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THE ART OF PRESERVING HEALTH.
Daughter of Pæon, queen of every joy, Hygeia ; whose indulgent smile sustains The various race luxuriant nature pours, And on th' immortal essences bestows Immortal youth ; auspicious, O 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 lothesome gloom, Where in deep Erebus involv'd the fiends Grow more profane. Whatever shapes of death, Shook from the hideous chambers of the globe, Swarm through the shudd'ring air: whatever
Without thy cheerful active energy
Harder in clear and animated song
Nor should I wander doubtful of my way,
Ye who amid this feverish world would wear
That fans the ever undulating sky;
Skin ill-perspiring, and the purple flood A kindly sky! whose fost'ring power regales In languid eddies loitering into phlegm. Man, beast, and all the vegetable reign.
Yet not alone from humid skies we pine;
Bare and extended wide without a stream,
Which, by the surface, from the blood exhales. See where enthron’d in adamantine state,
The lungs grow rigid, and with toil essay
Their flexible vibrations; or, inflam’d,
That slow as Lethe wanders through the veins: Rural or gay.) O! from the summer's rage,
Unactive in the services of life, 0! wrap me in the friendly gloom that hides Unfit to lead its pitchy current through Um brageous Ham!-But, if the busy town
The secret mazy channels of the brain. Att ract thee still to toil for power or gold,
The melancholic fiend (that worst despair Sweetly thou mayst thy vacant hours possess of physic) hence the rust-complexion'd man In Hampstead, courted by the western wind; Pursues, whose blood is dry, whose fibres gain Or Greenwich, waving o'er the winding flood; Too stretch'd a tone: and hence in climes adust Or lose the world amid the sylvan wilds
So sudden tumults seize the trembling nerves, Of Dulwich, yet by barbarous arts unspoil'd. And burning fevers glow with double rage. Green rise the Kentish hills in cheerful air;
Fly, if you can, these violent extremes
To half mankind, a further task ensues ;
How breathe, unhurt, the withering element, Begot by Eurus, when his brutal force
Or hazy atmosphere: though custom moulds Compress'd the slothful naiad of the fens.
To ev'ry clime the soft Promethean clay; From such a mixture sprung, this fitful pest
And he who first the fogs of Essex breath'd With fev'rish blasts subdues the sick’ning land: (So kind his native air) may in the fens Cold tremors come, with mighty love of rest, Of Essex from inveterate ills revive, Convulsive yawnings, lassitude, and pains
At pure Montpelier or Bermuda caught. That sting the burden'd brows, fatigue the loins, But if the raw and oozy heaven offend, And rack the joints and every torpid limb;
Correct the soil, and dry the sources up Then parching heat succeeds, till copious sweats Of watery exhalation : wide and deep O'erflow: a short relief from former ills.
Conduct your trenches through the quaking bog; Beneath repeated shocks the wretches pine;
Solicitous, with all your winding arts, The vigour sinks, the habit melts away;
Betray th' unwilling lake into the stream; The cheerful, pure, and animated bloom
And weed the forest, and invoke the winds Dies from the face, with squalid atrophy
To break the toils where strangled vapours lie; Devour'd, in sallow melancholy clad.
Or through the thickets send the crackling flames. And oft the sorceress, in her sated wrath,
Meantime, at home, with cheerful fires dispel Resigns them to the furies of her train;
The humid air: and let your table smoke The bloated hydrops; and the yellow fiend, With solid roast or bak'd; or what the herds Ting'd with her own accumulated gall.
Of tamer breed supply; or what the wilds In quiest of sites, avoid the mournful plain
Yield to the toilsome pleasures of the chase. Where osiers thrive, and trees that love the lake; Generous your wine, the boast of rip'ning years ; Where many lazy muddy rivers flow:
But frugal be your cups: the languid frame, Nor, for the wealth that all the Indies roll,
Vapid and sunk from yesterday's debauch, Fix near the marshy margin of the main :
Shrinks from the cold embrace of watery heavens. For from the humid soil and wat'ry reign
But neither these, nor all Apollo's arts,
Disarm the dangers of the drooping sky,
You brace your nerves, and spur the lagging blood. Skies such as these let every mortal shun
The fattning clime let all the sons of ease Who dreads the dropsy, palsy, or the gout,
Avoid; if indolence would wish to live, Tertian, corrosive scurvy, or moist catarrh:
Go, yawn and loiter out the long slow year Or any other injury that grows
In fairer skies. If droughty regions parch From raw-spun fibres idle and unstrung,
The skin and lungs, and bake the thickening blood;
Deep in the waving forest choose your seat, O’erhung, defends you from the blust'ring north,
And bleak affliction of the peevish east.
The sounding forest fluctuates in the storm;
Howl o'er the steady battlements, delights Prevail in each repast: your food supplied
Above the luxury of vulgar sleep.
had the By bleeding life, be gently wasted down,
The murmuring rivulet, and the hoarser strain By soft decoction, and a mellowing heat,
Of waters rushing o'er the slippery rocks,
Will nightly lull you to ambrosial rest.
ellette A smooth diluted chyle may ever flow.
The mind with calm delight, promotes the just The fragrant dairy, from its cool recess,
And natural movements of the harmonious frame. Its nectar, acid or benign, will pour,
Besides the sportive brook for ever shakes
Tired 'To drown your thirst; or let the mantling bowl The trembling air; that floats from hill to hill,
Tegetelo Of keen Sherbet the fickle taste relieve:
From vale to mountain, with incessant change
Your airy seat, and uninfected gods.
Chiefly for this I praise the man who builds Yet when pale seasons rise, or winter rolls
High on the breezy ridge, whose losty sides
mansion nor contagious years The mellow cask. Then, too, the scourging air Shall reach, nor deadly putrid airs annoy. Provokes to keener toils than sultry droughts
But may no fogs, from lake or fenny plain,
Whether on sun-burnt Epsom, or the plains
Your tender body through with rapid pains ;
In cloister'd air, tainted with steaming life,
Let lofty ceilings grace your ample rooms;
And still at azure noontide may your dome
Need we the sunny situation here,
Here, where the morning's misty breath infests That lofty Albion melt into the main !
More than the torrid noon ? how sickly grow, Indulgent nature, O dissolve this gloom !
How pale the plants in those ill-fated vales,
That, circled round with the gigantic heap
While on the neighbouring hill the rose inflames
The verdant spring; in virgin beauty blows Of burden’d skies; mark where the dry champaign
The tender lily, languishingly sweet; Swells into cheerful hills ; where marjoram
O'er every hedge the wanton woodbine roves, And thyme, the love of bees, perfume the air;
And autumn ripens in the summer's ray. And where the cynorrhodon with the rose
Nor less the warmer living tribes demand
The fost'ring sun : whose energy divine
Dwells not in mortal fire ; whose gen'rous heat
Glows through the mass of grosser elements, Ascend, there light thy hospitable fires :
And kindles into life the pond'rous spheres. And let them see the winter morn arise,
Cheer'd by thy kind invigorating warmth, The summer evening blushing in the west :
We court thy beams, great majesty of day!
If not the soul, the regent of this world,
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 This vital tluid, through unnumber'd tubes
Delicious fat, and all the race of oil : Pour’d by the heart, and to the heart again
For more the oily aliments relax Refunded; scourg'd for ever round and round;
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 full repast; and let sagacious age
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. And soon the tender vegetable mass
What nature well can bear; and one extreme And famine humbled, may this verse be borge. And hear, ye hardiest sons that Albion breeds, Attain'd, with temperance bear the shock of jos;
Nor crown with festive rites th' auspicious day:
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: Dismiss your parasites, who praise for hire,
But to unlock the elemental tubes, And earn the fair esteem of honest men,
Collaps’d and shrunk with long inanity, Whose praise is fame. Form’d of such clay as yours,
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 :
For the keen appetite will feast beyond
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 There are, while human miseries abound,
Oft to th'extinction of the vital flame.
Long toss'd and famish'd on the wint'ry maja; Besides provoking the lascivious taste.
The war shook off, or hospitable shore