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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
To wholesome food the abominable growth
Rejects like bane such lothesome lusciousness. To every particle that moves or lives;
The languid stomach curses even the pure
Delicious fat, and all the race of oil :
For more the oily aliments relax
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.
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.
But let the man whose bones are thinly clad,
With cheerful ease and succulent repast,
Improve his habit if he can; for each
Extreme departs from perfect sanity.
I could relate what table this demands,
Or that complexion ; what the various powers
of various foods: but fifty years would roll, The chyle to blood; the foamy purple tide
And fifty more, before the tale were done.
Besides, there often lurks some nameless, strange, To different parts their winding course pursue ;
Peculiar thing; nor on the skin display'd,
Which finds a poison in the food that most
The temp'rature affects. There whose blood Can labour into blood. The hungry meal
Impetuous rages through the turgid veins,
Who better bear the fiery fruits of Ind
Than the moist melon, or pale cucumber.
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:
The balmy quintessence of every flower,
And every grateful herb that decks the spring;
The fost'ring dew of tender sprouting life;
The best resection of declining age ;
The kind restorative of those who lie
Half dead and panting, from the doubtful strife
Of nature struggling in the grasp of death.
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:
But to unlock the elemental tubes,
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
Oft to th'extinction of the vital flame.
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
Attain'd, with temperance bear the shock of jos;
Such feast might prove more fatal than the waves, Untam’d, untractable, no harvests wave:
Pomona bates them, and the clownish god
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;
Kind nature tempts not to such gifts as these.
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
With milky riches; and in horrid mail
Or hardly rais'd by artificial fire
To vapid life. Here with a mother's smile
Here buxom Ceres reigns: th' autumnal sea
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
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
Between creation and abhorr'd decay:
It ever did; perhaps and ever will.
New worlds are still emerging from the deep;
Through various toils th’adventurous Muse has past;
Rude is her theme, and hardly fit for song;
Plain, and of little ornament; and I
But little practis'd in th' Aonian arts.
Yet not in vain such labours have we tried,
If aught these lays the fickle health confirm.
To you, ye delicate, I write; for you
And grow still paler by the midnight lamp.
Not to debilitate with timorous rules
A hardy frame; nor needlessly to brave
Bears all the blasts that sweep the wint'ry heav'n.
Behold the labourer of the glebe, who toils
In dust, in rain, in cold and sultry skies;
Nought anxious he what sickly stars ascend.
He studies none. Yet him nor midnight fogs
Infest, nor those envenom'd shasts that ily
Robust with labour, and by custom steel'd
Serene he bears the peevish eastern blast,
And uninfected breathes the mortal south.
Such the reward of rude and sober life;
Of labour such. By health the peasant's toil
Indeed, and temperance pain. By arts like these
What does not fade? The tower that long had And Rome's unconquer'd legions urg'd their way,
Toil, and be strong. By toil the flaccid nerves
Grow firm, and gain a more compacted tone;
The greener juices are by toil subdu’d,
Mellow'd, and subtiliz'd; the vapid old
Expellid, and all the rancour of the blood.
Come, my companions, ye who feel the charms
Where chance or fancy leads our roving walk:
And shed a charming languor o'er the soul.
The vigorous ether, in unmanly warmth
Indulge at home; nor even when Eurus' blasts
My liberal walks, save when the skies in rain Being, in various systems, fluctuates still
Or fogs relent, no season should confine