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He (his five centuries of Life fulfill'd)
His Neft on oaken Boughs begins to build,
Or trembling Tops of Palm: And first he draws
The Plan with his broad Bill and crooked Claws,
Nature's Artificers ; on this the Pile
Is form'd, and rises round: Then with the Spoil
Of Cassia, Cinnamon, and Stems of Nard,
For Softness strew'd beneath, his funeral Bed is reard :
Funeral and bridal both; and all around
The Borders with corruptless Myrrh are crown'd.
On this incumbent, till ethereal Flame
First catches, then consumes the costly Frame;
Consumes him too, as on the Pile he lies ;
He liv'd on Odours, and in Odours dies.
An infant Phenix from the former springs,
His Father's Heir, and from his tender Wings
Shakes off his Parent Duft: His Method he pursues,
And the same Lease of Life on the same Terms renews.
When grown to Manhood he begins to reign,
And with stiff Pinions can his Flight sustain :
He lightens of its Load the Tree that bore
His Father's royal Sepulchre before,
And his own Cradle; this, with pious Care
I lac'd on his Back, he cuts the buxom Air,
Seeks the Sun's City, and his sacred Church,
And decently lays down his Burthen in the Porch. Dryd. Ovid.
Phyfick can but mend our crafy State;
Patch an old Building, not a new create. Dryd. Pal. Arc.
The first Physicians by Debauch were made ;
Excess began, and Sloth sustains the Trade.
By Chace our long-liv'd Fathers earn’d their Food;
Tois ftrung the Nerves and purify'd the Blood :
But we, their Şons, a pamper?d Race of Men,
Are dwindled down to threescore Years and ten :
Better to hunt in Fields for Health unbought,
Than fee the Doctor for a pois'nous Draughc.
The Wife for Cure on Exercise depend;
God never made his Work for Man to mend.
He 'scapes the best, who Nature to repair,
Draws Phyfick from the Fields in Draughts of vital Air. Dryd.
PITY. As softeft Metals are not flow to melt, So Pity soonest runs in gentle Minds. Dryk. Pal. & Arr.
Pity on fresh Obje&ts only stays, But with the tedious Sight of Woes decays. Dryd. Ind. Emp.
The Rocks were mov'd to Pity with his Moan, Trees bent their Heads to hear him sing his Wrongs, (Dr. Virg. Fierce Tygers couch'd around, and lolld their fawning Tongues.
The Brave and Wife we pity in Misfortunes ; But when Ingratitude and Folly suffer, 'Tis Weakneis co be touch'd.
Row. Fair Pen. PLAGUE. The rising Vapours choak the wholesom Air, And Blasts of noisom Winds corrupt the Year. The Trees devouring Caterpillars burn, Parch'd with the Grafs, and blighted with the Corn: Nor 'scape the Beasts, for Sirius from on high, With peftilential Hears infests the Sky.
The raw Damps
With flaggy Wings fly heavily about,
Scatt'ring their peftilential Colds and Rheums
Thro' all the lazy Air: Hence Murrains follow
On bleating Flocks, and on the lowing Herds.
At last the Malady
Grew more domestick, and the faithful Dog
Dy'd at his Master's Feet ; and next his Master.
For all those Plagues which Earth and Air had brooded,
First on inferiour Creatures try their Force,
And last they fiez'd on Man:
And then a thousand Deaths at once advanc'd,
And ev'ry Dart cook Place. All was so sudden,
That scarce a first Man fell: One but began
To wonder, and straight fell a Wonder too;
A third, who stoop'd to raise bis dying Friend,
Drop'd in the pious A&t. Heard you that Groan?
A Troop of Ghosts took Flight together there:
Now Death's grown riotous, and will play no more
For single Stakes, but Families and Tribes.
With dead and dying Men our Streets lie cover'd;
And Earth exposes Bodies on the Pavements
More than the hides in Graves.
Between the Bride and Bridegroom have I seen
The nuptial Torch do common Offices
Of Marriage and of Death. Caft round your Eyes, ,
Where lare the Streets were fo thick-fown with Men,
Like Cadmus Brood they justled for their Passage;
Now look for those erected Heads, and fee 'em,
Like Pebbles, paving all our publick Ways. Dryd. Oedip.
O'er Æthiopia, and the southern Sands,
A mortal Influence came,
Kindled by Heav'n's angry Beam.
Who all the Stores of Poyson sent,
Threat'ning, at once a gen'ral Doom,
Lavilh'd out all their Hate, and meant
In future Ages to be innocent.
Those Africk Defarts straight were double Desarts grown,
The rav'nous Beasts were left alone.
The ray'nous Beasts then first began,
To pity their old En'my Man,
(done. And blam'd the Plague for what they would themselves have
Nor stay'd the cruel Evil there;
Plagues presently forsake
The Wilderness which they themselves do make ;
Away the deadly Breaths their journey take,
Driv'n by a mighty Wind;
The loaded Wind went swiftly on, And as it pass’d, was heard to figh and groan:
Thence it did Persia over-run;
In every Limb a dreadful Pain they felt;
Tortur'd with secret Coals they melc.
The Persians call'd their Sun in vain,
Their God increas'd their Pain :
They look'd up to their God no more,
But curse the Beams they worshipped before.
Glutted with Ruins of the East,
She took her Wings, and down to Athens past :
Just Plague! which doft no Parties take,
But Greece as well as Persia sack: Without the Wall the Spartan Army fate,
The Spartan Army came too late,
For now there was no farther Work for Fate.
They saw the City open lay,
An easy and a bootless Prey ;
They saw the Rampires empty stand,
The Fleet, the Walls, the Forts unman'd:
No Need of Cruelty or Slaughter now,
The Plague had finish'd what they came to do.
They now might unrefifted enter there,
Did they not the very Air
More than th' Athenians fear;
The Air it self to theni was Wall and Bulwarks too.
The Air no more was vital now,
But did a mortal Poyson grow.
The Lungs, which us'd to fan the Heart,
Serv'd only now to fire each Part;
What should refresh, increas'd the Smart.
And now their
The chiefeft Sign of Life, became the cause of Death,
Upon the Head first the Disease,
As a bold Conqu'ror does fieze;
Blood started thro' each Eye,
The Redness of that Sky
Foretold a Tempest nigh.
The Tongue did flow all o'er
With clotted Filth and Gore :
Hoarseness and Sores the Throat did fill,
And stopt the Passages of Speech and Life:
Too cruel and imperious Ill!
Which not content to kill,
With tyrannous and dreadful Pain,
Doeft take from Men the very power to complain.
Then down it went into the Breast,
There all the Seats and Shops of Life poffefs'd:
Such noisom Smells from thence did come,
As if the Stomach were a Tomb.
No Food would there abide,
Or if it did, turn'd to the Enemy's Side ;
The very Meat new Poysons to the Plague supply'd.
Next, to the Heart the Fires came,
The tainted Blood its Course began,
And carry'd Death where-e'er it ran;
That' which before was Nature's noblest Art,
The Circulation from the Heart,
Was more deftru&ful now,
And Nature fpeedier did undo.
The Belly felt at last its Share,
And all the subtle Labyrinths there
Of winding Bowels, did new Monsters bear.
Here sev'n Days it rul’d and sway'd,
And oft'ner kill'd, because it Death so long delayd :
But if thro' Strength and Heat of Age,
The Body overcame its Rage,
The vanquish'd Evil took from them
Who conquer'd it, fome Parr, fome Limb;
Some all their Lives before forgot,
Their Minds were but one darker Blot :
Those various Pi&ures in the Head,
And all the num'rous Shapes were fled ;
They pass’d the Lethe Lake altho they did not die:
Whatever lefser Maladies Men had,
Those petty Tyrants fled,
And at this mighty Conqu'ror shrunk their Head.
Fevers, Agues, Palfies, Stone,
Gout, Cholick, and Consumption,
And all the milder Generation
By which Mankind is by Degrees undone,
Were quickly routed out and gone.
Physicians now could nought prevail,
No Aid of Herbs, or Juices Pow'r ;
None of Apollo's Art could cure :
But help'd the Plague the speedier to devour.
Some cast into the Pit the Urn,
And drank it dry at its Return;
Again they drew, again they drank;
They drank, and found they flam'd the more,
And only added to the burning Store.
So strong the Heat, so strong the Torments were,
They like some Burchen bear
The lightest Covering of Air :
The Virgins blush not, yet uncloth'd appear ;
The Pain and the Disease did now,
Unwillingly reduce Men to
That Nakedness once more,
Which perfe&t Health, and Innocence caus'd before.
Their fiery Eyes, like Stars, wak'd all the Night,
No Sleep, no Peace, no Rest,
Their wandring and affrighted Minds pofsefs’d.
Upon their Souls, and Eyes,
Hell, and eternal Horrour lies.
Sometimes they curse, sometimes they pray,
Sometimes they Cruelties and Fury breath,
Nor Sleep, but Waking now was Sister unto Deathe
Scatter'd in Fields the Bodies lay.
The Earth call’d to the Fowls to take the Flesh away.
In vain she call'd; they came not nigh,
Nor would their food with their own Ruin buy :
* Whom Tyrant Hunger pressid,
And forc'd to taste; he prov'd a wretched Guest;
The Price was Life: It was a costly Feaft..
Here lies a Mother and her Child,
The Infant suck'd as yet, and smild:
But straight by its own Food was kill'd.
There Parents hugg'd their Children laft,
Here parting Lovers last embrac'd ;
But yet not parting neither,
They both expir'd and went away together.
Here Pris'ners in the Dungeon die,
And gain a twofold Liberty:
Here others, poison'd by the Scent,
Which from corrupted Bodies went,
* These Three Lines are in Creech's Lucretius.