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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 bak'd; 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 wat'ry Heavens.
But neither these nor all Apollo's arts,
Disarm the dangers of the dropping sky,
Unless with exercise and manly toil [blood.
You brace your nerves, and spur the lagging
The fatt'ning clime let all the sons of ease
if indolence would wish to live,
Go, yawn and loiter out the long slow year
In fairer skies. If droughty regions parch [blood;
The skin and lungs, and bake the thickening
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 their rapid stream.
Here spread your gardens wide; and let the cool,
The moist relaxing vegetable store
Prevail in each repast: your food supply'd
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 horrours 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 ponderous Heaven o'erwhelms the sinking soul.
Lab'ring with storms in heapy mountains rise
Th' imbattled clouds, as if the Stygian shades
Had left the dungeon of eternal night,
Till black with thunder all the South descends.
Scarce in a showerless day the Heavens indulge
Our melting clime; except the baleful East
Withers the tender spring, and sourly checks
The fancy of the year. Our fathers talk
Of summers, balmy air, and skies serene.
Good Heaven! for what unexpiated crimes
This dismal change! the brooding elements,
Do they, your powerful ministers of wrath,
Prepare some fierce exterminating plague?
Or is it fix'd in the decrees above
That lofty Albion melt into the main?
Indulgent Nature! O dissolve this gloom!
Bind in eternal adamant the winds
That drown or wither; give the genial West
To breathe, and in its turn the sprightly North:
And may once more, the circling seasons rule
The year; not mix in every monstrous day.
Meantime, the moist malignity to shun [paign
Of burthen'd skies; mark where the dry cham-
Swells into cheerful hills: where marjoram
And thyme, the love of bees, perfume the air;
And where the cynorrhodon* with the rose
For fragrance vies; for in the thirsty soil
Most fragrant breathe the aromatic tribes.
There bid thy roofs high on the basking steep
Ascend, there light thy hospitable fires,
And let them see the winter morn arise,
The summer evening blushing in the West:
While with umbrageous oaks the ridge behind
O'erhung, defends you from the blust'ring North,
And bleak affliction of the peevish East.
Oh! when the growling winds contend, and al!
The sounding forest fluctuates in the storm;
To sink in warm repose, and hear the din
Howl o'er the steady battlements, delights
Above the luxury of vulgar sleep.
The murmuring rivulet, and the hoarser strain
Of waters rushing o'er the slippery rocks,
Will nightly lull you to ambrosial rest.
To please the fancy is no trifling good,
Where health is studied; for whatever moves
• The wild rose, or that which grows on the common brier.
The mind with calm delight, promotes the just
And natural movements of th' harmonious frame.
Besides, the sportive brook for ever shakes
The trembling air, that floats from hill to hill,
From vale to mountain, with incessant change
Of purest element, refreshing still
Your airy seat, and uninfected gods.
Chiefly for this I praise the man who builds
High on the breezy ridge, whose lofty sides
Th' ethereal deep with endless billows chafes.
His purer mansion nor contagious years
Shall reach, nor deadly putrid airs annoy.
But may no fogs, from lake or fenny plain,
Involve my hill! and wheresoe'er you build,
Whether on sun-burnt Epsom, or the plains
Wash'd by the silent Lee; in Chelsea low,
Or high Blackheath with wintry winds assail'd;
Dry be your house: but airy more than warm.
Else every breath of ruder wind will strike
Your tender body through with rapid pains;
Fierce coughs will tease you, hoarseness bind your
Or moist gravedo load your aching brows.
These to defy, and all the fates that dwell
In cloister'd air tainted with steaming life,
Let lofty ceilings grace your ample rooms;
And still at azure noontide may your dome
At every window drink the liquid sky.
Need we the sunny situation here,
And theatres open to the South, commend?
Here, where the morning's misty breath infests
More than the torrid noon? How sickly grow,
How pale, the plants in those ill-fated vales,
That, circled round with the gigantic heap
Of mountains, never felt, nor ever hope
To feel, the genial vigour of the Sun!
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 fost'ring Sun, whose energy divine
Dwells not in mortal fire; whose gen'rous heat
Glows through the mass of grosser elements,
And kindles into life the ponderous spheres.
Cheer'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!
ENOUGH of air. A desert subject now,
Rougher and wilder, rises to my sight.
A barren waste, where not a garland grows
To bind the Muse's brow; not ev'n a proud
Stupendous solitude frowns o'er the heath,
To rouse a noble horrour in the soul:
But rugged paths fatigue, and errour leads
Through endless labyrinths the devious feet.
Farewell, ethereal fields! the humbler arts