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Cyder: Book II

O Harcourt, Whom th' ingenuous Love of Arts
Has carry'd from Thy native Soil, beyond
Th' eternal Alpine Snows, and now detains
In Italy's waste Realms, how long must we
Lament Thy Absence? Whilst in sweet Sojourn
Thou view'st the Reliques of old Rome; or what,
Unrival'd Authors by their Presence, made
For ever venerable, rural Seats,
Tibur, and Tusculum, or Virgil's Urn
Green with immortal Bays, which haply Thou,
Respecting his great Name, dost now approach
With bended Knee, and strow with purple Flow'rs;
Unmindful of Thy Friends, that ill can brook
This long Delay. At length, Dear Youth, return,
Of Wit, and Judgement ripe in blooming Years,
And Britain's Isle with Latian Knowledge grace.
Return, and let Thy Father's Worth excite
Thirst of Preeminence; see! how the Cause
Of Widows, and of Orphans He asserts
With winning Rhetoric, and well argu'd Law!
Mark well His Footsteps, and, like Him, deserve
Thy Prince's Favour, and Thy Country's Love.

Mean while (altho' the Massic Grape delights
Pregnant of racy Juice, and Formian Hills
Temper Thy Cups, yet) wilt not Thou reject
Thy native Liquors: Lo! for Thee my Mill
Now grinds choice Apples, and the British Vats
O'erflow with generous Cyder; far remote
Accept this Labour, nor despise the Muse,
That, passing Lands, and Seas, on Thee attends.

Thus far of Trees: The pleasing Task remains,
To sing of Wines, and Autumn's blest Increase.
Th' Effects of Art are shewn, yet what avails
'Gainst Heav'n? Oft, notwithstanding all thy Care
To help thy Plants, when the small Fruit'ry seems
Exempt from Ills, an oriental Blast
Disastrous flies, soon as the Hind, fatigu'd,
Unyokes his Team; the tender Freight, unskill'd
To bear the hot Disease, distemper'd pines
In the Year's Prime, the deadly Plague annoys
The wide Inclosure; think not vainly now
To treat thy Neighbours with mellifluous Cups,
Thus disappointed: If the former Years
Exhibit no Supplies, alas! thou must,
With tastless Water wash thy droughty Throat.

A thousand Accidents the Farmer's Hopes
Subvert, or checque; uncertain all his Toil,
'Till lusty Autumn's luke-warm Days, allay'd
With gentle Colds, insensibly confirm
His ripening Labours: Autumn to the Fruits
Earth's various Lap produces, Vigour gives
Equal, intenerating milky Grain,
Berries, and Sky-dy'd Plums, and what in Coat
Rough, or soft Rind, or bearded Husk, or Shell;
Fat Olives, and Pistacio's fragrant Nut,
And the Pine's tastful Apple: Autumn paints
Ausonian Hills with Grapes, whilst English Plains
Blush with pomaceous Harvests, breathing Sweets.
O let me now, when the kind early Dew
Unlocks th' embosom'd Odors, walk among
The well rang'd Files of Trees, whose full-ag'd Store
Diffuse Ambrosial Steams, than Myrrh, or Nard
More grateful, or perfuming flow'ry Beane!
Soft whisp'ring Airs, and the Larks mattin Song
Then woo to musing, and becalm the Mind
Perplex'd with irksome Thoughts. Thrice happy time,
Best Portion of the various Year, in which
Nature rejoyceth, smiling on her Works
Lovely, to full Perfection wrought! but ah,
Short are our Joys, and neighb'ring Griefs disturb
Our pleasant Hours. Inclement Winter dwells
Contiguous; forthwith frosty Blasts deface
The blithsome Year: Trees of their shrivel'd Fruits
Are widow'd, dreery Storms o'er all prevail.
Now, now's the time; e'er hasty Suns forbid
To work, disburthen thou thy sapless Wood
Of its rich Progeny; the turgid Fruit
Abounds with mellow Liquor; now exhort
Thy Hinds to exercise the pointed Steel
On the hard Rock, and give a wheely Form
To the expected Grinder: Now prepare
Materials for thy Mill, a sturdy Post
Cylindric, to support the Grinder's Weight
Excessive, and a flexile Sallow' entrench'd,
Rounding, capacious of the juicy Hord.
Nor must thou not be mindful of thy Press
Long e'er the Vintage; but with timely Care
Shave the Goat's shaggy Beard, least thou too late,
In vain should'st seek a Strainer, to dispart
The husky, terrene Dregs, from purer Must.
Be cautious next a proper Steed to find,
Whose Prime is past; the vigorous Horse disdains
Such servile Labours, or, if forc'd, forgets
His past Atchievements, and victorious Palms.
Blind Bayard rather, worn with Work, and Years,
Shall roll th' unweildy Stone; with sober Pace
He'll tread the circli
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Submitted on May 13, 2011

3:41 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic pentameter
Characters 4,406
Words 691
Stanzas 4
Stanza Lengths 22, 8, 15, 52

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