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ARMSTRONG'S POETICAL WORKS.
PREFACE. The author of the following pieces has at last taken the trouble upon him to collect them, and to have them printed under his own inspection; a task that he had long avoided, and to which he would hardly have submitted himself at last, but for the sake of preventing their being, some time hereafter, exposed in a ragged mangled condition, and loaded with more faults than they originally had: while it might be impossible for him, by the change perhaps of one letter, to recover a whole period from the most contemptible nonsense.
Along with such pieces as he had formerly offered to the public, he takes this opportunity of presenting it with several others; some of which had lain by him many years. What he has lost, and especially what he has destroyed, would, probably enough, have been better received by the great majority of readers, than anything he has published.
But he never courted the public. He wrote chiefly for his own amusement; and because he found it an agreeable and innocent way of sometimes passing an idle hour. He has always most heartily despised the opinion of the Mobility, from the lowest to the highest: and if it is true, what he has sometimes been told, that the best judges are on his side, he desires no more in the article of fame and renown as a writer. If the best judges of this age honour him with their approbation, all the worst too of the next will favour him with theirs; when by Heaven's grace he'll be too far beyond the reach of their unmeaning praises to receive any disgust from thom.
THE ART OF PRESERVING HEALTH.
FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE YEAR M.DCC.XLIV.
DAUGHTER of Pæon, queen of every joy,
, HYGEIA;' whose indulgent smile sustains The various race luxuriant Nature pours, , And on the immortal essences bestows Immortal youth; auspicious, oh descend! Thou cheerful guardian of the rolling year, Whether thou wanton'st on the western gale, Or shak'st the rigid pinions of the north, Diffusest life and vigour through the tracts Of air, through earth, and ocean's deep domain. When through the blue serenity of heaven Thy power approaches, all the wasteful host Of Pain and Sickness, squalid and deform’d, Confounded sink into the loathsome gloom, Where in deep Erebus involv'd the Fienus Grow more profane. Whatever shapes of death, Shook from the hideous chambers of the globe, Swarm through the shuddering air: whatever plagues Or meagre famine breeds, or with slow wings Rise from the putrid watery element, The damp waste forest, motionless and rank, That smothers earth and all the breathless winds, Or the vile carnage of th’ inhuman field; Whatever baneful breathes the rotten south; Whatever ills th' extremes or sudden change
1 'Hygeia :' the goddess of health, was, according to the genealogy of the heathen deities, the daughter of Æsculapius; who, as well as Apollo, was distinguished by the name of Peon
Of cold and hot, or moist and dry produce;
Without thy cheerful active energy
Nor should I wander doubtful of my way,
Thou long the fav'rite of the healing powers,
Ye who amid this feverish world would wear
1 Mead :' Richard-born in Stepney, 1673—companion in youth of Boerhaave, author of books on poisons and pestilential contagions, connected with the introduction of inoculation, physician to George II; died in 1754