« ForrigeFortsett »
“Armstrong's Art of preserving health, is a Poem which can never be sufficiently praised, read and recommended.”
Daughten of Paean, queen of every joy,
Immortal youth ; auspicious, O descend 5
* Hygeia, the goddess of health, was, according to the genealogy of the heathen deities, the daughter of Æsculapius: who, as well as Apollo, was distinguished by the name of Paean,
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 loathsome gloom, Where in deep Erebus involv'd the fiends 15 Grow more profane. Whatever shapes of death, Shook from the hedious chambers of the globe, Swarm thro' the shudd'ring air : whatever plagues Or meagre famine breeds, or with slow wings Rise from the putrid watery element, 20 The damp waste forest, motionless and rank, That smothers earth and all the breathless winds, Or the vile carmage of the inhuman field ; Whatever baneful breaths the rotten South ; Whatever ills th’ the extremes or sudden change 25 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 headless Pleasure : or if aught 30 The comet's glare amid the burning sky, Mournful eclipse, or planets ill combin'd, Portend disasterous to the vital world ; Thy salutary power averts their rage, Averts the general bane : and but for thee 35 Nature would sicken, nature soon would die.
Without thy cheerful ačtive energy No rapture swells the breast, no poet sings, No more the maids of Helicon delight. Come then with me, O Goddess heavenly gay ! Begin the song ; and let it sweetly flow, 41 And let it sweetly teach thy wholesome laws : “How best the fickle fabric to support “ Of mortal man ; in healthful body how “ A healthful mind the longest to maintain.” 45 'Tis hard, in such a strife of rules, to chuse The best, and those of most extensive use ; Harder in clear and animated song IDry philosophic precepts to convey. Yet with thy aid the secrets wilds I trace 50 Of nature, and with daring steps proceed Through paths the muses never trod before.
Nor shall I wander doubtful of my way, Had I the lights of that sagacious mind