John Arthur Phillips

(1842-1907 / Canada)

Cyder: Book I


-- -- Honos erit huic quoq; Pomo? Virg.


What Soil the Apple loves, what Care is due
To Orchats, timeliest when to press the Fruits,
Thy Gift, Pomona, in Miltonian Verse
Adventrous I presume to sing; of Verse
Nor skill'd, nor studious: But my Native Soil
Invites me, and the Theme as yet unsung.

Ye Ariconian Knights, and fairest Dames,
To whom propitious Heav'n these Blessings grants,
Attend my Layes; nor hence disdain to learn,
How Nature's Gifts may be improv'd by Art.

And thou, O Mostyn, whose Benevolence,
And Candor, oft experienc'd, Me vouchsaf'd
To knit in Friendship, growing still with Years,
Accept this Pledge of Gratitude and Love.
May it a lasting Monument remain
Of dear Respect; that, when this Body frail
Is moulder'd into Dust, and I become
As I had never been, late Times may know
I once was blest in such a matchless Friend.

Who-e'er expects his lab'ring Trees shou'd bend
With Fruitage, and a kindly Harvest yield,
Be this his first Concern; to find a Tract
Impervious to the Winds, begirt with Hills,
That intercept the Hyperborean Blasts
Tempestuous, and cold Eurus nipping Force,
Noxious to feeble Buds: But to the West
Let him free Entrance grant, let Zephyrs bland
Administer their tepid genial Airs;
Naught fear he from the West, whose gentle Warmth
Discloses well the Earth's all-teeming Womb,
Invigorating tender Seeds; whose Breath
Nurtures the Orange, and the Citron Groves,
Hesperian Fruits, and wafts their Odours sweet
Wide thro' the Air, and distant Shores perfumes.
Nor only do the Hills exclude the Winds:
But, when the blackning Clouds in sprinkling Show'rs
Distill, from the high Summits down the Rain
Runs trickling; with the fertile Moisture chear'd,
The Orchats smile; joyous the Farmers see
Their thriving Plants, and bless the heav'nly Dew.

Next, let the Planter, with Discretion meet,
The Force and Genius of each Soil explore;
To what adapted, what it shuns averse:
Without this necessary Care, in vain
He hopes an Apple-Vintage, and invokes
Pomona's Aid in vain. The miry Fields,
Rejoycing in rich Mold, most ample Fruit
Of beauteous Form produce; pleasing to Sight,
But to the Tongue inelegant and flat.
So Nature has decreed; so, oft we see
Men passing fair, in outward Lineaments
Elaborate; less, inwardly, exact.
Nor from the sable Ground expect Success,
Nor from cretaceous, stubborn and jejune:
The Must, of pallid Hue, declares the Soil
Devoid of Spirit; wretched He, that quaffs
Such wheyish Liquors; oft with Colic Pangs,
With pungent Colic Pangs distress'd, he'll roar,
And toss, and turn, and curse th' unwholsome Draught.
But, Farmer, look, where full-ear'd Sheaves of Rye
Grow wavy on the Tilth, that Soil select
For Apples; thence thy Industry shall gain
Ten-fold Reward; thy Garners, thence with Store
Surcharg'd, shall burst; thy Press with purest Juice
Shall flow, which, in revolving Years, may try
Thy feeble Feet, and bind thy fault'ring Tongue.
Such is the Kentchurch, such Dantzeyan Ground,
Such thine, O learned Brome, and Capel such,
Willisian Burlton, much-lov'd Geers his Marsh,
And Sutton-Acres, drench'd with Regal Blood
Of Ethelbert, when to th' unhallow'd Feast
Of Mercian Offa he invited came,
To treat of Spousals: Long connubial Joys
He promis'd to himself, allur'd by Fair
Elfrida's Beauty; but deluded dy'd
In height of Hopes -- Oh! hardest Fate, to fall
By Shew of Friendship, and pretended Love!

I nor advise, nor reprehend the Choice
Of Marcley-Hill; the Apple no where finds
A kinder Mold: Yet 'tis unsafe to trust
Deceitful Ground: Who knows but that, once more,
This Mount may journey, and, his present Site
Forsaking, to thy Neighbours Bounds transfer
The goodly Plants, affording Matter strange
For Law-Debates? If, therefore, thou incline
To deck this Rise with Fruits of various Tastes,
Fail not by frequent Vows t' implore Success;
Thus piteous Heav'n may fix the wand'ring Glebe.

But if (for Nature doth not share alike
Her Gifts) an happy Soil shou'd be with-held;
If a penurious Clay shou'd be thy Lot,
Or rough unweildy Earth, nor to the Plough,
Nor to the Cattle kind, with sandy Stones
And Gravel o'er-abounding, think it not
Beneath thy Toil; the sturdy Pear-tree here
Will rise luxuriant, and with toughest Root
Pierce the obstructing Grit, and restive Marle.

Thus naught is useless made; nor is there Land,
But what, or of it self, or else compell'd,
Affords Advantage. On the barren Heath
The Shepherd tends his Flock, that daily crop
Their verdant Dinner from the mossie Turf,
Sufficient; after them the Cackling Goose,
Close-grazer, finds wherewith to ease her Want.
What shou'd I more? Ev'n on the cliffy Height
Of Penmenmaur, and that Cloud-piercing Hill,
Plinlimmon, from afar the Traveller kens
Astonish'd, how the Goats their shrubby Brouze
Gnaw pendent; nor untrembling canst thou see,
How from a scraggy Rock, whose Prominence
Half overshades the Ocean, hardy Men,
Fearless of rending Winds, and dashing Waves,
Cut Sampire, to excite the squeamish Gust
Of pamper'd Luxury. Then, let thy Ground
Not lye unlabour'd; if the richest Stem
Refuse to thrive, yet who wou'd doubt to plant
Somewhat, that may to Human Use redound,
And Penury, the worst of Ills, remove?

There are, who, fondly studious of Increase,
Rich Foreign Mold on their ill-natur'd Land
Induce laborious, and with fatning Muck
Besmear the Roots; in vain! the nurseling Grove
Seems fair awhile, cherish'd with foster Earth:
But, when the alien Compost is exhaust,
It's native Poverty again prevails.

Tho' this Art fails, despond not; little Pains,
In a due Hour employ'd, great Profit yield.
Th' Industrious, when the Sun in Leo rides,
And darts his sultriest Beams, portending Drought,
Forgets not at the Foot of ev'ry Plant
To sink a circling Trench, and daily pour
A just Supply of alimental Streams,
Exhausted Sap recruiting; else, false Hopes
He cherishes, nor will his Fruit expect
Th' autumnal Season, but, in Summer's Pride,
When other Orchats smile, abortive fail.

Thus the great Light of Heav'n, that in his Course
Surveys and quickens all things, often proves
Noxious to planted Fields, and often Men
Perceive his Influence dire: sweltring they run
To Grots, and Caves, and the cool Umbrage seek
Of woven Arborets, and oft the Rills
Still streaming fresh revisit, to allay
Thirst inextinguishable: But if the Spring
Preceding shou'd be destitute of Rain,
Or Blast Septentrional with brushing Wings
Sweep up the smoaky Mists, and Vapours damp,
Then wo to Mortals! Titan then exerts
His Heat intense, and on our Vitals preys;
Then Maladies of various Kinds, and Names
Unknown, malignant Fevers, and that Foe
To blooming Beauty, which imprints the Face
Of fairest Nymph, and checks our growing Love,
Reign far and near; grim Death, in different Shapes,
Depopulates the Nations, thousands fall
His Victims, Youths, and Virgins, in their Flower,
Reluctant die, and sighing leave their Loves
Unfinish'd, by infectious Heav'n destroy'd.

Such Heats prevail'd, when fair Eliza, last
Of Winchcomb's Name (next Thee in Blood, and Worth,
O fairest St. John!) left this toilsome World
In Beauty's Prime, and sadden'd all the Year:
Nor cou'd her Virtues, nor repeated Vows
Of thousand Lovers, the relentless Hand
Of Death arrest; She with the Vulgar fell,
Only distinguish'd by this humble Verse.

But if it please the Sun's intemp'rate Force
To know, attend; whilst I of ancient Fame
The Annals trace, and image to thy Mind,
How our Fore-fathers, (luckless Men!) ingulft
By the wide yawning Earth, to Stygian Shades
Went quick, in one sad Sepulchre enclos'd.

In elder Days, e'er yet the Roman Bands
Victorious, this our Other World subdu'd,
A spacious City stood, with firmest Walls
Sure mounded, and with numerous Turrets crown'd,
Aerial Spires, and Citadels, the Seat
Of Kings, and Heroes resolute in War,
Fam'd Ariconium; uncontroul'd, and free,
'Till all-subduing Latian Arms prevail'd.
Then also, tho' to foreign Yoke submiss,
She undemolish'd stood, and even 'till now
Perhaps had stood, of ancient British Art
A pleasing Monument, not less admir'd
Than what from Attic, or Etruscan Hands
Arose; had not the Heav'nly Pow'rs averse
Decreed her final Doom: For now the Fields
Labour'd with Thirst, Aquarius had not shed
His wonted Show'rs, and Sirius parch'd with Heat
Solstitial the green Herb: Hence 'gan relax
The Ground's Contexture, hence Tartarean Dregs,
Sulphur, and nitrous Spume, enkindling fierce,
Bellow'd within their darksom Caves, by far
More dismal than the loud disploded Roar
Of brazen Enginry, that ceaseless storm
The Bastion of a well-built City, deem'd
Impregnable: Th' infernal Winds, 'till now
Closely imprison'd, by Titanian Warmth,
Dilating, and with unctuous Vapours fed,
Disdain'd their narrow Cells; and, their full Strength
Collecting, from beneath the solid Mass
Upheav'd, and all her Castles rooted deep
Shook from their lowest Seat; old Vaga's Stream,
Forc'd by the sudden Shock, her wonted Track
Forsook, and drew her humid Train aslope,
Crankling her Banks: And now the low'ring Sky,
And baleful Lightning, and the Thunder, Voice
Of angry Gods, that rattled solemn, dismaid
The sinking Hearts of Men. Where shou'd they turn
Distress'd? Whence seek for Aid? when from below
Hell threatens, and ev'n Fate supreme gives Signs
Of Wrath and Desolation? Vain were Vows,
And Plaints, and suppliant Hands, to Heav'n erect!
Yet some to Fanes repair'd, and humble Rites
Perform'd to Thor, and Woden, fabled Gods,
Who with their Vot'ries in one Ruin shar'd,
Crush'd, and o'erwhelm'd. Others, in frantick Mood,
Run howling thro' the Streets, their hideous Yells
Rend the dark Welkin; Horror stalks around,
Wild-staring, and, his sad Concomitant,
Despair, of abject Look: At ev'ry Gate
The thronging Populace with hasty Strides
Press furious, and, too eager of Escape,
Obstruct the easie Way; the rocking Town
Supplants their Footsteps; to, and fro, they reel
Astonish'd, as o'er-charg'd with Wine; when lo!
The Ground adust her riven Mouth disparts,
Horrible Chasm, profound! with swift Descent
Old Ariconium sinks, and all her Tribes,
Heroes, and Senators, down to the Realms
Of endless Night. Mean while, the loosen'd Winds
Infuriate, molten Rocks and flaming Globes
Hurl'd high above the Clouds; 'till, all their Force
Consum'd, her rav'nous Jaws th' Earth satiate clos'd.
Thus this fair City fell, of which the Name
Survives alone; nor is there found a Mark,
Whereby the curious Passenger may learn
Her ample Site, save Coins, and mould'ring Urns,
And huge unweildy Bones, lasting Remains
Of that Gigantic Race; which, as he breaks
The clotted Glebe, the Plowman haply finds,
Appall'd. Upon that treacherous Tract of Land,
She whilome stood; now Ceres, in her Prime,
Smiles fertile, and, with ruddiest Freight bedeckt,
The Apple-Tree, by our Fore-fathers Blood
Improv'd, that now recalls the devious Muse,
Urging her destin'd Labours to persue.

The Prudent will observe, what Passions reign
In various Plants (for not to Man alone,
But all the wide Creation, Nature gave
Love, and Aversion): Everlasting Hate
The Vine to Ivy bears, nor less abhors
The Coleworts Rankness; but, with amorous Twine,
Clasps the tall Elm: the Pæstan Rose unfolds
Her Bud, more lovely, near the fetid Leek,
(Crest of stout Britons,) and inhances thence
The Price of her celestial Scent: The Gourd,
And thirsty Cucumer, when they perceive
Th' approaching Olive, with Resentment fly
Her fatty Fibres, and with Tendrils creep
Diverse, detesting Contact; whilst the Fig
Contemns not Rue, nor Sage's humble Leaf,
Close neighbouring: The Herefordian Plant
Caresses freely the contiguous Peach,
Hazel, and weight-resisting Palm, and likes
T' approach the Quince, and th' Elder's pithy Stem;
Uneasie, seated by funereal Yeugh,
Or Walnut, (whose malignant Touch impairs
All generous Fruits), or near the bitter Dews
Of Cherries. Therefore, weigh the Habits well
Of Plants, how they associate best, nor let
Ill Neighbourhood corrupt thy hopeful Graffs.

Wouldst thou, thy Vats with gen'rous Juice should froth?
Respect thy Orchats; think not, that the Trees
Spontaneous will produce an wholsom Draught.
Let Art correct thy Breed; from Parent Bough
A Cyon meetly sever; after, force
A way into the Crabstock's close-wrought Grain
By Wedges, and within the living Wound
Enclose the Foster Twig; nor over-nice
Refuse with thy own Hands around to spread
The binding Clay: Ee'r-long their differing Veins
Unite, and kindly Nourishment convey
To the new Pupil; now he shoots his Arms
With quickest Growth; now shake the teeming Trunc,
Down rain th' impurpl'd Balls, ambrosial Fruit.
Whether the Wilding's Fibres are contriv'd
To draw th' Earth's purest Spirit, and resist
It's Feculence, which in more porous Stocks
Of Cyder-Plants finds Passage free, or else
The native Verjuice of the Crab, deriv'd
Thro' th' infix'd Graff, a grateful Mixture forms
Of tart and sweet; whatever be the Cause,
This doubtful Progeny by nicest Tastes
Expected best Acceptance finds, and pays
Largest Revenues to the Orchat-Lord.

Some think, the Quince and Apple wou'd combine
In happy Union; Others fitter deem
The Sloe-Stem bearing Sylvan Plums austere.
Who knows but Both may thrive? Howe'er, what loss
To try the Pow'rs of Both, and search how far
Two different Natures may concur to mix
In close Embraces, and strange Off-spring bear?
Thoul't find that Plants will frequent Changes try,
Undamag'd, and their marriageable Arms
Conjoin with others. So Silurian Plants
Admit the Peache's odoriferous Globe,
And Pears of sundry Forms; at diff'rent times
Adopted Plums will aliene Branches grace;
And Men have gather'd from the Hawthorn's Branch
Large Medlars, imitating regal Crowns.

Nor is it hard to beautifie each Month
With Files of particolour'd Fruits, that please
The Tongue, and View, at once. So Maro's Muse,
Thrice sacred Muse! commodious Precepts gives
Instructive to the Swains, not wholly bent
On what is gainful: Sometimes she diverts
From solid Counsels, shews the Force of Love
In savage Beasts; how Virgin Face divine
Attracts the hapless Youth thro' Storms, and Waves,
Alone, in deep of Night: Then she describes
The Scythian Winter, nor disdains to sing,
How under Ground the rude Riphæan Race
Mimic brisk Cyder with the Brakes Product wild;
Sloes pounded, Hips, and Servis' harshest Juice.
Let sage Experience teach thee all the Arts
Of Grafting, and In-Eyeing; when to lop
The flowing Branches; what Trees answer best
From Root, or Kernel: She will best the Hours
Of Harvest, and Seed-time declare; by Her
The diff'rent Qualities of things were found,
And secret Motions; how with heavy Bulk
Volatile Hermes, fluid and unmoist,
Mounts on the Wings of Air; to Her we owe
The Indian Weed, unknown to ancient Times,
Nature's choice Gift, whose acrimonious Fume
Extracts superfluous Juices, and refines
The Blood distemper'd from its noxious Salts;
Friend to the Spirits, which with Vapours bland
It gently mitigates, Companion fit
Of Pleasantry, and Wine; nor to the Bards
Unfriendly, when they to the vocal Shell
Warble melodious their well-labour'd Songs.
She found the polish'd Glass, whose small Convex
Enlarges to ten Millions of Degrees
The Mite, invisible else, of Nature's Hand
Least Animal; and shews, what Laws of Life
The Cheese-Inhabitants observe, and how
Fabrick their Mansions in the harden'd Milk,
Wonderful Artists! But the hidden Ways
Of Nature wouldst thou know? how first she frames
All things in Miniature? thy Specular Orb
Apply to well-dissected Kernels; lo!
Strange Forms arise, in each a little Plant
Unfolds its Boughs: observe the slender Threads
Of first-beginning Trees, their Roots, their Leaves,
In narrow Seeds describ'd; Thou'lt wond'ring say,
An inmate Orchat ev'ry Apple boasts.
Thus All things by Experience are display'd,
And Most improv'd. Then sedulously think
To meliorate thy Stock; no Way, or Rule
Be unassay'd; prevent the Morning Star
Assiduous, nor with the Western Sun
Surcease to work; lo! thoughtful of Thy Gain,
Not of my Own, I all the live-long Day
Consume in Meditation deep, recluse
From human Converse, nor, at shut of Eve,
Enjoy Repose; but oft at Midnight Lamp
Ply my brain-racking Studies, if by chance
Thee I may counsel right; and oft this Care
Disturbs me slumbring. Wilt thou then repine
To labour for thy Self? and rather chuse
To lye supinely, hoping, Heav'n will bless
Thy slighted Fruits, and give thee Bread unearn'd?

'Twill profit, when the Stork, sworn-Foe of Snakes,
Returns, to shew Compassion to thy Plants,
Fatigu'd with Breeding. Let the arched Knife
Well sharpen'd now assail the spreading Shades
Of Vegetables, and their thirsty Limbs
Dissever: for the genial Moisture, due
To Apples, otherwise mispends it self
In barren Twigs, and, for th' expected Crop,
Naught but vain Shoots, and empty Leaves abound.

When swelling Buds their od'rous Foliage shed,
And gently harden into Fruit, the Wise
Spare not the little Off-springs, if they grow
Redundant; but the thronging Clusters thin
By kind Avulsion: else, the starv'ling Brood,
Void of sufficient Sustenance, will yield
A slender Autumn; which the niggard Soul
Too late shall weep, and curse his thrifty Hand,
That would not timely ease the pond'rous Boughs.

It much conduces, all the Cares to know
Of Gard'ning, how to scare nocturnal Thieves,
And how the little Race of Birds, that hop
From Spray to Spray, scooping the costliest Fruit
Insatiate, undisturb'd. Priapus' Form
Avails but little; rather guard each Row
With the false Terrors of a breathless Kite.
This done, the timorous Flock with swiftest Wing
Scud thro' the Air; their Fancy represents
His mortal Talons, and his rav'nous Beak
Destructive; glad to shun his hostile Gripe,
They quit their Thefts, and unfrequent the Fields.

Besides, the filthy Swine will oft invade
Thy firm Inclosure, and with delving Snout
The rooted Forest undermine: forthwith
Alloo thy furious Mastiff, bid him vex
The noxious Herd, and print upon their Ears
A sad Memorial of their past Offence.

The flagrant Procyon will not fail to bring
Large Shoals of slow House-bearing Snails, that creep
O'er the ripe Fruitage, paring slimy Tracts
In the sleek Rinds, and unprest Cyder drink.
No Art averts this Pest; on Thee it lyes,
With Morning and with Evening Hand to rid
The preying Reptiles; nor, if wise, wilt thou
Decline this Labour, which it self rewards
With pleasing Gain, whilst the warm Limbec draws
Salubrious Waters from the nocent Brood.

Myriads of Wasps now also clustering hang,
And drain a spurious Honey from thy Groves,
Their Winter Food; tho' oft repulst, again
They rally, undismay'd: but Fraud with ease
Ensnares the noisom Swarms; let ev'ry Bough
Bear frequent Vials, pregnant with the Dregs
Of Moyle, or Mum, or Treacle's viscous Juice;
They, by th' alluring Odor drawn, in haste
Fly to the dulcet Cates, and crouding sip
Their palatable Bane; joyful thou'lt see
The clammy Surface all o'er-strown with Tribes
Of greedy Insects, that with fruitless Toil
Flap filmy Pennons oft, to extricate
Their Feet, in liquid Shackles bound, 'till Death
Bereave them of their worthless Souls: Such doom
Waits Luxury, and lawless Love of Gain!

Howe'er thou maist forbid external Force,
Intestine Evils will prevail; damp Airs,
And rainy Winters, to the Centre pierce
Of firmest Fruits, and by unseen Decay
The proper Relish vitiate: then the Grub
Oft unobserv'd invades the vital Core,
Pernicious Tenant, and her secret Cave
Enlarges hourly, preying on the Pulp
Ceaseless; mean while the Apple's outward Form
Delectable the witless Swain beguiles,
'Till, with a writhen Mouth, and spattering Noise,
He tastes the bitter Morsel, and rejects
Disrelisht; not with less Surprize, then when
Embattled Troops with flowing Banners pass
Thro' flow'ry Meads delighted, nor distrust
The smiling Surface; whilst the cavern'd Ground,
With Grain incentive stor'd, by suddain Blaze
Bursts fatal, and involves the Hopes of War
In firy Whirles; full of victorious Thoughts,
Torn and dismembred, they aloft expire.

Now turn thine Eye to view Alcinous' Groves,
The Pride of the Phæacian Isle, from whence,
Sailing the Spaces of the boundless Deep,
To Ariconium pretious Fruits arriv'd:
The Pippin burnisht o'er with Gold, the Moile
Of sweetest hony'd Taste, the fair Permain,
Temper'd, like comliest Nymph, with red and white.
Salopian Acres flourish with a Growth
Peculiar, styl'd the Ottley: Be thou first
This Apple to transplant; if to the Name
It's Merit answers, no where shalt thou find
A Wine more priz'd, or laudable of Taste.
Nor does the Eliot least deserve thy Care,
Nor John-Apple, whose wither'd Rind, entrencht
With many a Furrow, aptly represents
Decrepid Age; nor that from Harvey nam'd,
Quick-relishing: Why should we sing the Thrift,
Codling, or Pomroy, or of pimpled Coat
The Russet, or the Cats-Head's weighty Orb,
Enormous in its Growth; for various Use
Tho' these are meet, tho' after full repast
Are oft requir'd, and crown the rich Desert?

What, tho' the Pear-Tree rival not the Worth,
Of Ariconian Products? yet her Freight
Is not contemn'd, yet her wide-branching Arms
Best screen thy Mansion from the fervent Dog
Adverse to Life; the wintry Hurricanes
In vain imploy their Roar, her Trunc unmov'd
Breaks the strong Onset, and controls their Rage.
Chiefly the Bosbury, whose large Increase,
Annual, in sumptuous Banquets claims Applause.
Thrice acceptable Bev'rage! could but Art
Subdue the floating Lee, Pomona's self
Would dread thy Praise, and shun the dubious Strife.
Be it thy Choice, when Summer-Heats annoy,
To sit beneath her leafy Canopy,
Quaffing rich Liquids: Oh! how sweet t' enjoy,
At once her Fruits, and hospitable Shade!

But how with equal Numbers shall we match
The Musk's surpassing Worth! that earliest gives
Sure hopes of racy Wine, and in its Youth,
Its tender Nonage, loads the spreading Boughs
With large and juicy Off-spring, that defies
The Vernal Nippings, and cold Syderal Blasts!
Yet let her to the Read-streak yield, that once
Was of the Sylvan Kind, unciviliz'd,
Of no Regard, 'till Scudamore's skilful Hand
Improv'd her, and by courtly Discipline
Taught her the savage Nature to forget:
Hence styl'd the Scudamorean Plant; whose Wine
Who-ever tastes, let him with grateful Heart
Respect that ancient loyal House, and wish
The noble Peer, that now transcends our Hopes
In early Worth, his Country's justest Pride,
Uninterrupted Joy, and Health entire.

Let every Tree in every Garden own
The Red-streak as supream; whose pulpous Fruit
With Gold irradiate, and Vermilian shines
Tempting, not fatal, as the Birth of that
Primæval interdicted Plant, that won
Fond Eve in hapless Hour to taste, and die.
This, of more bounteous Influence, inspires
Poetic Raptures, and the lowly Muse
Kindles to loftier Strains; even I perceive
Her sacred Virtue. See! the Numbers flow
Easie, whilst, chear'd with her nectareous Juice,
Hers, and my Country's Praises I exalt.
Hail Herefordian Plant, that dost disdain
All other Fields! Heav'n's sweetest Blessing, hail!
Be thou the copious Matter of my Song,
And Thy choice Nectar; on which always waits
Laughter, and Sport, and care-beguiling Wit,
And Friendship, chief Delight of Human Life.
What shou'd we wish for more? or why, in quest
Of Foreign Vintage, insincere, and mixt,
Traverse th' extreamest World? Why tempt the Rage
Of the rough Ocean? when our native Glebe
Imparts, from bounteous Womb, annual Recruits
Of Wine delectable, that far surmounts
Gallic, or Latin Grapes, or those that see
The setting Sun near Calpe's tow'ring Height.
Nor let the Rhodian, nor the Lesbian Vines
Vaunt their rich Must, nor let Tokay contend
For Sov'ranty; Phanæus self must bow
To th' Ariconian Vales: And shall we doubt
T' improve our vegetable Wealth, or let
The Soil lye idle, which, with fit Manure,
Will largest Usury repay, alone
Impower'd to supply what Nature asks
Frugal, or what nice Appetite requires?
The Meadows here, with bat'ning Ooze enrich'd,
Give Spirit to the Grass; three Cubits high
The jointed Herbage shoots; th' unfallow'd Glebe
Yearly o'ercomes the Granaries with Store
Of Golden Wheat, the Strength of Human Life.
Lo, on auxiliary Poles, the Hops
Ascending spiral, rang'd in meet Array!
Lo, how the Arable with Barley-Grain
Stands thick, o'er-shadow'd, to the thirsty Hind
Transporting Prospect! These, as modern Use
Ordains, infus'd, an Auburn Drink compose,
Wholesome, of deathless Fame. Here, to the Sight,
Apples of Price, and plenteous Sheaves of Corn,
Oft interlac'd occurr, and both imbibe
Fitting congenial Juice; so rich the Soil,
So much does fructuous Moisture o'er-abound!
Nor are the Hills unamiable, whose Tops
To Heav'n aspire, affording Prospect sweet
To Human Ken; nor at their Feet the Vales
Descending gently, where the lowing Herd
Chews verd'rous Pasture; nor the yellow Fields
Gaily' enterchang'd, with rich Variety
Pleasing, as when an Emerald green, enchas'd
In flamy Gold, from the bright Mass acquires
A nobler Hue, more delicate to Sight.
Next add the Sylvan Shades, and silent Groves,
(Haunt of the Druids) whence the Hearth is fed
With copious Fuel; whence the sturdy Oak,
A Prince's Refuge once, th' æternal Guard
Of England's Throne, by sweating Peasants fell'd,
Stems the vast Main, and bears tremendous War
To distant Nations, or with Sov'ran Sway
Aws the divided World to Peace and Love.
Why shou'd the Chalybes, or Bilboa boast
Their harden'd Iron; when our Mines produce
As perfect Martial Ore? Can Tmolus' Head
Vie with our Safron Odours? Or the Fleece
Bætic, or finest Tarentine, compare
With Lemster's silken Wool? Where shall we find
Men more undaunted, for their Country's Weal
More prodigal of Life? In ancient Days,
The Roman Legions, and great Cæsar found
Our Fathers no mean Foes: And Cressy Plains,
And Agincourt, deep-ting'd with Blood, confess
What the Silures Vigour unwithstood
Cou'd do in rigid Fight; and chiefly what
Brydges' wide-wasting Hand, first Garter'd Knight,
Puissant Author of great Chandois' Stemm,
High Chandois, that transmits Paternal Worth,
Prudence, and ancient Prowess, and Renown,
T' his Noble Off-spring. O thrice happy Peer!
That, blest with hoary Vigour, view'st Thy self
Fresh blooming in Thy Generous Son; whose Lips,
Flowing with nervous Eloquence exact,
Charm the wise Senate, and Attention win
In deepest Councils: Ariconium pleas'd,
Him, as her chosen Worthy, first salutes.
Him on th' Iberian, on the Gallic Shore,
Him hardy Britons bless; His faithful Hand
Conveys new Courage from afar, nor more
The General's Conduct, than His Care avails.

Thee also, Glorious Branch of Cecil's Line,
This Country claims; with Pride and Joy to Thee
Thy Alterennis calls: yet she endures
Patient Thy Absence, since Thy prudent Choice
Has fix'd Thee in the Muse's fairest Seat,
Where Aldrich reigns, and from his endless Store
Of universal Knowledge still supplies
His noble Care; He generous Thoughts instills
Of true Nobility, their Country's Love,
(Chief End of Life) and forms their ductile Minds
To Human Virtues: By His Genius led,
Thou soon in every Art preeminent
Shalt grace this Isle, and rise to Burleigh's Fame.

Hail high-born Peer! And Thou, great Nurse of Arts,
And Men, from whence conspicuous Patriots spring,
Hanmer, and Bromley; Thou, to whom with due
Respect Wintonia bows, and joyful owns
Thy mitred Off-spring; be for ever blest
With like Examples, and to future Times
Proficuous, such a Race of Men produce,
As, in the Cause of Virtue firm, may fix
Her Throne inviolate. Hear, ye Gods, this Vow
From One, the meanest in her numerous Train;
Tho' meanest, not least studious of her Praise.

Muse, raise thy Voice to Beaufort's spotless Fame,
To Beaufort, in a long Descent deriv'd
From Royal Ancestry, of Kingly Rights
Faithful Asserters: In Him centring meet
Their glorious Virtues, high Desert from Pride
Disjoin'd, unshaken Honour, and Contempt
Of strong Allurements. O Illustrious Prince!
O Thou of ancient Faith! Exulting, Thee,
In her fair List this happy Land inrolls.

Who can refuse a Tributary Verse
To Weymouth, firmest Friend of slighted Worth
In evil Days? whose hospitable Gate,
Unbarr'd to All, invites a numerous Train
Of daily Guests; whose Board, with Plenty crown'd,
Revives the Feast-rites old: Mean while His Care
Forgets not the afflicted, but content
In Acts of secret Goodness, shuns the Praise,
That sure attends. Permit me, bounteous Lord,
To blazon what tho' hid will beauteous shine;
And with Thy Name to dignifie my Song.

But who is He, that on the winding Stream
Of Vaga first drew vital Breath, and now
Approv'd in Anna's secret Councils sits,
Weighing the Sum of Things, with wise Forecast
Sollicitous of public Good? How large
His Mind, that comprehends what-e'er was known
To Old, or Present Time; yet not elate,
Not conscious of its Skill? What Praise deserves
His liberal Hand, that gathers but to give,
Preventing Suit? O not unthankful Muse,
Him lowly reverence, that first deign'd to hear
Thy Pipe, and skreen'd thee from opprobrious Tongues.
Acknowledge thy Own Harley, and his Name
Inscribe on ev'ry Bark; the wounded Plants
Will fast increase, faster thy just Respect.
Such are our Heroes, by their Virtues known,
Or Skill in Peace, and War: Of softer Mold
The Female Sex, with sweet attractive Airs
Subdue obdurate Hearts. The Travellers oft,
That view their matchless Forms with transient Glance,
Catch suddain Love, and sigh for Nymphs unknown,
Smit with the Magic of their Eyes: nor hath
The Dædal Hand of Nature only pour'd
Her Gifts of outward Grace; their Innocence
Unfeign'd, and Virtue most engaging, free
From Pride, or Artifice, long Joys afford
To th' honest Nuptial Bed, and in the Wane
Of Life, rebate the Miseries of Age.
And is there found a Wretch, so base of Mind,
That Woman's pow'rful Beauty dares condemn,
Exactest Work of Heav'n? He ill deserves
Or Love, or Pity; friendless let him see
Uneasie, tedious Days, despis'd, forlorn,
As Stain of Human Race: But may the Man,
That chearfully recounts the Females Praise
Find equal Love, and Love's untainted Sweets
Enjoy with Honour. O, ye Gods! might I
Elect my Fate, my happiest Choice should be
A fair, and modest Virgin, that invites
With Aspect chast, forbidding loose Desire,
Tenderly smiling; in whose Heav'nly Eye
Sits purest Love enthron'd: But if the Stars
Malignant, these my better Hopes oppose,
May I, at least, the sacred Pleasures know
Of strictest Amity; nor ever want
A Friend, with whom I mutually may share
Gladness, and Anguish, by kind Intercourse
Of Speech, and Offices. May in my Mind,
Indelible a grateful Sense remain
Of Favours undeserv'd! -- O Thou! from whom
Gladly both Rich, and Low seek Aid; most Wise
Interpreter of Right, whose gracious Voice
Breaths Equity, and curbs too rigid Law
With mild, impartial Reason; what Returns
Of Thanks are due to Thy Beneficence
Freely vouchsaft, when to the Gates of Death
I tended prone? If Thy indulgent Care
Had not preven'd, among unbody'd Shades
I now had wander'd; and these empty Thoughts
Of Apples perish'd: But, uprais'd by Thee,
I tune my Pipe afresh, each Night, and Day
Thy unexampled Goodness to extoll
Desirous; but nor Night, nor Day suffice
For that great Task; the highly Honour'd Name
Of Trevor must employ my willing Thoughts
Incessant, dwell for ever on my Tongue.

Let me be grateful, but let far from me
Be fawning Cringe, and false dissembling Look,
And servile Flattery, that harbours oft
In Courts, and gilded Roofs. Some loose the Bands
Of ancient Friendship, cancell Nature's Laws
For Pageantry, and tawdy Gugaws. Some
Renounce their Sires, oppose paternal Right
For Rule, and Power; and other's Realms invade,
With specious Shews of Love. This traiterous Wretch
Betrays his Sov'ran. Others, destitute
Of real Zeal, to ev'ry Altar bend,
By Lucre sway'd, and act the basest Things
To be styl'd Honourable: Th' Honest Man,
Simple of Heart, prefers inglorious Want
To ill-got Wealth; rather from Door to Door
A jocund Pilgrim, tho' distress'd, he' ll rove,
Than break his plighted Faith; nor Fear, nor Hope,
Will shock his stedfast Soul; rather debar'd
Each common Privilege, cut off from Hopes
Of meanest Gain, of present Goods despoil'd,
He'll bear the Marks of Infamy, contemn'd,
Unpity'd; yet his Mind, of Evil pure,
Supports him, and Intention free from Fraud.
If no Retinue with observant Eyes
Attend him, if he can't with Purple stain
Of cumbrous Vestments, labour'd o'er with Gold,
Dazle the Croud, and set them all agape;
Yet clad in homely Weeds, from Envy's Darts
Remote he lives, nor knows the nightly Pangs
Of Conscience, nor with Spectre's grisly Forms,
Dæmons, and injur'd Souls, at Close of Day
Annoy'd, sad interrupted Slumbers finds.
But (as a Child, whose inexperienc'd Age
Nor evil Purpose fears, nor knows,) enjoys
Night's sweet Refreshment, humid Sleep, sincere.
When Chaunticleer, with Clarion shrill, recalls
The tardy Day, he to his Labours hies
Gladsome, intent on somewhat that may ease
Unhealthy Mortals, and with curious Search
Examines all the Properties of Herbs,
Fossils, and Minerals, that th' embowell'd Earth
Displays, if by his Industry he can
Benefit Human Race: Or else his Thoughts
Are exercis'd with Speculations deep
Of Good, and Just, and Meet, and th' wholsome Rules
Of Temperance, and aught that may improve
The moral Life; not sedulous to rail,
Nor with envenom'd Tongue to blast the Fame
Of harmless Men, or secret Whispers spread,
'Mong faithful Friends, to breed Distrust, and Hate.
Studious of Virtue, he no Life observes
Except his own, his own employs his Cares,
Large Subject! that he labours to refine
Daily, nor of his little Stock denies
Fit Alms to Lazars, merciful, and meek.

Thus sacred Virgil liv'd, from courtly Vice,
And Baits of pompous Rome secure; at Court
Still thoughtful of the rural honest Life,
And how t' improve his Grounds, and how himself:
Best Poet! fit Exemplar for the Tribe
Of Phœbus, nor less fit Mæonides,
Poor eyeless Pilgrim! and if after these,
If after these another I may name,
Thus tender Spencer liv'd, with mean Repast
Content, depress'd by Penury, and Pine
In foreign Realm: Yet not debas'd his Verse
By Fortune's Frowns. And had that Other Bard,
Oh, had but He that first ennobled Song
With holy Raptures, like his Abdiel been,
'Mong many faithless, strictly faithful found;
Unpity'd, he should not have wail'd his Orbs,
That roll'd in vain to find the piercing Ray,
And found no Dawn, by dim Suffusion veil'd!
But He -- However, let the Muse abstain,
Nor blast his Fame, from whom she learnt to sing
In much inferior Strains, grov'ling beneath
Th' Olympian Hill, on Plains, and Vales intent,
Mean Follower. There let her rest a-while,
Pleas'd with the fragrant Walks, and cool Retreat.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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