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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.
Th’insipid stream: though golden Ceres yields
A more voluptuous, a more sprightly draught; Aught habitable lies. And whither leads,
Perhaps more active. Wines unmix’d, and all
The gluey floods that from the vex'd abyss
Embalm'd in fiery quintessence of wine,
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;
More fruitful than th' accumulated board
And with more active poison, than the floods
Ah! sly deceiver! Branded o'er and o'er,
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
And, like a torrent full and rapid, clears
Learn temperance, friends; and hear without To learn to bear is easier than to shuo.
Ah! when ambition, meagre love of gold,
To moisten well the thirsty suffrages;
Of Comus and his rout, wilt thou contend
With Centaurs long to hardy deeds inur’d?
By slow degrees the liberal arts are won;
And Hercules grew strong. But when you smooth
The brows of care, indulge your festive vein O'er the chaf’d pebbles hurl'd, yields wholesome,
In cups by well-inform'd experience found
The least your bane: and only with your friends. pure, Avd mellow draughts ; except when winter thaws,
There are sweet follies; frailties to be seen And half the mountains melt into the tide.
By friends alone, and men of generous minds.
Oh! seldom may the fated lours return
Of drinking deep! I would not daily taste,
Except when life declines, even sober cups. As fill from Lethe Belgia's slow canals; (With rest corrupt, with vegetation green;
Weak withering age no rigid law forbids,
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
Gliblier to play. But youth has better joys:
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
Or to the cloister'd gallery or arcade.
Attain'd and equal to his moderate mind;
Absolv'd, and sacred from the selfish crowd.
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
Nature's free charms, and vie for sylvan fame:
Who plans th'enchanted garden, who directs
The visto best, and best conducts the stream; A stony channel rolls its rapid maze,
the fastest thicken and ascend; Swarms with the silver fry. Such, through the Whom first the welcome spring salutes; who shows bounds
The earliest bloom, the sweetest proudest charms
Blest winter nights! when as the genial fire
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)
The decent, honest, cheerful husbandman
And at my table find himself at home.
Whate'er you study, in whate'er you sweat,
Some love the manly foils;
The tennis some; and some the graceful dance. Yet in my mind (and not relentless I)
Others more hardy, range the purple heath,
Or naked stubble; where from field to field
The sounding coveys urge their labouring flight;
Eager amid the rising cloud to pour To haunt the peopled stream; the garden yields
The gun's unerring thunder: and there are A soft amusement, an humane delight.
Whom still the meed of the green archer charms.
He chooses best, whose labour entertains
His vaçant fancy most: the toil you bate
Fatigues you soon, and scarce improves your limbs. The amiable result of happy chance,
As beauty still has blemish; and the mind
The most accomplish'd its imperfect side;
Few bodies are there of that happy mould
But some one part is weaker than the rest:
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 he! 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