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universal structure of nature; and he rises from great to greater objects with a climax of sublimity. ( "What does not fade? the tower that long had stood
"The crush of thunder and the warring winds, "Shook by the slow, but sure destroyer, Time, "Now hangs in doubtful ruins o'er its base. "And flinty pyramids, and walls of brass, "Descend: the Babylonian spires are sunk; "Achaia, Rome, and Egypt moulder down. "Time shakes the stable tyranny of thrones, "And tottering empires crush by their own weight. "This huge rotundity we tread grows old; "And all those worlds that roll around the sun, "The sun himself, shall die."
He may, in some points, be compared advantageously with the best blank verse writers of the age; and he will be found free from their most striking defects. He has not the ambition of Akenside, nor ̧ the verbosity of Thomson. On the other hand, shall we say that he is equal in genius to either of those poets? Certainly his originality is nothing like Thomson's; and the rapture of his heroic sentiments is unequal to that of the author of the "Pleasures of Imagination." For, in spite of the too frequently false pomp of Akenside, we still feel, that he has a devoted moral impulse, not to be mistaken for the cant of morality, a zeal in the worship of virtue, which places her image in a high and hallowed light. Neither has his versification
the nervous harmony of Akenside's, for his habit of pausing almost uniformly at the close of the line, gives an air of formality to his numbers. His vein has less mixture than Thomson's; but its ore is not so fine. Sometimes, we find him trying his strength with that author, in the same walk of description, where, though correct and concise, he falls beneath the poet of the "Seasons" in rich and graphic observation. He also contributed to the "Castle of Indolence" some stanzas, describing the diseases arising from sloth, which form rather an useful back-ground to the luxuriant picture of the Castle, than a prominent part of its enchantment.
On the whole, he is likely to be remembered as a poet of judicious thoughts and correct expression; and, as far as the rarely successful application of verse to subjects of science can be admired, an additional merit must be ascribed to the hand, which has reared poetical flowers on the dry and difficult ground of philosophy.
FROM THE ART OF PRESERVING HEALTH, BOOK 1.
OPENING OF THE POEM IN AN INVOCATION TO
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
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.
CHOICE OF A RURAL SITUATION, AND ALLEGORICAL PICTURE OF THE QUARTAN AGUE.
YE who amid this feverish world would wear
A body free of pain, of cares a mind;
Fly the rank city, shun its turbid air;
Breathe not the chaos of eternal smoke
And volatile corruption, from the dead,
The dying, sick'ning, and the living world
Exhal'd, to sully heaven's transparent dome
With dim mortality. It is not air
That from a thousand lungs reeks back to thine,
Sated with exhalations rank and fell,
The spoil of dunghills, and the putrid thaw
Of nature; when from shape and texture she
Relapses into fighting elements:
It is not air, but floats a nauseous mass
Of all obscene, corrupt, offensive things.
Much moisture hurts; but here a sordid bath,
With oily rancour fraught, relaxes more
The solid frame than simple moisture can.
Besides, immur'd in many a sullen bay
That never felt the freshness of the breeze,
This slumb'ring deep remains, and ranker grows
With sickly rest: and (though the lungs abhor
To drink the dun fuliginous abyss)
Did not the acid vigour of the mine,
Roll'd from so many thundering chimnies, tame
The putrid steams that overswarm the sky ;
This caustic venom would perhaps corrode
Those tender cells that draw the vital air,
In vain with all the unctuous rills bedew'd;
Or by the drunken venous tubes, that yawn
In countless pores o'er all the pervious skin
Imbib'd, would poison the balsamic blood,
And rouse the heart to every fever's rage.
While yet you breathe, away; the rural wilds
Invite; the mountains call you, and the vales;
The woods, the streams, and each ambrosial breeze
That fans the ever-undulating sky;
A kindly sky! whose fost'ring power regales
Man, beast, and all the vegetable reign.
Find then some woodland scene where nature smiles
Benign, where all her honest children thrive.
To us there wants not many a happy seat!
Look round the smiling land, such numbers rise
We hardly fix, bewilder'd in our choice.
See where enthron’d in adamantine state,
Proud of her bards, imperial Windsor sits;
Where choose thy seat in some aspiring grove
Fast by the slowly-winding Thames ; or where
Broader she laves fair Richmond's green retreats,
(Richmond that sees an hundred villas rise
Rural or gay). O! from the summer's rage
O! wrap me in the friendly gloom that hides
Umbrageous Ham!-But if the busy town
Attract thee still to toil for power or gold,
Sweetly thou may'st thy vacant hours possess