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THE NEW YORK FUBLIC LIBRARY
ASTOR, LENOX AND
· Armstrong's Art of preserving bealth is a Poem which can never be sufficiently praised, read and recommended."
Pursuits of Literature, note on line 100, Dial. third.
THEM T W YORK PUBLIC LIBINARY
ASTOR, LENOX AND TILDEN FOUNDATIONS.
Art of preserving Health.
AUGHTER of Pæan, 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, thro' earth, and ocean's deep domain.
* 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 Pæan,
When through the blue serenity of heaven
Thy power approaclies, all the wasteful host
Of pain and sickness, squalid and deform’d,
Confounded sink into the loathsome glooni,
Where in deep Erebus involv'd the fiends
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 fanine breeds, or with slow wings
Rise from the putrid watery element,
The damp waste forest, motionless and rank,
That smothers earth and all the breathless winds,
Or the vile carnage of the inhuman field;
Whatever baneful breaths the rotten South ;
Whatever ills th’ the 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 headless Pleasure : or if aught
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
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 heavenly gay!
Begin the song ; and let it sweetly flow,
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.”
'Tis hard, in such a strife of rules, to chuse
The best, and those of most extensive use ;
Harder in clear and animated
Dry philosophic precepts to convey.
Yet with thy aid the secrets wilds I trace
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 and