Imágenes de páginas
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Or to the cloister'd gallery or arcade.

Attain's and equal to his moderate mind; Go, climb the mountain; from th' ethereal source His life approv'd by all the wise and good, Imbibe the recent gale. The cheerful morn Even envied by the vain) the peaceful grores Beams o'er the hills; go mount th’ exulting steed. Of Epicurus, from this stormy world, Already, see, the deep-mouth'd beagles catch Receive to rest; of all ungrateful cares The tainted mazes; and, on eager sport

Absolv'd, and sacred from the selfish crowd. Intent with emulous impatience try

Happiest of men! if the same soil invites Each doubtful trace. Or, if a nobler prey

A chosen few, companions of his youth, Delight you more, go chase the desperate deer; Once fellow-rakes perhaps, now rural friends; And through its deepest solitudes awake

With whom in easy commerce to pursue The vocal forest with the jovial horn.

Nature's free charms, and vie for sylvan same: But if the breathless chase o'er hill and dale A fair ambition; void of strife or guile, Exceed your strength; a sport of less fatigue, Or jealousy, or pain to be outdone. Not less delightful the prolific stream

Who plans th' enchanted garden, who directs Affords. The crystal rivulet, that o'er

The visto best, and best conducts the stream; A stony channel rolls its rapid maze,

Whose groves the fastest thicken and ascend; Swarms with the silver fry. Such, through the Whom first the welcome spring salutes; who stori bounds

The earliest bloom, the sweetest proudest charas Of pastoral Stafford, runs the brawling Trent; Of Flora; who best gives Pomona's juice Such Eden, sprung from Cumbrian mountains; such To match the sprightly genius of champaiga. The Esk, o'erhung with woods; and such the stream Thrice happy days! in rural business past : On whose Arcadian banks I first drew air,

Blest winter nights! when as the genial fire Liddal; till now, except in Doric lays

Cheers the wide hall, his cordial family Tun'd to her murmurs by her love-sick swains, With soft domestic arts the hours beguile, Unknown in song: though not a purer stream,

And pleasing talk that starts no timorous fame, Through meads more flowery or more romantic With witless wantonness to hunt it down: groves,

Or through the fairy land of tale or song Rolls toward the western main. Hail, sacred flood !

Delighted wander, in fictitious fates May still thy hospitable swains be blest

Engag'd and all that strikes humanity: In rural innocence; thy mountains still

Till lost in fable, they the stealing hour Teem with the fleecy race; thy tuneful woods

Of timely rest forget. Sometimes at eve For ever flourish; and thy vales look gay

His neighbours lift the latch, and bless unbid With painted meadows, and the golden grain ! His festal roof; while, o'er the light repast, Oft with thy blooming sons, when life was new, And sprightly cups, they mix in social joy; Sportive and petulant, and charm’d with toys,

And, through the maze of conversation, trace In thy transparent eddies have I lav’d:

Whate'er amuses or improves the mind. Oft trac'd with patient steps thy fairy banks, Sometimes at eve (for I delight to taste With the well-imitated fly to hook

The native zest and flavour of the fruit, The eager trout, and with the slender line

Where sense grows wild and takes of no manure) And yielding rod solicit to the shore

The decent, honest, cheerful husbandman The struggling panting prey; while vernal clouds Should drown his labours in iny friendly bowli And tepid gales obscur'd the ruffled pool,

And at my table find himself at home. And from the deeps callid forth the wanton swarms.

Whate’er you study, in whate'er you sweat

. Form'd on the Samian school, or those of ind,

Indulge your taste. Some love the manly fožki There are who think these pastimes scarce humane.

The tennis some; and some the graceful dance. Yet in my mind (and not relentless I)

Others more hardy, range the purple heath, His life is pure that wears no fouler stains.

Or naked stubble; where from field to field But if through genuine tenderness of heart,

The sounding coveys urge their labouring fight; Or secret want of relish for the game,

Eager amid the rising cloud to pour
You shun the glories of the chase, nor care

The gun's unerring thunder: and there are
To haunt the peopled stream; the garden yields
A soft amusement, an humane delight.

Whom still the meed of the green archer charmi.

He chooses best, whose labour entertains To raise th’insipid nature of the ground;

His vaçant fancy most: the toil you hate Or tame its savage genius to the grace

Fatigues you soon, and scarce improves your limbi Of careless sweet rusticity, that seems

As beauty still has blemish; and the mind The amiable result of happy chance,

The most accomplish'd its imperfect side; Is to create; and gives a godlike joy,

Few bodies are there of that happy mould Which every year improves. Nor thou disdain

But some one part is weaker than the rest:
To check the lawless riot of the trees,

The legs, perhaps, or arms refuse their load,
To plant the grove, or turn the barren mould. Or the chest labours. These assiduously,
O happy be! whom, when his years decline,

But gently, in their proper arts employ'd, (His fortune and his fame by worthy means

Acquire a vigour and springy activity

To which they were not born. But weaker parts The roughening deep expects the storm, as sure Abhor fatigue and violent discipline.

As red Orion mounts the shrouded heaven. Begin with gentle toils; and, as your nerves

In ancient times, when Rome with Athens vied Grow firm, to hardier by just steps aspire.

For polish'd luxury and useful arts, The prudent, even in every moderate walk,

All hot and reeking from th’ Olympic strife, At first but saunter; and by slow degrees

And warm palæstra, in the tepid bath Increase their pace. This doctrine of the wise Th'athletic youth relax'd their weary limbs. Well knows the master of the flying steed.

Soft oils bedew'd them, with the grateful pow'rs First from the goal the manag'd coursers play Of nard and cassia fraught, to soothe and heal On bended reins: as yet the skilful youth

The cherish'd nerves. Our less voluptuous clime Repress their foamy pride; but every breath Not much invites us to such arts as these. The race grows warmer, and the tempest swells; 'Tis not for those, whom gelid skies embrace, Till all the fiery mettle has its way,

And chilling fogs; whose perspiration feels And the thick thunder hurries o'er the plain. Such frequent bars from Eurus and the north; When all at once from indolence to toil

'Tis not for those to cultivate a skin You spring, the fibres by the hasty shock

Too soft; or teach the recremental fume Are tir'd and crack’d, before their unctuous coats,

Too fast to crowd through such precarious ways; Compress'd, can pour the lubricating balm. For through the small arterial mouths, that pierce Besides, collected in the passive veins,

In endless millions the close-woven skin, The purple mass a sudden torrent rolls,

The baser fluids in a constant stream O'erpowers the heart and deluges the lungs Escape, and, viewless, melt into the winds. With dangerous inundation; oft the source

While this eternal, this most copious waste Of fatal woes; a cough that foams with blood, Of blood, degenerate into vapid brine, Asthma and feller peripneumony,

Maintains its wonted measure, all the powers Or the slow minings of the hectic fire.

Of health befriend you, all the wheels of life Th'athletic fool, to whom what heav'n deny'd

With ease and pleasure move : but this restrain'd Of soul, is well compensated in limbs,

Or more or less, so more or less you feel Oft from his rage, or brainless frolic, feels

The functions labour: from this fatal source, His vegetation and brute force decay.

What woes descend is never to be sung. The men of better clay and finer mould

To take their numbers, were to count the sands Know nature, feel the human dignity;

That ride in whirlwind the parch'd Libyan air; And scorn to vie with oxen or with apes.

Or waves that, when the blustering north embroils Pursu'd prolixly, even the gentlest toil

The Baltic, thunder on the German shore. Is waste of health: repose by small fatigue

Subject not then, by soft emollient arts, Is earn'd; and (where your habit is not prone

This grand expense, on which your fates depend, To thaw) by the first moisture of the brows.

To every caprice of the sky; nor thwart The fine and subtle spirits cost too much

The genius of your clime: for from the blood To be profus'd, too much the roscid balm.

Least fickle rise the recremental streams, But when the hard varieties of life

And least obnoxious to the styptic air, [pores. You toil to learn; or try the dusty chase,

Which breathe through straighter and more callous Or the warm deeds of some important day:

The temper'd Scythian hence, half-naked treads Hot from the field, indulge not yet your limbs

His boundless snows, nor rues th’inclement heaven; In wish'd repose; nor court the fanning gale, And hence our painted ancestors defied Nor taste the spring. O! by the sacred tears The cast; nor curs'd, like us, their fickle sky. Of widows, orphans, mothers, sisters, sires,

The body moulded by the clime, endures Forbear! No other pestilence has driven

Th’equator heats, or hyperborean frost: Such myriads o'er th' irremeable deep.

Except by habits foreign to its turn, Why this so fatal, the sagacious Muse

Unwise you counteract its forming pow'r. Through nature's cunning labyrinths could trace: Rude at the first, the winter shocks you less But there are secrets which who knows not now, By long acquaintance: study then your sky, Must, ere he reach them, climb the heapy Alps Form to its manners your obsequious frame, Of science; and devote seven years to toil.

And learn to suffer what you cannot shun: Besides, I would not stun your patient ears

Against the rigours of a damp cold heav'n, With what it little boots you to attain.

To fortify their bodies, some frequent He knows enough, the mariner, who knows The gelid cistern; and, where nought forbids, Where lurk the shelves, and where the whirlpools I praise their dauntless heart: a frame so steel'd boil,

Dreads not the cough, nor those ungenial blasts What signs portend the storm: to subtler minds That breathe the tertian or fell rheumatism; He leaves to scan, from what mysterious cause The nerves so temper’d, never quit their tone; Charybdis rages in th’ lonian wave;

No chronic languors haunt such hardy breasts. Whence those impetuous currents in the main, But all things have their bounds; and he who makes Which neither oar nor sail can stein; and why By daily use the kindest regimen

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Essential to his health, should never mix

To that which tears the nerves, the toil of slaves With human kind, nor art nor trade pursue.

Is pleasure ; Oh! from such inbuman pains He not the safe vicissitudes of life

May all be free who merit not the wheel! Without some shock endures; ill fitted he

But from the burning lion when the sun To want the known, or bear unusual things.

Pours down his sultry wrath; now while the blacé Besides, the powerful remedies of pain

Too much already maddens in the veins,
(Since pain in spite of all our care will come,) And all the finer fluids through the skin
Should never with your prosperous days of health Explore their flight; me, near the cool cascade
Grow too familiar: for, by frequent use,

Reclin'd, or saunt'ring in the lofty grove,
The strongest medicines lose their healing power, No needless slight occasion should engage
And even the surest poisons theirs to kill.

To pant and sweat beneath the fiery noot. Let those who from the frozen Arctos reach Now the fresh morn alone, and mellow eve, Parch'd Mauritania, or the sultry west,

To shady walks and active rural sports Or the wide flood that laves rich Indostan,

Invite. But while the chilling dews descend, Plunge thrice a day, and in the tepid wave

May nothing tempt you to the cold embrace Untwist their stubborn pores; that full and free Of humid skies; though 'tis no vulgar joy Th'evaporation through the soften'd skin

To trace the horrors of the solemn wood, May bear proportion to the swelling blood. While the soft evening saddens into night, So may they 'scape the fever's rapid flames; Though the sweet poet of the vernal grores So feel untainted the hot breath of hell.

Melts all the night in strains of am'rous woe. With us, the man of no complaint demands

The shades descend, and midnight o'er the world The warm ablution just enough to clear

Expands her sable wings. Great nature droops The sluices of the skin, enough to keep

Through all her works. Now happy he whose tai The body sacred from indecent soil.

Has o'er his languid powerless limbs diffu'd
Still to be pure, ev'n did it not conduce

A pleasing lassitude; he not in vain
(As much it does) to health, were greatly worth Invokes the gentle deity of dreams;
Your daily pains. 'Tis this adorns the rich; His powers the most voluptuously dissolve
The want of this is poverty's worst woe;

In soft repose : on him the balmy dews
With this external virtue


Of sleep with double nutriment descend.
A decent grace; without it youth and charms But would you sweetly waste the blank of night
Are loathsome. This the venal graces know; In deep oblivion; or on fancy's wings
So doubtless do your wives: for married sires, Visit the paradise of happy dreams,
As well as lovers, still pretend to taste ;

And waken cheerful as the lively morn; Nor is it less (all prudent wives can tell)

Oppress not nature sinking down to rest
To lose a husband's than a lover's heart.

With feasts too late, too solid,
But now the hours and seasons when to toil, But be the first concoction half maturd,
From foreign themes recal my wandering song. Ere you to mighty indolence resign
Some labour fasting, or but slightly fed

Your passive faculties. He, from the toils
To lull the grinding stomach's hungry rage. And troubles of the day, to heavier toil
Where nature feeds too corpulent a frame

Retires; whom trembling from the tower that reks 'Tis wisely done: for while the thirsty veins, Amid the clouds, or Calpe's hideous height, Impatient of lean penury, devour

The busy demons hurl; or in the main The treasur'd oil, then is the happiest time O'erwhelm; or bury, struggling under ground. To shake the lazy balsam from its cells.

Not all a monarch's luxury, the woes Now while the stomach from the full repast

Can counterpoise of that nost wretched man, Subsides, but ere returning hunger gnaws,

Whose nights are shaken with the frantic fits Ye leaner habits, give an hour to toil:

Of wild Orestes; whose delirious brain, And ye whom no luxuriancy of growth

Stung by the furies, works with poison'd thought; Oppresses yet, or threatens to oppress. But from the recent meal no labours please,

While pale and monstrous painting shocks the sale

And mangled consciousness bemoans itself Of limbs or mind. For now the cordial powers

For ever torn, and chaos floating round. Claim all the wandering spirits to a work What dreams presage, what dangers these or the Of strong and subtle toil, and great event:

Portend to sanity, though prudent seers A work of time: and you may rue the day

Reveal'd of old, and men of deathless fame, You hurried, with untimely exercise,

We would not to the superstitious mind A half-concocted chyle into the blood.

Suggest new throbs, new vanities of fear. The body overcharg'd with unctuous phlegm 'Tis ours to teach you from the peaceful night Much toil demands: the lean elastic less.

To banish omens and all restless woes. While winter chills the blood and binds the veins,

In study some protract the silent hours, No labours are too hard: by those you 'scape

Which others consecrate to mirth and wine; The slow diseases of the torpid year;

And sleep till noon, and hardly live till night. Endless to name; to one of which alone,

But surely this redeems not from the shades

or too full:

Que hour of life. Nor does it nought avail

And late resign them, though the wanton spring Of th' ever-varying circle of the day; What season you to drowsy Morpheus give

Should deck her charms with all her sister's rays: Or whether, through the tedious winter gloom,

For while the effluence of the skin maintains You tempt the midnight or the morning damps.

Its native measure, the pleuretic spring The body, fresh and vigorous from repose,

Glides harmless by; and autumn, sick to death Defies the early fogs; but, by the toils

With sallow quartans, no contagion breathes. Of wakeful day, exhausted and unstrung,

I in prophetic numbers could unfold Weakly resists the night's unwholesome breath.

The omens of the year: what seasons teem

With what diseases; what the humid south The grand discharge, th' effusion of the skin, Prepares, and what the demon of the east : Slowly impair'd, the languid maladies

But you, perhaps, refuse the tedious song. Creep on, and through the sick’ning functions steal: Besides, whatever plagues in heat, or cold,

As, when the chilling east invades the spring, Or drought, or moisture dwell, they hurt not you, The delicate narcissus pines away

Skill'd to correct the vices of the sky, In hectic languor; and a slow disease

And taught already how to each extreme Taints all the family of flowers, condemn'd

To bend your life. But should the public bane To cruel heav'ns. But why, already prone

Infect you; or some trespass of your own,
To fade, should beauty cherish its own bane? Or flaw of nature, hint mortality :
O shame! O pity! nipt with pale quadrille, Soon as a not unpleasing horror glides
And midnight cares, the bloom of Albion dies! Along the spine, through all your torpid limbs ;

By toil subdued, the warrior and the hind When first the head throbs, or the stomach feels
Sleep fast and deep: their active functions soon A sickly load, and weary pain the loins;
With generous streams the subtle tubes supply; Be Celsus call'd: the fates come rushing on;
And soon the tonic irritable nerves

The rapid fates admit of no delay.
Feel the fresh impulse, and awake the soul. While wilful you, and fatally secure,
The sons of indolence with long repose

Expect to-morrow's more auspicious sun, Grow torpid; and, with slowest Lethe drunk, The growing pest, whose infancy was weak Feebly and ling’ringly return to life,

And easy vanquish’d, with triumphant sway Blunt every sense, and powerless every limb. O'erpowers your life. For want of timely care, Ye, prone to sleep (whom sleeping most annoys,) Millions have died of medicable wounds. On the hard mattress, or elastic couch,

Ah! in what perils is vain life engag'd! Extend your limbs, and wean yourselves from sloth; What slight neglects, what trivial faults destroy Nor grudge the lean projector, of dry brain

The hardiest frame! of indolence, of toil,
And springy nerves, the blandishments of down; We die; of want, of superfluity:
Nor envy while the buried Bacchanal

The all-surrounding heaven, the vital air,
Exhales his surfeit in prolixer dreams.

Is big with death. And, though the putrid south He without riot, in the balmy feast

Be shut; though no convulsive agony Of life, the wants of nature has supply'd,

Shake, from the deep foundations of the world, Who rises cool, serene, and full of soul.

Th’imprison'd plagues; a secret venom oft But pliant nature more or less demands,

Corrupts the air, the water, and the land. As custom forms her; and all sudden change What livid deaths has sad Byzantium seen! She hates of habit, even from bad to good.

How oft has Cairo, with a mother's woe, If faults in life, or new emergencies,

Wept o'er her slaughter'd sons, and lonely streets ! From babits urge you by long time confirm’d, Even Albion, girt with less malignant skies, Slow may the change arrive, and stage by stage; Albion the poison of the gods has drank, Slow as the shadow o'er the dial moves,

And felt the sting of monsters all her own. Slow as the stealing progress of the year.

Ere yet the fell Plantagenets had spent
Observe the circling year. How unperceiv'd Their ancient rage, at Bosworth's purple field;
Her seasons change! Behold, by slow degrees, While, for which tyrant England should receive,
Stern winter tam'd into a ruder spring!

Her legions in incestuous murders mix'd,
The ripen'd spring a milder summer glows; And daily horrors ; till the fates were drunk
Departing summer sheds Pomona's store;

With kindred blood by kindred hands profus'd: And aged autumn brews the winter storm.

Another plague of more gigantic arm
Slow as they come, these changes come not void Arose, a monster never known before,
- Of mortal shocks: the cold and torrid reigns, Rear'd from Cocytus its portentous head;
The two great periods of th' important year,

This rapid fury not, like other pests,
Are in their first approaches seldom safe :

Pursu'd a gradual course, but in a day Funereal autumn all the sickly dread,

Rush'd as a storm o'er half th' astonished isle, And the black fates deform the lovely spring.

And strew'd with sudden carcases the land. He well advis'd, who taught our wiser sires

First through the shoulders, or whatever part Early to borrow Muscovy's warm spoils,

Was seiz'd the first, a fervid vapour sprung; Ere the first frost has touch'd the tender blade; With rash combustion thence, the quivering spark

Shot to the heart, and kindled all within ;

With woes resistless, and enfeebling fear; And soon the surface caught the spreading fires. Passive they sunk beneath the weighty blow. Through all the yielding pores, the melted blood Nothing but lamentable sounds was heard, Gush'd out in smoaky sweats; but nought assuag'd Nor aught was seen, but ghastly views of death. The torrid heat within, nor aught reliev'd

Infectious horror ran from face to face, The stomach's anguish. With incessant toil, And pale despair. 'Twas all the business thes, Desperate of ease, impatient of their pain,

To tend the sick, and in their turns to die. They toss'd from side to side. lo vain the stream In heaps they fell: and oft one bed, they say, Ran full and clear, they burnt, and thirsted still. The sickening, dying, and the dead contained. The restless arteries with rapid blood

Ye guardian gods, on whom the fates depend Beat strong and frequent. Thick and pantingly Of tottering Albion ! ye eternal fires, [powers The breath was fetch'd, and with huge lab'rings That lead through heaven the wandering year: x At last a heavy pain oppress'd the head, [heav’d. That o'er th' encircling elements preside!. A wild delirium came; their weeping friends May nothing worse than what this age has seza Were strangers now, and this no home of theirs. Arrive! Enough abroad, enough at home Harass’d with toil on toil, the sinking powers Has Albion bled. Here a distemper'd heaven Lay prostrate and o'erthrown; a ponderous sleep Has thinn'd her cities, from those lofty cliffs Wrapt all the senses up: they slept and died. That awe proud Gaul, to Thule's wintry reiga: In some a gentle horror crept at first

While in the west, beyond th' Atlantic foan, O'er all the limbs; the sluices of the skin

Her bravest sons, keen for the fight, have dy'd Withheld their moisture, till by art provok'd The death of cowards, and of common men; The sweats o'erflow'd; but in a clammy tide: Sunk void of wounds, and fall'n without reposa. Now free and copious, now restrain’d and slow; But from these views the weeping Muses tars, Of tinctures various, as the temperature

And other themes invite my wandering song. Had mix'd the blood; and rank with fetid streams:

As if the pent-up humours by delay
Were grown more fell, more putrid, and malign.

Here lay their hopes (though little hope remain’d;) The choice of aliment, the choice of air,
With full effusion of perpetual sweats

The use of toil, and all external things,
To drive the venom out. And here the fates

Already sung; it now remains to trace Were kind, that long they linger'd not in pain. What good, what evil from ourselves proceeds: For, who surviv'd the sun's diurnal race,

And how the subtle principle within Rose from the dreary gates of hell redeem'd: Inspires with health, or mines with strange decay Some the sixth hour oppress'd, and some the third. The passive body. Ye poetic shades,

Of many thousands, few untainted ’scap'd; Who know the secrets of the world unseen, Of those infected, fewer 'scap'd alive;

Assist my song! For, in a doubtful theme of those who liv'd, some felt a second blow;

Engag'd, I wander through mysterious ways. And whom the second spar'd, a third destroy'd. There is, they say (and I believe there is) Frantic with fear, they sought by flight to shun A spark within us of th' immortal fire, The fierce contagion. O'er the mournful land That animates and moulds the grosser frame; Th’infected city pour'd her hurrying swarms: And, when the body sinks, escapes to heaven, Rous'd by the flames that fir'd her seats around, Its native seat, and mixes with the gods. Th’infected country rush'd into the town.

Meanwhile this heavenly particle pervades Some, sad at home, and in the desart some,

The mortal elements; in every nerve Abjur'd the fatal commerce of mankind

It thrills with pleasure, or grows mad with pain :
In vain : where'er they fled, the fates pursu'd. And, in its secret conclave, as it feels
Others, with hopes more specious, cross'd the main, The body's woes and joys, this ruling power
To seek protection in far distant skies;

Wields at its will the dull material world,
But none they found. It seem'd the general air, And is the body's health or malady.
From pole to pole, from Atlas to the east,

By its own toil the gross corporeal frame
Was then at enmity with English blood.

Fatigues, extenuates, or destroys itself. For, but the race of England, all were safe

Nor less the labours of the mind corrode In foreign climes; nor did this fury taste

The solid fabric: for by subtle parts, The foreign blood which England then contain'd. And viewless atoms, secret nature moves Where should they fly? The circumambient heaven The mighty wheels of this stupendous world. Involv'd them still; and every breeze was bane. By subile fluids pour'd through subtle tubes, Where find relief? The salutary art

The natural, vital functions are perform’d. Was mute, and, startled at the new disease,

By these the stubborn aliments are tam'd; In fearful hopeless omens gave. (prayers; The toiling heart distributes life and strength; To Heaven with suppliant rites they sent their These the still-crumbling frame rebuild; and these Ileaven heard them not. Of every hope depriv'd; Are lost in thinking, and dissolve in air. Fatigu'd with vain resources; and subdued

But 'tis not thought (for still the soul's employ the

« AnteriorContinuar »