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Then prompt no more the follies you decry, As tyrants doom their tools of guilt to die; 'T is yours, this night, to bid the reign commence Of rescued Nature and reviving Sense;

To chase the charms of sound, the pomp of show, For useful mirth and salutary woe;

Bid scenic Virtue form the rising age,

And Truth diffuse her radiance from the stage.




CONDEMN'D to Hope's delusive mine,
As on we toil from day to day,
By sudden blasts, or slow decline,
Our social comforts drop away.

Well try'd through many a varying year,
See Levet to the grave descend,
Officious, innocent, sincere,

Of ev'ry friendless name the friend.

Yet still he fills affection's eye,

Obscurely wise, and coarsely kind;

Nor, letter'd Arrogance, deny
Thy praise to merit unrefin'd.

When fainting nature call'd for aid,

And hov'ring death prepar'd the blow

His vig'rous remedy display'd

The pow'r of art without the show.

In Misery's darkest cavern known,
His useful care was ever nigh,
Where hopeless Anguish pour'd his groan,
And lonely Want retir'd to die.

No summons mock'd by chill delay,
No petty gain disdain'd by pride,
The modest wants of ev'ry day
The toil of ev'ry day supply'd.

His virtues walk'd their narrow round,
Nor made a pause, nor left a void;
And sure th' Eternal Master found
The single talent well employ'd.

The busy day-the peaceful night,
Unfelt, uncounted, glided by;

His frame was firm.

his powers were bright,

Though now his eightieth year was nigh.

Then with no fiery throbbing pain,
No cold gradations of decay,
Death broke at once the vital chain,

And freed his soul the nearest way.



OHN ARMSTRONG, a physician and poet, was born about 1709 at Castleton in Roxburghshire, where his father was the parish minister. He was brought up to the medical profession, which he studied at the university of Edinburgh, where he took his degree. He settled in London in the double capacity of physician and man of letters, and he rendered himself known by writings in each. In 1744 his capital work, the didactic poem, entitled "The Art of preserving Health," made its appearance, and raised his literary reputation to a height which his subsequent publications scarcely sustained. It has therefore been selected for this work; and it may be affirmed, that of the class to which it belongs, scarcely any English performance can claim superiour merit. Its topics are judiciously chosen from all those which can add grace or beauty to a difficult subject; and as he was naturally gifted with a musical ear, his lines are scarcely ever harsh.

In 1760 Dr. Armstrong had interest enough to obtain the appointment of physician to the army in Germany, which ho retained till its return. He

then resumed his practice in London; but his habits and manners opposed an insurmountable bar against popular success. He possessed undoubted abilities, but a morbid sensibility preyed on his temper, and his intellectual efforts were damped by a languid listlessness. He died in September, 1779, leaving considerable savings from a very moderate income.


Book I.


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

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Hygeia, the goddess of health, was, according to the genealogy of the heathen deities, the daughter of Esculapius; who, as well as Apollo, was dis tinguished by the name of Pæon,

Of Pain and Sickness, squalid and deform'd,
Confounded sink into the loathsome 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 shuddering air: whatever plagues
Or meagre famine breeds, or with slow wings
Rise from the putrid wat'ry 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
Of cold and hot, or moist and dry produce;
They fly thy pure effulgence: they and all
The secret poisons of avenging Heaven,
And all the pale tribes halting in the train
Of Vice and heedless Pleasure: or if aught
The comet's glare amid the burning sky,
Mournful eclipse, or planets ill combin'd,
Portend disastrous to the vital world;
Thy salutary power averts their rage,
Averts the general bane: and but for thee
Nature would sicken, nature soon would die.
Without thy cheerful active energy

No rapture swells the breast, no poet sings,
No more the maids of Helicon delight.
Come then with me, O goddess, heav'nly gay!
Begin the song; and let it sweetly flow,
And let it wisely teach thy wholesome laws :
"How best the fickle fabric to support
Of mortal man; in healthful body how

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