast

So perfect, so delicious, as the shoals Comes on, while yet no blacker omen lowers; Of icy Zembla. Rashly where the blood Then is a time to shun the tempting board,

Brews feverish frays; where scarce the tubes sustain Were it your natal or your nuptial day.

Its tumid fervour and tempestuous course;
Perhaps a fast so seasonable starves

Kind nature tempts not to such gifts as these.
The latent seeds of woe, which, rooted once, But here in livid ripeness melts the grape :
Might cost you labour. But the day return'd Here, finish'd by invigorating suns,
Of festal luxury, the wise indulge

Through the green shade the golden orange glows; Most in the tender vegetable breed:

Spontaneous here the turgid melon yields Then chiefly, when the summer beams inflame

A generous pulp: the cocoa swells on high
The brazen heavens; or angry Sirius sheds

With milky riches; and in horrid mail
A feverish taint through the still gulf of air. The crisp ananas wraps its poignant sweets,
The moist cool viands then, and flowing cup, Earth’s vaunted progeny: in ruder air
From the fresh dairy virgin's liberal hand, (world Too coy to flourish, even too proud to live;
Will save your head from harm, though round the

Or hardly rais'd by artificial fire
The dreaded Causos roll his wasteful fires.

To vapid life. Here with a mother's smile
Pale humid winter loves the generous board, Glad Amalthea pours her copious horn.
The meal more copious, and a warmer fare:

Here buxom Ceres reigns: th' autumnal sea
And longs, with old wood and old wine, to cheer In boundless billows fluctuates o'er their plains.
His quaking heart. The seasons which divide What suits the climate best, what suits the men,
Th’empires of heat and cold (by neither claim’d, Nature profuses most, and most the taste
Influenc'd by both), a middle regimen

Demands. The fountain, edg'd with racy wine Impose. Through autumn's languishing domain Or acid fruit, bedews their thirsty souls. Descending, nature by degress invites

The breeze eternal breathing round their limbs To glowing luxury. But from the depth

Supports in else intolerable air: Of winter, when th’ invigorated year

While the cool palm, the plaintain, and the grove Emerges; when Favonius flush'd with love, That waves on gloomy Lebanon, assuage Toyful and young, in every breeze descends The torrid hell that beams upon their heads. More warm and wanton on lois kindling bride; Now come, ye Naiads, to the fountains lead; Then, shepherds, then begin to spare your flocks ; Now let me wander through your gelid reign. And learn, with wise humanity, to check

I burn to view th' enthusiastic wilds The lust of blood. Now pregnant earth commits By mortal else untrod. I hear the din A various offspring to th' indulgent sky:

Of waters thund'ring o'er the ruin'd cliffs. Now bounteous nature feeds with lavish hand

With holy reverence I approach the rocks, The prone creation; yields what once suffic'd Whence glide the streams renown’din ancient song, Their dainty sovereign, when the world was young: Here from the desert down the rumbling steep Ere yet the barbarous thirst of blood had seiz'd First springs the Nile; here bursts the sounding Po The human breast.—Each rolling month matures In angry waves; Euphrates hence devolves The food that suits it most; so does each clime. A mighty flood to water half the east; Far in the horrid realms of winter, where

And there, in Gothic solitude reclin'd, Th' establish'd oceau heaps a monstrous waste The cheerless Tanais pours his hoary urn. Of shining rocks and mountains to the pole; What solemn twilight! What stupendous shades There lives a hardy race, whose plainest wants Enwrap these infant floods! Through every nerve Relentless earth, their cruel stepmother,

A sacred horror thrills, a pleasing fear Regards not. On the waste of iron fields,

Glides o'er, my frame. The forest deepens round;

And more gigantic still th' impending trees The food, or gives the chyle so soon to flow. Stretch their extravagant arms athwart the gloom. But where the stomach, indolent and cold, Are these the confines of some fairy world?

Toys with its duty, animate with wine A land of genii? Say, beyond these wilds

Th’insipid stream: though golden Ceres yields What unknown nations -if indeed beyond A more voluptuous, a more sprightly draught; Aught habitable lies. And whither leads,

Perhaps more active. Wines unmix'd, and all To what strange regions, or of bliss or pain,

The gluey floods that from the vex'd abyss That subterraneous way? Propitious maids, Of fermentation spring; with spirit fraught, Conduct me, while with fearful steps I tread And furious with intoxicating fire; This trembling ground. The task remains to sing Retard concoction, and preserve unthaw'd Your gifts (so Pæon, so the powers of health Th’ embodied mass. You see what couatless fear, Command) to praise your crystal element:

Embalm'd in fiery quintessence of wine, The chief ingredient in heaven's various works; The puny wonders of the reptile world, Whose flexile genius sparkles in the gem,

The tender rudiments of life, the slim Grows firm in oak, and fugitive in wine ;

Unravellings of minute anatomy, The vehicle, the source, of nutriment

Maintain their texture, and unchang'd remain. And life, to all that vegetate or live.

We curse not wine: the vile excess we blame; O comfortable streams! With eager lips

More fruitful than th' accumulated board And trembling hand the languid thirsty quaff Of pain and misery. For the subtle draught New life in you; fresh vigour fills their veins. Faster and surer swells the vital tide; No warmer cups the rural ages knew;

And with more active poison, than the floods None wariner sought the sires of human kind. Of grosser crudity convey, pervades Happy in temperate peace! Their equal days The far remote meanders of our frame. Felt not th' alternate fits of feverish mirth,

Ah! sly deceiver! Branded o'er and o'er, And sick dejection. Still serene and pleas'd, Yet still believ'd! Exulting o'er the wreck They knew no pains but what the tender soul Of sober vous !—But the Parnasian maids With pleasure yields to, and would ne'er forget. Another time perhaps shall sing the joys, Blest with divine immunity from ails,

The fatal charms, the many woes of wine; Long centuries they liv'd; their only fate

Perhaps its various tribes, and various powers. Was ripe old age, and rather sleep than death. Meantime, I would not always dread the bowl, Oh! could those worthies from the world of gods

Nor every trespass shun. The feverish strife, Return to visit their degenerate sons,

Rous'd by the rare debauch, subdues, expels How would they scorn the joys of modern time, The loitering crudities that burden life; With all our art and toil improv'd to pain!

And, like a torrent full and rapid, clears Too happy they! but wealth brought luxury, Th’obstructed tubes. Besides, this restless world And luxury on sloth begot disease. (disdain Is full of chances, which by habit's power

Learn temperance, friends; and hear without To learn to bear is easier than to shuo. The choice of water. Thus the Coan

sage

Ah! when ambition, meagre love of gold, Opin'd, and thus the learn’d of every school. Or sacred country calls, with mellowing wide What least of foreign principles partakes

To moisten well the thirsty suffrages; Is best: The lightest then; what bears the touch Say how, unseason'd to the midnight frays Of fire the least, and soonest mounts in air;

Of Comus and his rout, wilt thou contend The most insipid; the most void of smell.

With Centaurs long to bardy deeds inur'd? Such the rude mountain from his horrid sides Then learn to revel; but by slow degrees: Pours down ; such waters in the sandy vale

By slow degrees the liberal arts are won; For ever boil, alike of winter frosts And summer's heat secure. The crystal stream,

And Hercules grew strong. But when you smooth

The brows of care, indulge your festive vein Through rocks resounding, or for many a mile O'er the chafod pebbles hurl'd, yields wholesome,

In cups by well-inform'd experience found

The least your bane: and only with your friends pure, Aud mellow draughts; except when winter thaws,

There are sweet follies; frailties to be seen

By friends alone, and men of generous minds. And half the mountains melt into the tide.

Oh! seldom may the fated tours return Though thirst were e'er so resolute, avoid

Of drinking deep! I would not daily taste, The sordid lake, and all such drowsy floods

Except when life declines, even sober cups. As fill from Lethe Belgia's slow canals;

Weak withering age no rigid law forbids

, (With rest corrupt, with vegetation green; With frugal nectar, smooth and slow with balm, Squalid with generation, and the birth

The sapless habit daily to bedew, Of little monsters ;) till the power of fire

And give the hesitating wheels of life Has from profane embraces disengag'd

Gliblier to play. But youth has better joys: The violated lymph. The virgin stream

And is it wise when youth with pleasure flows, In boiling wastes its finer soul in air.

To squander the reliefs of age and pain! Nothing like simple element dilutes

What dextrous thousands, just within the goal

EXERCISE.

ARMSTRONG

Between creation and abhorr'd decay:
Of wild debauch, direct their nightly course!

It ever did; perhaps and ever will.
Perhaps no sickly qualms bedim their days,

New worlds are still emerging from the deep;
No morning admonitions shock the head.
But ah! what woes remain! Life rolls apace, The old descending, in their turns to rise.
And that incurable disease old age,

BOOK III.
In youthful bodies more severely felt,
More sternly active, shakes their blasted prime:
Except kind nature by some hasty blow

Through various toils th’adventurous Muse has past;
Prevent the lingering fates. For know, whate'er But half the toil, and more than half, remains.
Beyond its natural fervour hurries on

Rude is her theme, and hardly fit for song;
The sanguine tide; whether the frequent bowl,

Plain, and of little ornament; and I
High-season'd fare, or exercise to toil

But little practis'd in th' Aonian arts.
Protracted; spurs to its last stage tir'd life,

Yet not in vain such labours have we tried,
And sows the temples with untimely snow.

If aught these lays the fickle health confirm.
When life is new, the ductile fibres feel

To you, ye delicate, I write; for you
The heart's increasing force; and, day by day, I tame my youth to philosophic cares,
The growth advances: till the larger tubes,

And grow still paler by the midnight lamp.
Acquiring (from their elemental veins,

Not to debilitate with timorous rules
Condens’d to solid chords) a firmer tone,

A hardy frame; nor needlessly to brave
Sustain, and just sustain, th’impetuous blood. Inglorious dangers, proud of mortal strength;
Here stops the growth. Witli overbearing pulse Is all the lesson that in wholesome years
And pressure, still the great destroy the small; Concerns the strong. His care were ill bestow'd
Still with the ruins of the small grow strong. Who would with warm effeminacy nurse
Life glows mean time; amid the grinding force The thriving oak, which on the mountain's brow
Of viscous fluids and elastic tubes,

Bears all the blasts that sweep the wint'ry heav'n.
Its various functions vigorously are plied

Behold the labourer of the glebe, who toils
By strong machinery; and in solid health

In dust, in rain, in cold and sultry skies;
The man confirm'd long triumphs o'er disease. Save but the grain from mildews and the flood,
But the full ocean ebbs: there is a point,

Nought anxious he what sickly stars ascend.
By nature fix'd, whence life must downward tend. He knows no laws by Esculapius given;
For still the beating tide consolidates

He studies none. Yet him nor midnight fogs
The stubborn vessels, more reluctant still

Infest, nor those envenom'd shasts that ily
To the weak throbs of th’ill-supported heart. When rabid Sirius fires th' autumnal noon.
This languishing, these strength'ning by degrees His habit pure with plain and temperate meals,
To hard, unyielding, unelastic bone,

Robust with labour, and by custom steel'd
Through tedious channels the congealing flood To every casualty of varied life;
Crawls lazily, and hardly wanders on;

Serene he bears the peevish eastern blast,
It loiters still: and now it stirs no more.

And uninfected breathes the mortal south.
This is the period few attain; the death

Such the reward of rude and sober life;
Of nature; thus (so heav'n ordain’d it) life

Of labour such. By health the peasant's toil
Destroys itself; and could these laws have chang'd, Is well repaid; if exercise were pain
Nestor might now the fates of Troy relate;

Indeed, and temperance pain. By arts like these
And Homer live immortal as his song. (stood Laconia nurs'd of old her hardy sons;

What does not fade? The tower that long had And Rome's unconquer'd legions urg'd their way,
The crush of thunder and the warring winds, Unhurt, through every toil in every clime.
Shook by the slow but sure destroyer time,

Toil, and be strong. By toil the flaccid nerves
Now bangs in doubtful ruins o'er its base.

Grow firm, and gain a more compacted tone;
And finty pyramids, and walls of brass,

The greener juices are by toil subdu’d,
Descend: the Babylonian spires are sunk;

Mellow'd, and subtiliz'd; the vapid old
Achaia, Rome, and Egypt moulder down.

Expellid, and all the rancour of the blood.
Time shakes the stable tyranny of thrones,

Come, my companions, ye who feel the charms
And tottering empires crusli by their own weight. Of nature and the year; come, let us stray
This huge rotundity we tread grows old;

Where chance or fancy leads our roving walk:
And all those worlds that roll around the sun, Come, while the soft voluptuous breezes fan
The sun himself, shall die; and ancient night The fleecy heavens, enwrap the limbs in balm,
Again involve the desolate abyss:

And shed a charming languor o'er the soul.
Till the great Father through the lifeless gloom Nor when bright winter sows with prickly frost
Extend bis arm to light another world,

The vigorous ether, in unmanly warmth
And bid new planets roll by other laws.

Indulge at home; nor even when Eurus' blasts
For through the regions of unbounded space, This way and that convolve the lab’ring woods,
Where unconfin’d Omnipotence has room,

My liberal walks, save when the skies in rain Being, in various systems, fluctuates still

Or fogs relent, no season should confine

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