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While winter chills the blood, and binds the veins,
No labours are too hard : by those you ’scape
The flow diseases of the torpid year ;
But from the burning Lion when the fun.
Pours down his fultry wrath ; now while the blood
Too much already maddens in the veins,
And all the finer fluids thro' the skin
Explore their flight; me, near the cool cascade .
Reclin'd, or fauntring in the lofty grove,
No needlefs flight occafion should engage
To pant and sweat beneath the fiery noon,
Now the fresh morn alone and mellow eve
To shady walks and aćtive rural sports
Invite. But, while the chillings dews descend,
May nothing tempt you to the cold embrace
Of humid skies; tho' 'tis no vulgar joy
To trace the horrors of the folemn wood,
While the fof ev’ning faddens into night :
Tho' the sweet poet of the vernal groves
Melts all the night in strains of am’rous woe.
And we have the pleasure of rest after labour, and on admonition against eating too much, and too late at night, pointed out in the following beautiful lines.
This is followed by a caution against misapplying those hours wherein nature intended we should rest ; which is heighten’d and made more pleasing, by the beautiful fimile and moral reflection with which it concludes.
He then points out the reafon why those who labour obtain fo much refi efiment from sleep, while the indolent hardly find any relief.
By toil subdu'd, the warrior and the hind
Sleep fast and deep : their aćtive functions foon
With generous streams the subtile tubes supply ;
And foon the tonick irritable nerves
Feel the fresh impulse and awake the foul.
The fons of Indolence, with long repose,
Grow torpid ; and with flowest Letle drunk,
Feebly and lingringly return to life,
Elunt every fense, and pow’rless every limb.
Slow as the fhadow o’er the dial moves,
Slow as the stealing progress of the year.
As it was necessary under this article to fay fomething about cloathing the body, the author makes a few just observations on the variations of the feasons ; which he concludes with these lines.
The cold and torrid reigns,
The two great periods of th' important year,
Are in their first approaches feldom fafe :
Funereal autumn all the fickly dread,
And the black fates deform the lovely spring.
He well advis'd who taught our wifer fires
Early to borrow Muscovy’s warm fpoils,
Ere the first frost has touch'd the tender blade ;
And late resign them, tho' the wanton spring
Should deck her charms with all her fifter's rays,
For while the effluence of the skin maintains
Its native measure, the pleuritic spring
Glides harmless by ; and autumn, fick to death
With fallow quartans, no contagion breathes.
poems. In this before us the author, when confidering
the different shapes in which death approaches the human race, takes notice of the blood spilt by the Plantagenets, and of the sweating fickness, which swept off such amazirg numbers of Engli/%men in every clime, and of Englist men only ; for foreigners, tho' residing in this country, were no ways affected with that diforder: and this, tho' a fubject incapable, as it were, of ornament, he has wrought up with fo much art, that it is both pathetic . and pleasing.
What he has faid on the paffions, the subjećt of the fourth book, begins with the following reflećtion, which is truly philosophical, and very properly introduces the fentiments that follow it.
There is, they fay, (and I believe there is)
A spark within us of th' immortal fire,
That animates and'moulds the groffer frame ; -
And when the body finks escapes to heav'n, - |
Its native feat, and mixes with the Gods. !
Mean while this heav'nly particle pervades |
The mortal elements, in every nerve * | 1
It thrills with pleasure, or grows mad with pain, |
And, in its fecret conclave, as it feels :
The body's woes and joys, this ruling power ' ,
Wields at its will the dull material world,
And is the body’s health or malady.
By its own toil the grofs corporeal frame
Fatigues, extenuates, or destroys itself.
Nor less the labours of the mind corrode
The folid fabric : for by subtle parts,
And viewless atoms, secret nature moves |
The mighty wheels of this stupendous world.
By subtle fluids pour'd thro' subtle tubes
The natural, vital, functions are perform'd,
By these the stubborn aliments are tam’d;
The toiling heart distributes life and strength ;
These the still-crumbling frame rebuild ; and these
Are loft in thinking, and diffolve in air,
But 'tis not thought, as he observes, (for every moment the mind is employ’d) ’tis painful thinking ; 'tis the anxiety that attends fevere study, discontent, care, love, hatred, fear and jealousy, that fatigues the foul and impairs the body.
Hence the lean gloom that melancholy wears;
The lover’s paleness ; and the fallow hue
Of envy, jealousy ; the meagre stare
Of fore revenge : the canker’d body hence
Betrays each fretful motion of the mind.
For reading he gives us a precept that may be extremely useful to the studious,
While reading pleases, but no longer, read;
And read aloud refounding Homer's strain,
And wield the thunder of Demosthener.
The chest fo exercis'd improves its strength ;
And quick vibrations thro’ the bowels drive
The restless blood, which in unaćtive days
Would loiter elfe thro' unelastic tubes.
Deem it not tristing while I recommend
What posture fuits: To stand and fit by turns,
As nature prompts, is best. But o'er your leaves
To lean for ever, cramps the vital parts,
And robs the fine machinery of its play.
'Tis the great art of life to manage well
The restless mind. For ever on pursuit
Of knowledge bent, it starves the groffer powers :
Quite unemploy'd, against its own repose
It turns its fatal edge, and sharper pangs
Than what the body knows embitter life.
After this the poet gives us a striking pićture of the dreadful effećts of our misguided passions, which is heightened with many admirable reflections, fome of which I shall here instit. *
For while yourself you anxiously explore,
Timorous felf-love, with fickning fancy’s aid,
Presents the danger that you dread the most,
And ever galls you in your tender part.
Hence fome for love, and fome for jealousy,
For grim religion fome, and fome for pride,
Have lost their reafon : fome for fear of want,
Want all their lives ; and others every day
For fear of dying fuffer worfe than death.
And what avails it, that indulgent heaven
From mortal eyes has wrapt the woes to come ;
If we, ingenious to torment ourselves,
Grow pale at hideous fićtions of our own ?
Enjoy the present ; nor with needlefs cares,
Of what may spring from blind misfortune's womb,
Appal the furest hour that life bestows.
Serene, and master of yourfelf, prepare .
For what may come ; and leave the rest to heav'n.
And those chronic paffions which spring from real woes, and from no diforder in the body, are not to be reason'd down, as he observes, but to be cured by fuch