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That, circled round with the gigantic heap
Of mountains, never felt, nor ever hope
To feel, the genial vigour of the fun!
While on the neighbouring hill the rose inflames
The verdant spring; in virgin beauty blows
The tender lily, languishingly sweet ;
O'er every hedge the wanton woodbine roves,
And autumn ripens in the summer's ray.
Nor less the warmer living tribes demand
The foft'ring fun: whose energy divine
Dwells not in mortal fire ; whose gen'rous heat
Glows thro' the mass of grosser elements,
And kindles into life the pond'rous spheres.
Chear'd by thy kind invigorating warmth,
We court thy beams, great majesty of day!
If not the soul, the regent of this world,
First-born of heaven, and only less than God !
Diet, the subject of the second book would not admit of so much poetical ornament as the proceeding, yet this is not without its beauties. At the beginning the author Speaks of the circulation of the blood, and of its continual waste, which is supplyed by fresh aliments reduced by the concoctive powers into chyle, and then into blood; and, before he enters on the rules of diet, makes this just observation.
Nothing fo foreign but th' athletic hind
Can labour into blood. The hungry meal
Alone he fears, or aliments too thin ;
By violent powers too easily subdu'd,
Too soon expelld. His daily labour thaws,
To friendly chyle, the most rebellious mass
That salt can harden, or the smoke of years ;
Nor does his gorge the rancid bacon rue,
Nor that which Cefiria sends, tenacious paste
Of folid milk.
This is follow'd by some rules for the choice of food, in which the author observes that liquid food, vegetables, and young animals, are easiest of digestion : But he inveighs against such animal food as is made fat by unnataral means.
Some with high forage, and luxuriant ease,
Indulge the veteran ox; but wiser thou,
From the bald mountain or the barren downs,
Expect the flocks by frugal nature fed ;
A race of purer blood, with exercise
Refind and scanty fare: For, old or young,
- The stall'd are never healthy; nor the cramm’d.
Not all the culinary arts can tame,
To wholesome food, the abominable growth
Of reft and gluttony; the prudent taite
Rejects like bane such loathsome lusciousness.
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
(Fond to incorporate with all it meets)
Coily they mix, and shun with Nippery wiles.
The woo'd embrace
Chuse leaner vianer viands, ye whose jovial make
Too fast the gummy nutriment imbibes :
Chuse fober meals; and rouse to active life
Your cumbrous clay ; nor on th' infeebling down,
Irrefolute, protract the morning hours.
But let the man whose bones are thinly clad,
With chearful ease and succulent repast
Improve his slender habit. Each extreme
From the blest mean of fanity departs.
Taught by experience foon you may discern
What pleases, what offends. Avoid the cates
That lull the ficken'd appetite too long;
Or heave with fev'rish futhings all the face,
Burn in the palms, and parch the roughning tongue ;
Or much diminish or too much increase
Th' expence, which nature's wise economy,
Without or waste or avarice, maintains.
He justly observes that every creature, except man, is directed by instinct to its proper
aliment This is so true, that their instinct has often been of the utmost consequence to those who have failed in quest of countries undiscover'd, where they never attempt to eat any fruits which the
birds have not fed on. But man, voluptuous man, says our author, feeds with all the commoners of nature, and
Is by superior faculties misled;
Mifled from pleasure even in quest of joy.
Sated with nature's boons, what thousands seek,
With dishes tortur'd from their native taste
And mad variety, to fpur beyond
Its wiser will the jaded appetite !
Is this for pleasure : Learn a juster taste;
And know that temperance is true luxury.
Would you long the sweets of health enjoy
Or husband pleasure; at one impious meal
Exhaust not half the bounties of the year,
realm. It matters not mean while
How much to morrow differ from to-day ;
So far indulge: 'tis fit, besides, that man,
To change obnoxious, be to change inur’d.
But stay the curious appetite, and taste
With caution fruits you never tried before.
For want of use the kindeft aliment
Sometimes offends; while custom tames the rage
Of poison to mild amity with life.
He then points out the mischiefs that attend eating to excess, even of any aliment, and advises us to observe the calls of nature, but not so as to eat too freely after long abstinence.
When hunger calls, obey ; nor often wait
”Till hunger Tarpen to corrosive pain :
For the keen appetite will feast beyond
What nature well can bear; and one extreme
Ne'er without danger meets its own reverse.
Too greedily th' exhausted veins absorb
The recent chyle, and load enfeebled powers
Oft to th' extinction of the vital flame.
To the pale cities, by the firm-set fiege
And famine humbled, may this verse be borne;
And hear, ye hardiest sons that Albion breeds
Long toss’d and famith'd on the wintry main ;
The war shook off, or hospitable shore
Attain'd, with temperance bear the shock of joy ;
Nor crown with festive rites th' auspicious day;
Such feast might prove more fatal than the waves,
Than war or famine.
But tho' the extremes of eating, or of fafting, are to be avoided, it is imprudent to confine the stomach al. ways to the same exact portion; for, as he observes,
1 it much avails
Ever with gentle tide to ebb and flow
From this to that: So nature learns to bear
Whatever chance or headlong appetite
May bring. Befides, a meagre day subdues
The cruder clods by sloth or luxury
Collected, and unloads the wheels' of life.
He then speaks of the regimen necessary to be observed in the several seasons of the year, and recommends in the summer the tender vegetable brood, with the cool moit viands of the dairy; but tells us that
Pale humid winter loves the generous board,
The male more copious, and a warmer fare !
And longs with old wood and old wine to chear
His quaking heart. The seasons which divide
Th'empires of heat and cold, by neither claim'd,
Influenc'd by both, a middle regimen
Impose. Thro' autumn's languishing domain
Descending, nature by degrees invites
To glowing luxury. But from the depth
Of winter when th' invigorated year
Emerges; when Favonius flush'd with love,
Toyful and young, in every breeze descends
More warm and wanton on his kindling bride;
Then shepherds, then begin to spare your flocks ;
And learn, with wife humanity, to check
The luft of blood. Now pregnant earth commits
A various offspring to th' indulgent ky :
Now bounteous nature feeds with lavish hand
The prone creation; yields what once suffic'd
Their dainty sovereign, when the world was young;
Ere yet the barb'rous thirst of blood had seiz'd
The human breast. Each rolling month matures
The food that suits it most; so does each clime.
This passage is, I think, very beautiful, as also is the following introduction to his precepts for drinking water, and the subsequent lines concerning the choice, and proper use of that element.
Now come, ye Naiads, to the fountains lead;
Now let me wander thro' your gelid reign.
Iburn to view th' enthusiastic wilds
By mortal else untrod. I hear the din
Of waters thundring o'er the ruin'd cliffs.
With holy reverence I approach the rocks
Whence glide the streams renown'd in ancient song.
Here from the desart down the rumbling steep
First springs the Nile; here bursts the founding Po
In angry waves ; Euphrates hence devolves
A mighty flood to water half the East;
And there, in gothic folitude reclin'd,
The chearless Tanais pours his hoary urn.
The task remains to fing
Your gifts, (so Pæon, so the powers of health
Command) to praise your crystal element:
The chief ingredient in heaven's various works ;
Whofe flexile genius sparkles in the gem,
Grows firm in oak, and fugitive in wine ;
The vehicle, the source, of nutriment
And life, to all that vegetate or live.
() comfortable streams! with eager lips
And trembling hand the languid thirsty quaff
New life in you ; fresh vigour fills their veins.
No warmer cups the rural
None warmer fought the fires of human kind.
Oh! could those worthies from the world of Gods
Return to visit their degenerate fons,
How would they scorn the joys of modern time,
With all our art and toil improv'd to pain!