Tag Archives: health

Isaac Hawkins Browne, “On a Fit of the Gout. An Ode”


“On a Fit of the Gout. An Ode”


Wherefore was Man thus form’d with eye sublime,
With active joints to traverse hill or plain,
But to contemplate Nature in her prime,
Lord of this ample world, his fair domain?
Why on this various earth such beauty pour’d,                                      5
But for thy pleasure, Man, her sovereign lord?

Why does the mantling vine her juice afford
Nectareous, but to cheer with cordial taste?
Why are the earth and air and ocean stor’d
With beast, fish, fowl; if not for Man’s repast?                                 10
Yet what avails to me, or taste, or sight,
Exil’d from every object of delight?

So much I feel of anguish, day and night
Tortur’d, benumb’d; in vain the fields to range
Me vernal breezes, and mild suns invite,                                              15
In vain the banquet smokes with kindly change
Of delicacies, while on every plate
Pain lurks in ambush, and alluring fate.

Fool, not to know the friendly powers create
These maladies in pity to mankind:                                                    20
These abdicated Reason reinstate
When lawless Appetite usurps the mind;
Heaven’s faithful centries at the door of bliss
Plac’d to deter, or to chastise excess.

Weak is the aid of wisdom to repress                                                     25
Passion perverse; philosophy how vain!
‘Gainst Circe’s cup, enchanting sorceress;
Or when the Syren sings her warbling strain.
Whate’er or sages teach, or bards reveal,
Men still are men, and learn but when they feel.                                     30

As in some free and well-pois’d common-weal
Sedition warns the rulers how to steer,
As storms and thunders ratling with loud peal,
From noxious dregs the dull horizon clear;
So when the mind imbrutes in sloth supine,                                             35
Sharp pangs awake her energy Divine.

Cease then, oh cease, fond mortal, to repine
At laws, which Nature wisely did ordain;
Pleasure, what is it? rightly to define,
‘Tis but a short-liv’d interval from pain:                                               40
Or rather, each, alternately renew’d,
Give to our lives a sweet vicissitude.


7  mantling  “Spreading, covering; enveloping, surrounding” (OED).

8  Nectareous  “Of the nature, consisting, or suggestive of nectar; sweet” (OED).

10  repast  “A quantity of food and drink forming or intended for a meal or feast” (OED).

27  Circe  In Greek and Latin mythology, a sorceress who was able to turn those who drank from her cup into swine (Britannica).

28  Syren  In Greek mythology, a feminine creature, often half bird and half woman, who “lure[s] sailors to destruction by the sweetness of her song” (Britannica).

31  common-weal  “Commonwealth” (OED).

35  imbrutes  “To degrade to the level of a brute; to make bestial, brutalize” (OED).

37  repine  “To feel or express dissatisfaction; to grumble, complain” (OED).

SOURCE:  Poems Upon Various Subjects, Latin and English (London, 1768), pp. 137-39. [ECCO]

 Edited by Sam Lim-Kimberg



Nicholas Amhurst, “To Mrs. Centlivre at that time dangerously ill”


 “To Mrs. CENTLIVRE at that time dangerously ill”


Struck with a Passion for unhappy ROWE,
To whom so many finish’d Scenes we owe,
I paid my Tribute to his mighty Name,
A Stranger to his Person —— but by Fame:
The Man, but not the Author was unknown,                                                  5
Oft have I made his well-wrought Verse my own;
Oft have I wept his dying Hero’s Cause,
And shook the ecchoing Dome with loud Applause:
From hence alone my grateful Sorrows rise,
Hence the prompt Tears o’erflow my swelling Eyes;                                      10
But double Pangs thy mournful Bosom rend,
I lose the Poet only, you the Friend.
You knew the secret Virtues of his Heart,
How void it was of every treacherous Art;
Search’d the vast hidden Treasures of his Mind,                                            15
And weep in him the Loss to all Mankind.
GARTH follow’d soon, from the unsparing Grave,
Not his own Art his mortal Life could save!
Two Bards at once the Tyrant swept away,
To feed the Worm, and mix with vulgar Clay;                                                  20
Nor yet content, unbounded in his Rage,
Of THEE too he attempts to rob the Age.
Insulting Death! oh stop thy savage Hand,
Reverse, tremendous Power, the rash Command;
Already you have given us too much Grief,                                                      25
Be kind at last, and minister Relief;
Stop our forboding Tears, asswage our Pain,
And give CENTLIVRE back to Health again.


Title  Centlivre  Susanna Centlivre (1669-1723), English poet, playwright, and actress.

1  Rowe  Nicholas Rowe (1674-1718), Poet Laureate (1715-1718), playwright and editor.

8  Dome  “A building, a house, a fabrick”  (Johnson).

11  Pangs  “A sudden access of keen feeling or emotion”  (OED).

12  You the friend  Centlivre and Rowe were frequent collaborators; both Centlivre and Amhurst dedicated tributes to Rowe in 1719.

14  Art  “Cunning”  (Johnson).

17  Garth  Samuel Garth (1661-1719), English poet and physician.

18  Art  “Skill in applying the principles of a special science”  (OED).

19  Bards  “A lyric or epic poet” (OED); here references to Rowe and Garth.

27  asswage  “Common form of assuage in 16-18thc.”  (OED).

Source:  Poems on Several Occasions (London, 1723), pp. 68-69.  [Google Books]

Edited by Jerry Andersen

Mary Darwall, “To a Friend, on her recovery from Sickness”


“To a Friend, on her recovery from Sickness”

My much belov’d, my gentle friend,
May ev’ry happiness attend
Thy health’s returning bloom;
May fell disease, and grief, and pain,
With all their dire afflictive train,                                                 5
No longer be thy doom.

Th’ autumnal sun now shines serene,
Rich Ceres beautifies each scene,
And plenty laughs around;
The woods, the hills, the vales look gay,                                  10
O! hither come, and every day
With rapture shall be crown’d.

Come, range with me the verdant lawn,
And hear the lark at early dawn
His sprightly matin trill;                                                        15
Or, with my little playful throng,
At eve enjoy the blackbird’s song,
Beside some gurgling rill.

But wheresoe’er my friend shall stray,
May peace and pleasure smooth her way,                               20
And health and fortune smile;
May love, with all his choicest flowr’s,
For thee adorn his myrtle bowr’s,
And all thy cares beguile.

May some gay youth, fond, kind, and true,                               25
My SYLVIA’s worthy heart subdue
To Hymen’s gentle pow’r;
Soft may the silken fetters prove,
Distrust or doubt ne’er chill your love,
But peace gild every hour!                                                    30


8 Ceres “The Roman goddess of the growth of food” (Britannica).

10 vales “A more or less extensive tract o f land lying between two ranges of hills” (OED).

14 lark “A name used generally for any bird of the Alaudidae family” (OED).

15 matin “The morning song of birds” (OED); trill “To utter or sing (a note, tune, etc.) with tremulous vibration of sound” (OED).

18 rill “Small stream; a brook; a rivulet” (OED).

23 myrtle bowr’s “Any various evergreen shrubs or small trees of the genus Myrtus” (OED).

27 Hymen “In Greek mythology, the god of marriage” (Britannica).

28 fetters “Chains for the legs” (Johnson).

30 gild “To cover entirely or partially with a thin layer of gold” (OED).

Source: Poems on Several Occasions (London, 1794), pp. 26­-28. [ Google Books]

Edited by Sandy Karkar