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Roll’d from so many thundering chimneys, taine
The putrid steams that overswarm the sky;
This caustic venom would perhaps corrode
Those tender cells that draw the vital air,
In vain with all their unctuous rills bedew'd ;
Or, by the drunken venous tubes, that yawn
In countless pores o'er all the pervious skin,
Imbibed, would poison the balsamic blood,
And rouse the heart to every fever's rage.
While yet you breathe, away; the rural wilds
Invite; the mountains call you, and the vales;
The woods, the streams, and each ambrosial breeze
That fans the ever undulating sky;
A kindly sky! whose fostering power regales
Man, beast, and all the vegetable reign.
Find then some woodland scene where Nature smiles
Benign, where all her honest children thrive.
To us there wants not many a happy seat!
Look round the smiling land, such numbers rise
We hardly fix, bewilder'd in our choice.
See where, enthroned in adamantine state,
Proud of her bards, imperial Windsor sits;
There choose thy seat, in some aspiring grove
Fast by the slowly-winding Thames; or where
Broader she laves fair Richmond's green retreats,
(Richmond that sees an hundred villas rise
Rural or gay). Oh! from the summer's rage,
Oh! wrap me in the friendly gloom that hides
Umbrageous Haml-But if the busy town
Attract thee still to toil for power or gold,
Sweetly thou mayst thy vacant hours possess
In Hampstead, courted by the western wind;
Or Greenwich, waving o'er the winding flood;
Or lose the world amid the sylvan wilds

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Of Dulwich, yet by barbarous arts unspoild.
Green rise the Kentish hills in cheerful air;
But on the marshy plains that Lincoln spreads
Build not, nor rest too long thy wandering feet.
For on a rustic throne of dewy turf,
With baneful fogs her aching temples bound,
Quartana there presides: a meagre fiend
Begot by Eurus, when his brutal force
Compress'd the slothful Naiad of the Fens.
From such a mixture sprung, this fitful pest
With fev'rish blasts subdues the sickening land:
Cold tremors come, with mighty love of rest,
Convulsive yawnings, lassitude, and pain
That sting the burdened brows, fatigue the loins,
And rack the joints and every torpid limb;
Then parching heat succeeds, till copious sweats
O’erflow: a short relief from former ills.
Beneath repeated shocks the wretches pine;
The vigour sinks, the habit melts away;
The cheerful, pure, and animated bloom
Dies from the face, with squalid atrophy
Devoured, in sallow melancholy clad.
And oft the sorceress, in her sated wrath,
Resigns them to the furies of her train;
The bloated Hydrops, and the yellow Fiend
Tinged with her own accumulated gall.

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In quest of sites, avoid the mournful plain
Where osiers thrive, and trees that love the lake;
Where many lazy muddy rivers flow:
Nor for the wealth that all the Indies roll
Fix near the marshy margin of the main.
For from the humid soil and watery reign
Eternal vapours rise; the spongy air

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For ever weeps: or, turgid with the weight
Of waters, pours a sounding deluge down.
Skies such as these let every mortal shun
Who dreads the dropsy, palsy, or the gout,
Tertian, corrosive scurvy, or moist catarrlı;
Or any other injury that grows
From raw-spun fibres idle and unstrung,
Skin ill-perspiring, and the purple flood
In languid eddies loitering into phlegm.

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Yet not alone from humid skies we pine;
For air may be too dry. The subtle heaven,
That winnows into dust the blasted downs,
Bare and extended wide without a stream,
Too fast imbibes th' attenuated lymph
Which, by the surface, from the blood exhales.
The lungs grow rigid, and with toil essay
Their flexible vibrations; or inflamed,
Their tender ever-moving structure thaws.
Spoild of its limpid vehicle, the blood
A mass of lees remains, a drossy tide
That slow as Lethe wanders through the veins;
Unactive in the services of life,
Unfit to lead its pitchy current through
The secret mazy channels of the brain.
The melancholic fiend (that worst despair
Of physic) hence the rust-complexion'd man
Pursues, whose blood is dry, whose fibres gain
Too stretch'd a tone: and hence in climes adust
So sudden tumults seize the trembling nerves,
And burning fevers glow with double rage.

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Fly, if you can, these violent extremes
Of air; the wholesome is nor moist nor dry.

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But as the power of choosing is denied
To half mankind, a farther task ensues;
How best to mitigate these fell extremes,
How breathe unhurt the withering element,
Or hazy atmosphere: though custom moulds
To every clime the soft Promethean clay;
And he who first the fogs of Essex breathed
(So kind is native air) may in the fens
Of Essex from inveterate ills revive
At pure Montpelier or Bermuda caught.
But if the raw and cozy heaven offend:
Correct the soil, and dry the sources up
Of watery exhalation; wide and deep
Conduct your trenches through the quaking bog; 200
Solicitous, with all your winding arts,
Betray th' unwilling lake into the stream;
And weed the forest, and invoke the winds
To break the toils where strangled vapours lie;
Or through the thickets. send the crackling flames.
Meantime at home with cheerful fires dispel
The humid air: and let your table smoke
With solid roast or baked; or what the herds
Of tamer breed supply; or what the wilds
Yield to the toilsome pleasures of the chase.
Generous your wine, the boast of ripening years;
But frugal be your cups: the languid frame,
Vapid and sunk from yesterday's debauch,
Shrinks from the cold embrace of watery heavens.
But neither these nor all Apollo's arts,
Disarm the dangers of the dropping sky,
Unless with exercise and manly toil
You brace your nerves, and spur the lagging blood.
The fattening clime let all the sons of ease
Avoid; if indolence would wish to live.

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Go, yawn and loiter out the long slow year
In fairer skies. If droughty regions parch
The skin and lungs, and bake the thickening blood,
Deep in the waving forest choose your seat,
Where fuming trees refresh the thirsty air ;
And wake the fountains from their secret beds,
And into lakes dilate the rapid stream.
Here spread your gardens wide; and let the cool,
The moist relaxing vegetable store
Prevail in each repast: your food supplied
By bleeding life, be gently wasted down,
By soft decoction and a mellowing heat,
To liquid balm; or, if the solid mass
You choose, tormented in the boiling wave;
That through the thirsty channels of the blood
A smooth diluted chyle may ever flow.
The fragrant dairy from its cool recess
Its nectar acid or benign will pour
To drown your thirst; or let the mantling bowl
Of keen sherbet the fickle taste relieve.
For with the viscous blood the simple stream
Will hardly mingle; and fermented cups
Oft dissipate more moisture than they give.
Yet when pale seasons rise, or winter rolls
His horrors o'er the world, thou may’st indulge
In feasts more genial, and impatient broach
The mellow cask. Then too the scourging air
Provokes to keener toils than sultry droughts
Allow. But rarely we such skies blaspheme.
Steep'd in continual rains, or with raw fogs
Bedew'd, our seasons droop: incumbent still
A pond'rous heaven o'erwhelms the sinking soul.
Lab'ring with storms in heapy mountains rise
Th’embattled clouds, as if the Stygian shades

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